Thibodeau: Rose is 'getting closer'

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Thibodeau: Rose is 'getting closer'

NEW YORKTom Thibodeau wouldnt say itthats not his stylebut the Bulls head coach indicated that Derrick Rose is closer to taking another major step in his recovery process.

Rose, whos taken part in drills featuring predictable contact as of late, could be nearing the stage where hes practicing as a full participant.

Well sort of evaluate it every week. Hes getting closer because hes taken on some contact, but its a step-by-step process and hes doing well. But everyone has to be patient, Thibodeau said before the Bulls 108-101 win Friday night over the Knicks at Madison Square Garden. Hes done his work, so its a well mapped-out plan. He goes step by step and when he handles one step well and hes comfortable, he moves on to the next one.

Hes not the first guy whos had this injury and I think when you look at the number of guys who have had the injury and what theyre doing after the injury, I think it tells you a lot about where medicine is today and what the rehab for the injury is, the coach continued.

Its a long process, so hes got a ways to go. He hasnt gone through a full practice yet. Hes got to do that for an extended amount of time, but hes doing extremely well. Hes approached it great. You couldnt ask for anything more and our team has done a great job with their approach, and thats the way we want to keep it right now.

Reading between the lines usually isnt advisable when it comes to coach-speak, especially when it involves injuries, but for Thibodeau, known for keeping things close to the vest, to not downplay things or give his standard response to a question about Rose is at the least, not discouraging.

The coach was outright positive when describing Roses mental state these days: You guys know him. Theres high maintenance, low maintenance and no maintenance, and thats Derrick. Thats who he is. Hes just a great team player, great teammate, hes mentally strong, hes got a great will and so, he understands what he has to go through and hes done a great job with it.

None of the above means anything definitive, but as Roses eventual return to the court looms, its heartening to know that things are still going according to schedule, regardless of whether the Bulls see fit to disclose that timetable.

Morning Update: Dwyane Wade comes up clutch in close win vs. Kings

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AP

Morning Update: Dwyane Wade comes up clutch in close win vs. Kings

Dwyane Wade gets a little help but saves the day defensively vs. Kings

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Dwyane Wade gets a little help but saves the day defensively vs. Kings

Dwyane Wade gets a little help but saves the day defensively vs. Kings

It was a gift and the Bulls weren't going to look it in the mouth as Dwyane Wade was poised to finish off another one of his sterling defensive plays with a breakaway dunk with the game tied and Arron Afflalo and DeMarcus Cousins trailing.

Lightly touched by the small of his back by Cousins, Wade miscalculated his liftoff and missed the dunk but was bailed out by the refs for a foul with 14 seconds left.

Then, he bailed the Bulls out.

Wade had his fifth fourth-quarter defensive play, stripping Cousins on a steal on the ensuing possession with the Sacramento Kings having a chance to win, leading to a Michael Carter-Williams dunk and finishing a 102-99 win Saturday night at the United Center.

It was a clock-turning performance for Wade on both ends of the floor, even if his missed dunk is a reminder that he is 35 years old. But putting up 30 with six rebounds and four assists on the second night of a back-to-back is proof positive he took Friday's loss to Atlanta personally and used his play to back up those feelings.

He scored 13 in the fourth, along with the last of his four blocked shots and all three of his steals took place in the final 12.

Cousins dominated the game with 42 and 14 rebounds in 35 minutes, the only Kings player in double figures all night.

Back-to-back triples from Cousins gave him 40 and tied the game at 97, as a third one rimmed out with a little under two minutes left.

Cousins dominated the start of the third quarter, hitting midrange jumpers over Robin Lopez and taunting the Bulls bench after hitting a jumper to put the Kings ahead, 70-63 midway through the third.

It looked like the worst was over when the Bulls made a short run to end the third, surviving the onslaught from Cousins — and surviving their own experimenting as the Paul Zipser played heavy minutes and even finished out the game on the floor.

Zipser scored 13 and Nikola Mirotic scored 11 off the bench, with Jimmy Butler scoring 23 with seven assists and five rebounds in 39 minutes.