CLEVELANDAlthough Taj Gibson and John Lucas III were just nicked up, according to Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau, the fact that his players didnt leave the Quicken Loans Arena completely unscathed had to be worrisome. Right?
Right? Not if you ask Thibodeau, whos already missing reigning league MVP Derrick Rose. The coach, when asked (again) about Roses status, gave his explanation on the thought process.
Thats not the way I think. The way I think is this: Only Derrick knows the way he feels and so, when Derrick feels like he can play, hell play. If he feels like he cant, he wont, he explained. Were very confident that we have more than enough to win with and somehow theres this notion out there that, this team you should beat. It doesnt work like that in the NBA. In the NBA, every team is capable of beating you, so youve got to be ready every night and whoevers ready to go, thats who you go with and thats what were going to continue to do.
Day-to-day. Theyre nicked up a little bit, but theyll be fine, Thibodeau added. Bulls team trainer Fred Tedeschi will have a better read on it Saturday.
Lucas, while grimacing, insisted hed be fine for Saturdays home tilt against Charlotte, after Fridays win, to which he contributed nine second-quarter points before exiting with a strained left groin. Gibson, on the other hand, was in a walking boot in the locker room after suffering a sprained left ankle.
Just stepped on somebodys foot trying to go for a rebound, Gibson told CSNChicago.com. I could play tomorrow probably, but well have to wait and see.
It wouldnt be surprising to see Gibson rest Saturday and with the addition of veteran point guard Mike James, Lucas take a more limited role. The Bulls depth gives them the luxury of being cautious in this shortened season, even if the leagues reigning MVP is out of the lineup.
The main thing is really having everyone healthy. You want to have everyone out there every night, but youve got to be smart. I never question anyone on this team when theyre hurt. When theyre hurt, theyre hurt. Everyone knows that were a deep team, said Luol Deng. Weve got guys that are doing a good job of stepping up and with Derrick, as important as he is to our team, weve got to be smart in just making sure that hes 100 percent before he steps out there.