Rose first Bulls' All-Star starter since Jordan

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Rose first Bulls' All-Star starter since Jordan

Thursday, Jan. 27, 2011
Posted 3:13 p.m. Updated 6:49 p.m.

By Aggrey Sam
CSNChicago.com

Instead of enjoying a rare three-day break before games and his selection as an NBA All-Star Game starter Thursday night (first Bulls All-Star starter since Michael Jordan), Bulls point guard Derrick Rose has a bigger issue to deal with.

I have an ulcer, Rose told reporters after Thursdays practice at the Berto Center.

Its real painful for me to eat, drink, swallow, all that stuff. But they gave me some medication for it, explained the 22-year-old, who didnt participate in practice either Wednesday or Thursday. I thought I had heartburn Monday, but I guess thats when it was forming.

Hopefully I will be able to play Friday against the Orlando Magic, he continued. I havent really been able to eat anything, so my energy is kind of low.

Rose, who believes the condition came about from eating too much spicy food, was shocked to learn that his symptoms were more than a simple case of heartburn.

I couldnt believe it. Actually, I woke up and the doctor wasnt in there. My mother had all these types of pictures of my stomach, showing me where the ulcers were. You could see a nice-sized one and there was a smaller one. It hit me hard, said Rose. It was kind of crazy because at first, I thought that my stomach was hurting or I was coming down with something, but to learn thatmy family was kind of worried, but Ill be all right.

They gave me some pills for heartburn, thinking that it was going to go away, but it didnt. Thats when it really got bad. I couldnt sleep at night. I thought I was having a heart attack. Thats when I called Bulls trainer Fred Tedeschi and Wednesday, thats when I went in, continued Rose, who claimed his back, which he told reporters was bothering him after Mondays game, was fine, although he admitted he didnt know how it would feel when he got back on the court. There was a procedure, anesthesia a numbing spray, then they put this little camera down my throat. I was in the hospital (Rush) the whole day.

Rose insisted his condition wasnt the result of stress.

Were winning. Im doing pretty good right now. I dont have to worry about anything, so stress, Im not worried about that. Now, if last year and the year before that, if I would have gotten one, it probably would have been because of stress, reasoned Rose. If anything, I definitely have to change what I eat.

Thats the thing Im going with, my diet, added the self-proclaimed candy fanatic. Im not eating anything spicy for a long time.

Im going to watch a lot of things that I eat now.

Still, even with the nature of the situation, Rose indicated it wouldnt be an issue on the court.

Youve got to play through it, especially this one. This one is kind of weird. Ive been healthy all my life. For me to have one an injury where Ive got to take medication for it, instead of getting stim electronic stimulation or putting ice on it, its kind of weird. Ive got to watch what I eat and watch what I drink, and thats everything, he said.

We thought it was the flu, but hopefully its not anything serious, said Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau. Well see how he is tomorrow. Hes better today than he was yesterday, so if hes better tomorrow, he goes.

We dont change our plan at all, he continued. If he cant play Friday, C.J. Watson goes, Ronnie Brewer backs him up and we go from there, but we dont change our plans at all.

Teammate Joakim Noah added a dose of humor to the situation.

I dont know how common it is. I dont really know too much about ulcers, but he didnt look too bad, quipped the injured center. Hes doing a photo shoot right now, but it couldnt be too bad.

Aggrey Sam is CSNChicago.com's Bulls Insider. Follow him @CSNBullsInsider on Twitter for up-to-the-minute Bulls information and his take on the team, the NBA and much more.

Wonky streaks, good fortune over Cavs on the line for Bulls

Wonky streaks, good fortune over Cavs on the line for Bulls

No matter the metric or the occasion, the only thing definitive about the Bulls over the last two seasons has been their mystifying dominance over the Cleveland Cavaliers in head-to-head matchups.

That, and their fascinating streak of consecutive wins while playing at home on TNT, a streak that could end at 19 games Thursday night when the two teams with varying objectives clash at the United Center.

The Cavaliers are searching to find themselves, along with a light switch that will perhaps alert them to a lost defense over the past several weeks that has been worst in the league since the All-Star break.

The Bulls are searching for consistency, but since it's probably a little too late in the season for that, they'll settle for a playoff spot with eight games left.

They'll take two straight wins for the first time in a month, if they can get it.

They'll extend a goofy streak, if that’s what things will come down to.

"The big thing is obviously you have to execute very well against this Cleveland team," Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg said. "You have to go out there with great urgency, great energy. I anticipate them coming in and playing with a ton of energy tomorrow. We're going to have to match that. We're going to have to come out and play physical basketball."

Having a big break between games this late in the season is a rarity, as the Bulls have been off since Sunday evening, but it's just another weird detail in this weird Bulls experience.

An experience that the mild-mannered Hoiberg has to experience from his couch some nights, such as watching the Miami Heat furiously steal a game in Detroit at the buzzer with a Hasaan Whiteside tip-in to extend a lead over his team to a game, followed by another win Wednesday to put more distance between the two teams.

"I did, actually," said Hoiberg with a smirk when asked if he's scoreboard watching and paying attention to the teams ahead of the Bulls in the playoff race.

After being prompted to give his raw emotions when Whiteside's tip-in occurred, he slipped right back to Robo-Hoiberg — although one can imagine how animated he must've been while looking to catch a break from a previous contender for the eighth spot in the Pistons.

"It is what it is," Hoiberg said. "You have to go out and worry about yourselves at this time of year. It was a great finish for Miami, obviously, the way that game ended. But there's nothing you can do about that. You've got to worry about yourselves and hopefully go out and execute."

Going 6-1 against the Cavaliers in his two seasons as Bulls coach is probably the biggest feather in his cap, including three wins in all three meetings this go round.

The rhyme or reason doesn't seem explainable, but Nikola Mirotic seemed to give a few keys to the Bulls' success over LeBron James' Cavaliers: Sharing the ball, controlling the glass and getting back on defense.

"Against big teams, we play much better," Mirotic said. "I don't know why is the reason for that. We need to find a way to play against everybody like that. It's on us. We just have to prove it."

Usually, those tenets seem to work against most teams, not just the supremely talented champions who've just lost a grip on first place in the conference.

But their inconsistencies have left the Bulls here with a handful of games left before the April 12th finale.

A win over Cleveland could mean everything, or nothing at all, or something in between.

"Sure, we understand," Mirotic said. "We've been in a very similar situation last year. We didn’t make the playoffs so this year we want to try to make that push. I think we have a good schedule for the last. Very important game tomorrow, huge one. I think we have played very well against Cleveland until now. We have a chance. We need to get out there and play with energy."