Chicago Bulls

Thibodeau: Rose taking 'predictable contact' in practice

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Thibodeau: Rose taking 'predictable contact' in practice

DEERFIELD, ILL. As his rehabilitation from ACL surgery progresses, sidelined Bulls point guard Derrick Rose continues to take more steps in the recovery progress. The former league MVP is now taking predictable contact in practice, Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau revealed Tuesday.

Obviously its knowing whats coming and so, hes handled that part great. Hes done a little one-on-one, and thats coming around. But everyone has to be patient, the coach explained after Tuesdays afternoon session at the Berto Center. The next step will be a regular practice and he hasnt done that yet, so once he does that, youll know hes getting closer.

While Rose is making progress and demonstrates to the assembled media, in the waning moments of practices, that hes retained his outside shooting touch, it doesnt mean that his return is imminent.

According to a person with knowledge of the situation, the Chicago native will participate in three-on-three drills in the near future before being cleared to play in full-court five-on-five activities, hopefully by the end of the month, at which point, hell practice extensively before a likely return sometime after the All-Star break.

Weve got to feel good about this and the most important thing is hes got to feel really good about it. But its the type of injury where you have to be patient and hes handling his part great. Hes upbeat, hes doing his rehab daily and thats his entire focus, and the team, theyve just got to lock into our improvement and our next opponent, and then, at some point, hell rejoin us, Thibodeau said.

Ive talked to him every day. Im glad that hes approached things the way that he has. Hes been patient, hes been upbeat, hes doing his part. You couldnt ask for anything more. He puts everything he has into the rehab and then, hes fully engaged with his teammates. Even from the time he got injured, we were pretty much in daily contact. Hes doing great and coming along. Hes right where he should be.

Roses teammate, Joakim Noah, added: Were not really looking over our shoulders because hes with us every day, so we get to see the progress, but I think its good. Right now, were just trying to play the best basketball possible, knowing that he is going to come back. Thats a good feeling, but now weve got to keep grinding it out and keep getting these wins. The truth is, he has to be patient and we need to give him as much time as he needs, so he can come back when hes 100 percent.

Hes into it and its good to have Derrick on the road. Hes definitely watching the games and passionate about the games. He obviously wants to be out there, but he needs to be patient, he continued. Its exciting stuff, whats going on over here. Were working hard, were playing pretty good, weve got some big games coming up and you know weve got our MVP hes going to come back so yeah, its pretty cool.

Meanwhile, the teams current starting point guard, veteran Kirk Hinrich, missed Tuesdays practice, after suffering an elbow injury in Monday nights home win over Cleveland. His status is day-to-day, according to Thibodeau.

Hinrich is a little dinged-up on his elbow, I guess, Thibodeau explained, noting that Hinrich was injured on a play when he was hustling for a loose ball against the Cavaliers. I dont think he had stitches. Just bandaged up right now.

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Bulls the worst team in NBA?

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USA TODAY

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Bulls the worst team in NBA?

David Haugh (Chicago Tribune), Nick Shepkowski (670 The Score) and Dan Cahill (Chicago Sun-Times) join Kap on the panel. Jake Arrieta will return to the rotation to face the Brewers. Can he recapture his pre-injury form? Mike Glennon gets another start Sunday but should he get the hook if he struggles again?

Plus, the guys discuss the one metric that says the Bulls are the worst team in the NBA.

A 'woke' Doug Collins returns to provoke thought — and we'll find out who's asleep in Bulls' front office

A 'woke' Doug Collins returns to provoke thought — and we'll find out who's asleep in Bulls' front office

Doug Collins made it clear, that his return to the Bulls organization won’t result in a return to the sidelines as head coach, meaning Fred Hoiberg has nothing to worry about in the way of looking over his shoulder.

What Collins did admit, though, is he’s back with the Bulls to provoke thought. Anyone who’s listened to Collins as a broadcaster for ESPN or Turner Sports, or talked to him in any basketball capacity, knows he’s not only a hoops lifer but also someone who can have strong opinions, capable of quick dissection of a complex picture in a moment’s notice.

“I’m not here to be a decision-maker. I want to provoke thought. My mind is very active,” Collins said Tuesday afternoon at the Advocate Center. “And I think to get into a room and to bounce ideas off each other or whatever, at the end of the day, Gar, Michael, Jerry, Pax will make those decisions. The beauty of it is is that when there’s a level of trust when you’re talking about things, you can speak openly and honestly with people knowing the only thing that matters is that whatever happens is the best for the franchise.”

Announcing Collins as a senior advisor to executive vice president John Paxson adds another voice to the Bulls’ braintrust and is probably an admission this rebuild will require more than what the Bulls already have, be it in terms of connections, observation and even innovation.

Collins’ connection to Paxson and Jerry Reinsdorf, a growing relationship with Michael Reinsdorf and ability to relate with Hoiberg due to the misery of coaching should align a front office to the floor in ways that has been in doubt for the past several seasons.

“Given Jerry's relationship and my relationship with Doug over the years, we thought, hey, let's see if maybe this isn't a good time for Doug to come back into the fold,” Paxson said. “So we approached him and it was very casual, no expectations other than he's been a friend of ours for so long. But the more we kind of dug into the prospects of this and what it means, the more we kept asking ourselves, why wouldn't we do this?”

Collins made it clear he won’t be giving up his family life, as he already has residence in Chicago and his son Chris is coaching Northwestern and a son-in-law coaching a high school team outside Philadelphia.

“The hours and the time commitment that Fred Hoiberg puts in on a day and the energy that he spends and being on the road and being away from his family,” Collins said. “(This) worked perfectly in my schedule when I talked to Pax that I could be a part of something special, the Chicago Bulls, and I love the Chicago Bulls.”

His energy and passion can light up a room, and though he tried his best to say that’s died down at age 66, claiming “I can sit and do a crossword puzzle for three hours now”, people wired like Collins don’t lose their fervor for the game.

“I think there’s this feeling that I’m a guy who’s always on and fired up,” Collins said.

But that fire and passion and presumably a willingness to be uncompromising with the truth should be something that’s welcome inside the Advocate Center. In addition to his acumen, one of Collins’ greatest strengths is his fervor, and it shouldn’t be scaled back.

That’s not how rebuilds work successfully. Lines have to be crossed and people have to be made uncomfortable in their line of thinking, even if it’s Paxson or Hoiberg or general manager Gar Forman.

It’s not hard to see the Bulls following the thinking of the Golden State Warriors when they added Jerry West in an advisory role years ago, resulting in several key moves being made, most notably West’s objection to Klay Thompson being traded to Minnesota for Kevin Love before Love was eventually moved to Cleveland.

West’s guidance played a part in the Warriors’ upward trajectory to championship status, and he hopes to have a similar affect with the Los Angeles Clippers.

Comparing West with Collins on its face is a bit unfair, considering West’s experience as an executive and championship pedigree dating back to his days with the Lakers.

At least with West, he’s not trying to convince anyone he isn’t anything but a tortured basketball soul at age 79. Collins reminded everyone he’s a grandfather of five and at a spry 66, West would call Collins a “spring chicken.”

What Collins can bring is a keen eye for observation, and expecting him to be a passive personality doesn’t quite seem right, especially leaving the cushy job at ESPN that allowed him maximum exposure and a schedule to his liking.

Perhaps the way Collins left the NBA, with a massive gambit in Philadelphia falling flat when Andrew Bynum’s knees rendered him useless and sending the 76ers franchise into “The Process,” left him with a bad taste in his mouth.

Maybe his competitive juices got him going again and the broadcast booth just wasn’t cutting it, along with having a front seat to the injury that changed the course of the Bulls franchise when Derrick Rose tore his ACL in 2012 against Collins’ 76ers.

Maybe the crossword puzzles just couldn’t get it done anymore. After all, the man once cried on the sidelines as his Detroit Pistons beat the Bulls in a regular-season game in 1997. Curbing that passion would be a disservice.

“See how things quickly change? The NBA is cyclical now,” Collins said. “Other than the San Antonio Spurs, over the last 20 years, every elite franchise has gone through this moment. And so now what you got to do, you got to dig yourself back up.

“We got to start doing all the things that are necessary to gain assets day by day, to put all the work, so we’re going to give ourself a chance, when we continue to get better players and more talent, that you’re going to win more basketball games.”

Collins said he has old-school values, all while being caught up with the times that he called himself “woke” as a nod to the current culture.

If he truly is, we’ll also find out who’s asleep in the front office, in desperate need a loud wake-up call.