I've recently become more and more paranoid about the severity of Derrick Rose's injury, but the recent word from Bulls GM Gar Forman is that Rose is progressing nicely and hasn't been ruled out for Thursday's game against Boston.
Rose made it through a full practice on Tuesday and may do more work today. If everything is good, he might play against the Celtics on Thrusday.
"The encouraging thing about Derrick is he has never taken a step back," Forman said. "Obviously, the injury was pretty serious. Through the process, he has continued to make progress. (Tuesday) was his first day on the floor going full speed as far as a basketball workout — running, sliding, shooting. He was in a full lather for probably close to an hour. We'll see how he feels (Wednesday). This was the next step. Hopefully, we'll have a resolution pretty soon."
The Bulls will struggle mightily to beat the Celtics without Rose, however, groin injuries are prone to getting aggravated when pushed back too early. Chicago has been cautious with injuries in the second half of the season after learning some painful lessons about bringing guys along too soon earlier in the year. I expect the bar to be set fairly high for Rose's health in order for him to return.
On the other hand, I also expect Rose is itching to play badly enough that he may exaggerate his health in order to get into this game against Boston, particularly since the Bulls are coming off of consecutive losses.
It goes without saying that the sooner Rose is truly healthy the better, as it gives Chicago the best chance at hanging on to the #1 seed as well as developing chemistry with their fully healthy roster which they've had scant opportunities to do all season long.
Gar also indicated that the Bulls want to extend Tom Thibodeau and were in talks prior to the season starting which they cut off once the season got going. He noted that Jerry Reinsdorf was quoted as saying that they expect (and want) Tom Thibodeau to be the Chicago Bulls coach long beyond his existing contract.
Something will get done, the Bulls want Tom, but more importantly, Tom wants the Bulls.
OKC at Miami tonight
Should be an interesting game, Dwyane Wade sat out Miami's win over Philadelphia with a sore left knee. We'll find out tonight just how serious the knee is because Wade obviously won't want to miss this matchup against OKC tonight.
This is another statement game for OKC, but I'm not sure it means as much to Miami. The Heat went 0-3 last year and still had plenty of confidence to beat the Bulls in the playoffs. I think they'll still feel confident they can take out OKC in the finals [should the teams meet] even if they lose tonight.
It's also a big game for Bulls fans as Chicago clings to a one game advantage in the loss column presently, and this game represents an excellent change for Miami to pick up a loss. Worst case scenario, the Bulls still pick up a game on the Thunder in terms of potential finals seeding.