Rose taking predictable contact, Bulls prepare for Skiles-less Bucks

Derrick Rose has taken another important step in his recovery by starting to take predictable contact in practice and starting some one on one drills according to Tom Thibodeau (via Nick Friedell).

Here's the full story.

"He's doing what we call 'predictable contact,' " Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau said after Tuesday's practice. "Obviously, you're knowing what's coming.

"So he's handled that part great. He's done a little one-on-one, that's coming around, but he's still ... everyone has to be patient. The next step will be a regular practice and he hasn't done that yet. So once he does that, you know he's getting closer."

While I'm sure it's not the intended meaning, the way the quote was written implies Derrick Rose is getting his ass kicked in the one on one drills. My guess is the intending meaning is not to get carried away with these new steps Rose is taking because it will still be awhile.

I'm going to stick with my timeline of immediately following the all-star break which was my guess back when he first had the surgery and not much has changed to make me think otherwise. The bulls presently sit six games above .500 sitting in a clump of four teams that are within a game of each other in spots 3-6 in the Eastern Conference.

Their success so far, creates little pressure for Rose to return. If Rose returns healthy and able to play at a high level with 30 games or so left to play [post all-star break] and Chicago plays as well for the next 20 or so games as they have so far, then Chicago will look poised to capture the #3 seed with an outside shot at the #1 or #2 seed.

Given the nature of this season, that's a pretty good outcome for Chicago and positions them well in the playoffs. Assume the Bulls capture #3, Miami hangs on to #1, and the Bulls look set to play the Knicks in the 2nd round. I'm quite content to take my chances against New York in the playoffs in round two and feel the Bulls will make it back to the ECF.

Everything is still reliant on how well Rose recovers though. If he comes back at 75% but tries to take over like he's 100% then the Bulls may actually get worse upon his return rather than better, but we won't know what Rose looks like until we see him on the court and I'm optimistic that he'll play within himself upon his return.

Beware of the dead cat bounce

If Jim Boylan's coaching of the Bulls is any indication, the Bucks are in for a lousy second half of the season. That said, many teams immediately feel free upon having a bad coaching system go away even if the new coach is completely worthless.

Skiles reportedly hated his team, and no doubt the feeling was mutual. The Bucks likely feel like a weight has been lifted and will almost certainly come out feeling loose, happy, and without pressure. The Bucks racked up 108 points against Phoenix in a win against Phoenix last night to break their four game losing streak.

I expect the next Milwaukee game to be the Bucks at their best which will make it a much bigger challenge for Chicago. In order to win, the Bulls will need to match Milwaukee's energy and hustle. Playing with energy hasn't been a problem recently for Chicago which has dominated the glass in their past two wins.

Milwaukee plays very undersized, so Chicago should dominate the glass in this game, and doing so is the key to the win. They're small at guard, they're small in the front court, they're small all over. The Bulls showed an outstanding ability to abuse Cleveland's small guards in the last game as well as their small front court.

Chicago needs to show similar levels of interior passing, position, and hustle to abuse the Bucks with their size advantage as well. The Bucks can counter with athleticism. Particularly at guard where Monta Ellis and Brandon Jennings have large speed advantages against their defenders. They'll create situations where Chicago needs to help on dribble penetration which means the Bulls need crisp interior rotations to protect the rim and force Milwaukee into multiple passes to find the open man.

The outcome of the game will really come down to the Bulls size all over the floor vs the Bucks perimeter speed. I like the Bulls odds of pulling this one out.


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  • Darn it couldn't Skiles leaves the Bucks after tonight's game instead of before it?!!! Now we will get a crazy intense Bucks team that already came back and beat us from being down was it by 27 pts late in the 3rd quarter?!!!

    Like you say Doug we have the size advantage but the Bucks have the speed and athletism advantage on us at both guard positions.

    GO BULLS!!!! :-)

  • In reply to smiley:

    I completely disagree. Without Skiles, this team will forget about defense and try to out chuck their opponents. That's not going to work against us.

    Other than Sanders and the oft-injured Moute, they play zero defense so Deng, Boozer, and Noah should be able to score on their frontcourt.

  • In reply to YouBlewwIt:

    Who needs to play defense when the Bulls can't match the offense?

    At least I was right for the first half.

  • It sounds like Rose is very close to full contact practice, so it's hard for me to believe it will take him another 6 weeks after that to get back in a game. Once he's cleared by docotrs, and once he feels he's ready, he'll be back. Only Rose & the medical staff know how close he is, but I think the all star break will not be such a great factor. There is some benefit to him coming back before, then getting the break to rest up & keep from going to hard right away. I would not be surprised if it happened at the end of January, though that 6 game road trip right then could be a factor.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    I completely agree.

    You know how after a long layoff and then working out, your body is sore all over and you need a break?

    It's kinda similar to that. Ys, these are professional athletes and their in great shape (not John Wall though), these players aren't back in Game Shape.

    So I think it would be wise to get Rosé back a few weeks before the break. Play him in limited minutes to start and no back to backs. And then slowly ease his minutes and load back. And if he incurs some small injury like back spasms (like Rubio) he has the cushion to rest even more.

    Then get the break and after that, ready to go 100%.

  • I wonder if we'll see more Teague given the Bucks' speed advantage.

    I'm doing my best Thibs impersonation and trying not to look forward to the playoffs or even Rose's return. I'll settle for taking it one game at a time and hoping these new versions of Booz and Taj are here to stay.

    Doug, are you going to update Bulls Tweets with the new acquisitions?

  • In reply to Tyler Soze:

    I'm pretty sure since Hinrich is questionable (I thought he was out) with the elbow cut, or whatever that injury was.

  • just as Anita answered I am taken by surprise that a student can earn $4956 in four weeks on the computer. did you read this web page

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    So Mr. Doug, with Boozer being the man he was in Utah, with Noah and Deng still playing tough day in and day out, and with Rose returning healthy, Do the Bulls have a shot this year? I know it is far fetch but no one thought Boozer would actually play like he has been especially his performance in the last two weeks and Deng once again being the workhorse along with Noah and addition of Cook as Two guard. We do have the depth with Marco, Rip, Nate, Noah, Deng, Cook, Vlad/Mohammad?, Teague, and hopefully ROSE!!!!!!!!
    Realistically if Pacers can contain Heat in the East, the Bulls do have a shot?

  • In reply to Mohammad Bilal:

    Lets give Boozer a couple more weeks and see if he returns to his normal self...

  • Just about every team in the NBA has a shot at the championship right now. Obviously the Bobcats, Wizard, Kings, etc would have to put on amazing win streaks and the teams above the to put on losing streaks! :-)

    It is very encouraging to hear that Derrick is actually practicing and taking contact! I'm sure seeing others around him with this same major injury has helped motive him even more, especially the amazing year Adrian Peterson put together in football playing for the Vikings!

    I hope Thib's plays Teague as he matches the speed and athletism of the Bucks backcourt of Jennings and Ellis.

    Always a fun game against our over the border neighbors! :-)

  • In other breaking NBA news the Maloofs are said to be close to signing a deal to sell the Sacramento Kings to a Seattle group and relocating the Kings to the Seattle to play at the Key Arena for 2 years before a new arena is built there! Sad news for Sacramento! I lived there for a # of years and they have some great fans there and an amazing fan website

    Other news Side show Bob to be out 6-8 weeks due to needing surgery on his quad muscles. Sad to see this because I do like the guy but his Twin our very own Jo should have an easier time making the All-Star team this year! Go JO! :-)

  • In reply to smiley:

    I can't believe the Maloofs found a taker to fork up that ridiculous amount they just threw out there ($500mil). Reports are the SEA group is spending an additional $500mil on build a new arena, which they've already broke ground on.

    It IS unfortunate for SAC fans because there were a couple owners who would have purchased the team for $300-350mil and kept the team there, but Maloofs waited for the money and it looks like they'll get it.

    I just wonder if they'll keep they 'Kings' name, go back to 'Sonics' or create a new name. Personally I don't think they can go back to the Sonics because OKC is really the Sonics.

    I think a PERFECT compromise would be...Seattle Reign. A play off of the Kings + Rain.

  • In reply to YouBlewwIt:

    The owners of OKC said they wouldn't stop a new Seattle team taking the SuperSonics name back (and I do hope they use the full SuperSonics, much better than just Sonics).

  • wish the Bulls would stop being evasive and just state the obvious....derrick rose is doing well and is soon to be ready but they will hold him out until late feb/early march for precautionary reasons, most fans would respect that.

    Great to see the Bulls back on track with the defense and rebounding base. hopefully its here to stay. Carlos Boozer and effort, a good mix when united, lets hope he continues to be motivated.

  • I can't wait for Derrick to get back. Yes, I know we're all thinking about saying it. I've thought since the beginning this is Derrick's shot for a second MVP. Next season, coming off the injury, if he plays at an MVP level and the Bulls are the number one seed, it's going to be hard not to give it to him.

    So many people are disrespecting DRose right now. It's crazy. Now the conventional wisdom is CP3 is the best PG in the NBA and never gave that crown up. People are even putting Westbrook before DRose! Such short memories... such short memories.

  • You know who doesn't disrespect D. Rose? Bob Ryan. Bob Ryan loves him some D. Rose. He says he is a unique player in the history of basketball and might be the greatest he's ever seen at finishing at the rim. He does fear he'll never be able to get that burst back, but hopes for all basketball fans that he does.

    Just thought I'd pass that along, since it was nice to hear.

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