Bulls vs Nuggets 8:00 on CSN - Rose OUT

The Bulls roll into Denver where they're likely to see Carmelo Anthony for the last time this season.   The Bulls beat the Nuggets at home earlier in the year, and are looking for another win tonight which would lock in their first winning circus trip since the Jordan era.

Unfortunately for the Bulls, Derrick Rose is questionable for tonight's game with a neck strain.  If Rose can't go due to the neck injury, and his current description would make it quite difficult to play basketball, then C.J. Watson will start in his place, and who the heck knows who will play the backup PG.

--- UPDATE --

Derrick Rose is out
It's difficult to write much of a useful game analysis without knowing whether Rose will play, but here goes:

Keys to the game

Derrick Rose needs to play, or C.J. Watson needs to step up.  It'd be easy to write this game off without Derrick Rose, but C.J. Watson is the type of guard who, when allowed to dominate the ball, can go off and score 30 points for you on a hot night.

While our odds of winning are limited without Rose, I'd expect to see C.J. Watson play an entirely different brand of basketball when he knows he's getting 35+ minutes and is required to score / create for the team on every possession.

I hope Derrick is feeling well enough to play, and I hope we don't try and force him on the court if he's not.  Rose strikes me as the type of guy who will lie to the coach to get on the court even if feeling lousy, so the coaching staff should be wary of that as well.

Luol Deng needs to play well tonight.  He was really eaten alive by Anthony last game.  We need to have Deng work Anthony a lot harder on offense, and he needs to do it through off the ball movement not isolation plays.   Get Deng running around screens and get him the ball en route to the basket. 

That will make Anthony work hard or give the Bulls easy looks, either outcome is good for us.

Dominate the interior.  Interestingly, in the last game against the Bulls, the Nuggets went isolation to Nene for the first 3/4ths of the early plays of the game and were successful on virtually every attempt in scoring points.   For some reason, they decided that they'd then never try that again the rest of the game.

We'll have to hope that Noah plays better defense or that Denver remains resistant to going back to what scored points for them 80% of the time they tried it.  

If rose is out, then Taj/Noah will need to really dominate the paint in order for the Bulls to have a chance, they'll need to win purely on grizzle and defense at that point. 

If rose is out, ball movement and bench play.  The bulls rely on Derrick Rose to create a lot of offense for them, but if he misses the game, they'll need to rely on the system without having any great shot creators left to make the magic happen. 

In that scenario, look for a lot off the ball movement from screens to create open looks for Brewer/Deng cutting to the basket and Korver behind the three point arc.  I'd expect to see Joakim Noah do a lot of the offensive orchestration for the team out of the post in that scenario.

Final thoughts
If Rose sits in this game, and the Bulls get destroyed due to lack of a third ball handler on the team, look for a quick emergency signing within the next few days.    With a healthy Rose, I think this game is a push.   Without a healthy Rose, the Bulls are decided underdogs.   Taj Gibson said his foot is feeling much better and that he'll play.


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  • If Derek can't go and CJ starts, he might have a chance at abreak-out game. He's a good teammate, and could sure use a boost! I'd like him feeling more confident of his game and his place on the team... let's see. JJ sure benefited from his minutes and earned a few more.

    BTW, I really liked the comments from JJ after the last game, were he knew his bone-headed foul on Nash undid all his good work earlier in the game, and he came to the huddle and asked his teammates to pick him up, and they did! This is quite a TEAM coming together here, in front of our eyes on this trip, and that confidence will suit them well come playoff time!


    I have a feeling DROSE will MAN-UP and play through pain.

    We are only talk about a stiff neck here. That's not an EXCUSE to miss a game.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    Yes it is an excuse. Take it from someone who suffered minor stiff necks at his age and didn't think much of it. Eight years later, the things kick my ass for a few days at a time. He needs to treat this thing right, you don't f*** with your neck.

  • In reply to msalivar:

    The neck is something you definatelty don't want to f*** with, serious life altering things can happen when the spinal chord is involved

  • In reply to ChiRy:


    It's just a stiff neck, not a spinal cord injury.

    Let's not over-react.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    you don't fuck with the neck

  • In reply to msalivar:


    The Bulls have signed John Lucas III.


  • In reply to MrHappy:

    Mr. Happy have ever experience a stiff neck before? It can be a real bitch depend how stiff it really is if anyone can't move their necks left and right, and it is really stiff it's better to rest it before make it much worse.

    I have experiece a stiff neck before while it's not bad as Rose experiment(seem like he can't move left and right.) I can't move just one side and it can be a bitch. It is matter depend how stiff it really is and if you can't move you necks side to side then if you play and it is possible that can nagged the injury worse.

    If wasn't to bad and can start moving left and right then there is a chance Derrick will play but it is matter of the motion he can move and how stiff it is from his neck.

  • In reply to MrHappy:


    Rose is out vs. the Nuggets.


  • In reply to MrHappy:


    You don't win MVP awards when you can't play through pain.

    Ask MJ...


  • In reply to MrHappy:

    I guess you never feel a experience of a stiff neck at all, and obvious you have no idea what you are talking about which is nothing new. :P

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    Good move on the Bulls part and especially Rose's part. He's letting management know that he needs some damn help in the backcourt scoring and some help on the perimeter period. This team is wearing him down and he needs some help, he can't do everything his self. Again, Boozer will help but he can't help on the wing. Now maybe someone will listen before Rose comes up injured.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    His neck strain comes from playing too many minutes twisting his body on the drives to the basket. I have experienced the same type of discomfort from playing basketball in high-school and in pick up games. He is definitely straining his body too much and needs a break. He also could probably go tonight as well too because its something that's not that serious and usually doesn't last long with the right treatment. Heating pad, sports cream, or Ben gay loosens it right up. This is Roses way of saying he needs help and rest, I'm willing to bet on it.

  • In reply to MrHappy:


    How did this happen?


  • In reply to MrHappy:

    It would be nice if he get maybe 20 points tonight Happy.

  • yes, he could seriously injure himself if the whole rest of his body is compensating for a neck tahe can't turn

  • Doug,

    DROSE needs to MAN-UP and play. I think he will.

  • seriously? Why ?

    He was soo bad, i think i might be a better player than he.


    let the bulls play brewer and jj as backup pg's. not this guy.

  • In reply to pinkizdead:

    Thibs isnt a GM. I too would like to see JJ plays some point but this could be a 10 day contract or something we dont know yet

  • In reply to pinkizdead:

    Because he's familiar with the offense. If it weren't for that, I'd expect they'd have signed Beverly, which they may do later if this is a 10 day contract.

  • Well i didn't mean literally a gm. (BTW jordan was a gm. ) I meant that thibs and lbj have a hand in influencing the organization in whom they want to sign. Both are turrible at it.

  • If Derrick's neck loosens up, and he can move it around, but with some discomfort then I say ley him play if that's his choice. But if the neck is still tight then there's no way he should go. Being 'the Man' for your ballclub and a league wide stud does mean a different standard of resiliency for myself, but not to the point of ridiculousness/endangering yourself. Unless his neck really loosens up/improves he should just sit this one out. He's done enough for this ballclub on this road trip and season already.

    And props to Taj for playing through pain literally his whole career so far. And as for Booz if the Bulls clearly state he can/is cleared to play, and he waits only then should he get criticism in my book. And if that becomes the case I'd be very dissapointed bringing that attitude to this lay it all on the line team. But again let's not jump the gun. If he's officially cleared, and then refuses to play/screws his team, then you let him have it.

  • I think he hopes to turn Lucas into Eddie House. I can't say I could argue with that, if he can do it. I watched House a good deal when he was with the Suns, and he can really turn a game around quick.

    The problem is, that's really not what we need right now, and Watson might already be that guy if we get the proper PG that lets him play that role.

  • Yeah, I just saw that in the thread over at RealGM, but non-guaranteed is just as good if not better.

  • Mr. Happy - sitting Rose is the best decision the Bulls could have possibly made. And him missing says nothing about his leadership, his toughness, etc. He has missed four games his entire career. So all him missing means to me is that this is a very tough injury to deal with. His track record proves that he plays whenever possible. So my only concern is that he gets better so that he can play as many games as possible moving forward.

    I would assume you've probably missed more than 4 days of work over the last three years, Mr. Happy. Then again, I doubt the demands of a porn shop janitor are that rigorous.

  • I don't know if you try to slow it down. If we had someone who could really run the offense, definitely. We can control the rebounding game, and should be able to come out on top on blocks and maybe steals.

    But we don't have a true PG out there, and in the half court set we're going to have to move the ball around a lot and take advantage of having a lot of good passers. On the other hand, we do have a ton of guys who can handle well enough to lead the break. And we have a lot of young guys who can run all game long. I think we need to play strong defense above all else, but really try to use it to spark the break. With the smallest advantage, try to get a quick layup with a big or two trailing to cleanup.

  • ahhhh this game is going to be terrible lol Luol Deng just traveled again lol

  • At least Rose wont be hurting his stats tonight by playing injured

  • In reply to Csharp:

    Give Deng a chance to shine csharp, this is his time to be the go to guy...let's see what he's got. Not looking good so far.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    he had a nice move downlow there....he took it up strong off the rebound! i liked that a lot

  • In reply to Csharp:

    i'm starting to wonder if mr. happy is actually a bulls fan..

  • In reply to Csharp:

    Ya lets bring these guys home already lol another walk for Deng

  • lol neil has a lot of moments,he seems to struggle to keep up lol

    Birdman has a tattoo on his neck that says "Bird" haha!!!

  • Ya i agree Reese...this is a game where guys get to shine a little bit...go out there an play free...get into a rythm an see what they can do. That could help Watson and JJ tonight imo

    BIRDMAN nice Block haaha! DUNK that JJ....COME ON MAN!

  • It didnt look to good....he got a pretty good shot to the face lol

  • Anyone see the pregame? Looks like Boozer got tatted up some more...he looks beastly

    Good job Asik!

  • Is Lucas in Denver? If not, who is backing up CJ in the game?

  • If I have one quibble I have with Asik is that he does not catch the ball well in traffic.

  • Let's see what Lucas is made of. If I recall correctly, he was the star for the Bulls during preseason games

  • In reply to claytonabigsby:

    The summer league that is

  • In reply to claytonabigsby:

    Considering Rose is out we're doing OK, we just can't hit a shot, otherwise this game might be close.

  • In reply to claytonabigsby:

    The silver lining on this game? It boosts Rose's MVP push ;)

  • The offense has been better than I expected really, a lot of the misses (especially Korver's) have been ones that you'd expect them to make at a decent rate.

  • Noah again in double figures, 14 games out of 14 now. Great how we can count on him to chip in these days.

  • Amazing how it is a two possession game. The defense is always going to keep us in games this season. It will even be more critical come playoff time.

  • Weird stat of the night, so far, Omer Asik - 1pt

  • No matter how bad this team looks you can't look away because 5 minutes later they'll be right back in the game.

  • Chris Anderson's tattoo is destroying my HD TV's pixels

  • Sorry Jo, you aren't Blake Griffin.

  • As with the Suns game, James Johnson could be a good player if he ever learnt how to play basketball. Has the skills just can't play smart.

  • Finally Korver hits a shot, and it's probably the hardest one he's taken all night.

  • Yep, hits a shot that was harder than all his misses.

  • CJ is doing a great DRose impression

  • Maybe the Bulls are making the same mistake ;)

  • CJ leading all scorers with 27

  • Who needs Rose, we have an all-star PG without him. ;)

  • Wow. Is that CJ or D-Rose out there?

  • D Rose may end up losing his starting position after this one ;)

  • "C.J. Watson is the type of guard who, when allowed to dominate the ball, can go off and score 30 points for you on a hot night"
    --Well, win or lose this at the very end here, you certainly called it right about Watson, Doug. Great showing for him and hopefully not the only time this season he racks up the points.

  • Why didn't Korver just hold that ball? Aaaargh.

  • Damn I didn't like seeing Lucas out there as soon as the team walked out. :(

  • Goddamit.

  • Oh my god Thibs you lost the game.


  • Agreed! Lucas just got off the bus. You don't put him in a pressure situation like that. Guaranteed he hasn't been working on his FT stroke while inactive.

  • Tough, tough way to lose, but you're still 3-3 on the circus trip. If we can avoid those nasty first quarters, we might have something here.

  • Am I the only one who thought there should have been a half second left after Anthony's shot?

  • In reply to msalivar:

    There was 0.1 to go for the lob maybe I thought.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    I did lose site of the clock on the replay, but I lost site of it with about 1 full second left, as the camera was zooming in as the ball passed over the backboard. I'd have taken 0.1, but I'd be pissed with less than 0.3. I'm not sure why nobody else seems to care, maybe we're just wrong.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    Give a difference maker too many chances he will make you pay for it= CARMELO ANTHONY...

  • In reply to msalivar:

    Aren't we forgetting a little soon about DRose's basket to tie the game against Phoenix? C'mon, still gonna be the best circus trip record in recent years. And this Watson scoring punch is good news.

  • In reply to msalivar:

    I dont understand why some coaches do the things they do! I love thibs....i think he is a great coach but COME ON MAN!!!! We just signed Lucas this morning! Dont put him in that situation! Should of kept Bogans in!

  • In reply to Csharp:

    A very bad move by the coach, he really needs to get over these guys he has had a past with.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    +2 ya i agree

  • In reply to Reese1:

    Excellent point! Bogans, Scalabrini, Lucas.

    Kyle Weaver should have been the next guard on this team from training camp, not Lucas.

  • In reply to Edward:

    I don't know, I think Scalabrine should have been inbounding there. Scalabrine with his height, and pretty decent free throw shooting just in case. Noah setting a pick for Korver to get open. Korver eating the god damned ball and not letting anyone else touch it. Deng setting a pick for Watson in case Korver can't get open. No passing, no trying not to get fouled. It's coming, get the ball to one of the best two shooters, and just eat the damned thing.

    Scalabrine and Bogans are both useful off the deep bench, and certain situations like Scalabrine in this one. I can understand bringing in Lucas and trying to develop him. But you don't give the ball to a guy just off the bus, blinded by the big lights, with 24 seconds left and up by one freaking point.

  • In reply to Edward:

    Maybe Thibs hates Lucas and didn't want him back? Make him look bad early?
    I doubt it, and hey, this isn't the end, just a bummer.

  • In reply to Edward:

    Also remember the past few games? Deng and the rest of the bulls couldn't inbound the ball. Somehow that fucked us.

  • In reply to Edward:

    listened to this one on the radio and when I heard that Lucas was in the game I uncontrollable shouted "NO!!!!!!!" You just dont do that to a basketball player, free throws are all mental and when you havent taken a pressure free throw in YEARS there is no way you can hit them.....I know from experience....on the plus side, I think our guys showed that they can play well without our young Jedi D Skywalker and this game will definitely make our bench that much tougher once we have a full squad again. btw I noticed Taj only played 11 min, I mustve have missed something, was his foot hurting to much to play more?

  • In reply to Edward:

    i meant blanked us. sorry

  • In reply to Edward:

    Agreed! What is up with Thibs' enormous erection for Lucas???

  • In reply to Reese1:

    Putting in a ball-handler with 24 sec left and no timeouts is the correct move (maybe not give all the other factors, 1. it is Lucas, 2. Hadn't played 3. He sucks. But other than those things the move is sound.

  • In reply to msalivar:

    Good effort from the Bulls without Rose and Carmelo Anthony is the definition of an impact player, a difference maker. That's the reason why a team would trade for the guy.

  • In reply to msalivar:

    Are you kidding me???!!! Lucas, who was signed this morning, in the game with 24 secs left?! Are you kidding me???!!! Thibs, YOU LOST THIS GAME!!!!

  • In reply to bandonito:

    yes, Thibs giveth, & Thibs taketh away

  • In reply to msalivar:

    Maybe Brewer had a bad ankle or something. But yeah, good effort. You still have to be happy about the team looking toward the rest of the season.

  • In reply to coachskiles:

    I just cringed when you said "happy", its now a conditioned reflex

  • Yes he did! Horrible decision to have Lucas in the game. It's the coaches fault. Guaranteed Lucas wasn't working on his FT stroke while inactive.

  • In reply to Edward:

    both free throws were long, a signal of too much nerves & pressure getting in his head

  • Signed this morning cut tonight...at least I hope so.


    Derrick Rose is NOT a closer, while Carmelo Anthony is.



    Way to MAN-UP DROSE!!!

  • THIBS!!!!!!!!!!!!!! what are you doing having Lucas in that game!!!!!!!!!!! WHY WASNT BOGANS IN OR SOMETHING!!!! Thats a bulls W right there! Da**!!!!!

  • What the hell was that???

  • Don't matter he won the game for them that's all that matters. Lets see Deng takr a last second shot and see what happens... BRICK!!!

  • In reply to Reese1:

    Melo did f*** up the initinall game winning try. Bobbled the ball and unfortunately 3 Bulls were unable to grab the rebound. I want Melo too, but quit lickin his jock man!

  • In reply to bcz1980:

    Nowhere near that maybe you can if you want but it's this guy who always wants to debate or something not wanting to give credit when it's due.

  • John Lucas III's first game in 3 1/2 years, and hopefully last game for that long too.

  • IMO Melo really doesnt want to be in Denver....he barely even cheered after that shot lol

  • In reply to Csharp:

    He's ready to leave, it's Denver and their incompetent management not wanting to trade him. They're probably hoping he gets injured or something, but really I think they will wait til the deadline.

  • Lucas missing the FT's and the Bulls not securing Melo's first miss is why we lost. Thibs did not get any PT.

  • I'm sure he was in because on paper he's the best free throw shooter on the team. He shot nearly 87% in college. I think Thibs just felt he could handle the pressure and he'd be a good option.

  • Thibs is an excellent coach and we're lucky to have him. He is very experienced and knows the details of the game inside out. HOWEVER, assistant coaches never handle substitutions, and I think that is something Thibs has struggled with this season so far. He lets his starters play too long, and has had difficulty finding a reliable substitution pattern at times. Thibs needs more experience with substitutions - he made a mistake tonight, he will learn from it.

    In addition to just getting off the bus, Lucas only played 4 minutes in the 1st half, zero in the second half. He was stone cold, not a recipe for success.

  • Extremely frastrating loss. I did not believe they could pull this off, but the guys almost did! I don't know, but there is something about this Bulls team that just make you like them a lot. Good character guys, playing the right way. Let's finish strong tomorrow. Go Bulls!!!

  • YOU DON'T GET IT... he won the game man and he doesn't want to be there... Denver got the W that's all that matters, whether he had a bad game or not, he won the game...BOTTOM LINE!

  • In reply to Reese1:

    The Bulls gave him an opportunity and he took advantage of it, I don't like it either but he won the game.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    Well on the bright side nice effort by CJ Watson. Tomorrow's another day...

  • Yes they gave him too many chances, in that you are right

  • the positive vibes and progress made on this trip will be ruined if we drop one in Sacramento tomorrow nite. I watched the kings lose badly to the Del Negro Clippers last nite so we should be able to take them. I am driving from San Jose to Sacramento tomorrow to check this one out, hopefully DRose will be back in the lineup...

  • +2 just put Bogans in there and you wont have to even deal with it

  • AGAIN...YOU JUST DO NOT GET IT... Denver got the W and the Bulls got the L from a lucky shot as you put it. Have a good night.

  • absolutely, I almost threw my netbook out the window when Swirsky made the final call

  • Korver was brutal from the field 2-12 (1-6 3s). The complete opposite of Watson.

  • I bet he loses the game foir us tonight, probably chokes at the line to close the game out, just guessing. but yeah, he is that bad

  • as far as pressure free throws, I would have taken Asik over Lucas, the guy barely played, you don't just throw him in there

  • or if Bogans woiuld have secured that loose ball after Melo bombed the first game ending play

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