Injury woes continue as the limping Bulls host Cleveland without Gibson

Taj Gibson sprained his MCL against the Thunder and will miss the next two weeks. The Bulls front court now consists of Noah, Boozer, and small ball. Kirk Hinrich had his elbow restitched and needs to wait for the wound to heal before he returns, so he's also likely out another two weeks. In short, any win over the next few weeks is a gift.

The Bulls host Cleveland tonight, a team they've typically destroyed. Kyrie Irving has never fared well against Chicago in the past and will certainly look to break that streak tonight. The Cavs are terrible, but the Bulls down Rose, Kirk, and Gibson aren't exactly a powerhouse either. Chicago's going to have to get after it tonight to have a chance.

Where the Bulls still should have a big advantage is on the glass while Noah and Boozer play. When they need to go small that advantage will dissipate, but the Cavs don't have quality big men to throw against the Bulls. Chicago should look to pound the ball inside and hit the offensive glass hard while Boozer and Noah are in the game.

Signs pointing to Rose return?

Russell Westbrook, workout buddy and friend of D-Rose, noted during the OKC game interviews that he expects Rose back soon. Greg Anthony also noted that his sources indicate Rose will be back soon and playing at a high level.

On top of that, video surfaced of Derrick Rose throwing down a pretty smooth dunk.

In short, things look fairly positive for our hero. While the Bulls could obviously use Rose as soon as possible, they should (and will) continue to exercise patience in his return. The goal has to be to get Rose back completely healthy rather than to salvage any games right now. I think everyone inside the organization as well as on Derrick's inner circle both agree with that goal and are working towards it.

Hopefully the wait won't be much longer.

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  • Here's to DRoss returning when it is best for him and he has no concerns about his health. Going a little off topic, watching other teams in the league especially Denver, the Bulls should really start to look to rebuilding this team in the future to more of a athletic team with guys that can really get up and down the floor. This is what today's NBA teams are going to. That's the type of game and players that brought the city of Chicago championships to go along with lock down defense. The Bulls have the right coach in place as far as the defense, they just need the right type of players to compliment the coach and I would be willing to bet this type of team with Rose and Noah would get to the Finals and compete for another championship.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    Would love to see a philosophical shift towards more athleticism. I don't see a team of "try-hard" guys like Hinrich and Deng winning in the playoffs, when everyone tries hard. Every team needs 1-2 players like that but it's the superior athletes that win the big games.

  • In reply to Roman F:

    Yeah this is what the league is going with today, athletic players. The Bulls need to keep along with Rose, Noah, Taj, and Butler and they should really think about resigning Nate cause altho he's a spark plug type of player, he could also be used as trade bait because of relentless type of play. Someone in the Bulls FO is going to have to take a chance and make a trade over the next couple of years to remake this roster into a more of a athletic team. Deng imo needs to be traded while he still has little value and someone has to work OT to get a trade for Boozer, it can be done, the work just has to be put in by somsone. Boozer and Deng the 2 Duke Duds imo is what's holding this Bulls team back from being a solid contender.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    The problem with trying to move both is Boozer. Den absolutely has value around the league, just look at his 2nd choice for all-star.

    Boozer on the other hand is a bad contract and we couldnt give him up for free (as NYK tried to do with Amare). The only way to move Boozer is if we threw in the CHA pick. Our 2013 pick is not enough.

    I have never believed JR would amnesty Boozer and the Boozer to Barg trade just confirmed that belief. They were willing to have Bargnani's $12mil in that 3rd year than pay Boozer off.

  • Have a bad feeling about tonight's game. Last time Kirk did a decent job guarding Irving.. I expect Irving to have his way with Nate and Teague. When Teague plays under control he's actually serviceable

  • I agree we need to get more athletic players! I love how Noah can run the floor on a fast break and Deng still has some athletism but when he plays huge minutes he obviously is gased. Butler shows alot of promise especially defensively and taking it to the hoop. I'm ticked we didn't make a play to get Ronnie Brewer back who OKC got for a 2nd round pick. Teague is a speedster and shows promise but needs time to develop.
    Boozer is obviously the unathletic PF we are strapped with now and into the future.
    I would have loved if we could have gotten a player like Mayo, JR Smith (X Bull), Crawford (X Bull), Ben Gordon (X Bull). We need another volume scorer especially now without Rose other than 5'7" Nate Robinson! I love that lil guy tho! :-)

  • In reply to smiley:

    All the Bulls need is a sg that can average 15 to 20 ppg. They need more of an athletic sf that can create of the dribble and get to the rim. And one more big like the one they let go in Asik who the FO didn't want to pay. The Bulls should've matched Houstons offer to Asik and just worried about the 3rd year at the end of his contract. I mean those are the type of players that a team should pay the luxury tax for, not the garbage that the Bulls are putting on the floor now that they'll have to pay the tax for. This is why a lot of Bulls fans are pissed cause there were some really dumb moves made by the Bulls that some fans are defending and its just outright stupid. Im not trying to offend anyone but at some point people got to have common sense when owning a basketball team if the organization is really about winning and "TRYING" to win

  • In reply to Reese1:

    But if its all about saving money or putting the money towards a certain baseball team, then this Bulls team that we are forced to watch is what we get.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    Really? The Bulls should pay the tax for 12-14 minute-per-game bench player? I think they should pay the tax for a legit 2nd star.

  • In reply to Roman F:

    No im saying that they will have to pay the tax now with some of the grbge players that they have on the team when tbey could've just kept the team in tact from last year. If they're going to pay tge tax i would've preferred them do it for a team like last year.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    I'd like to see them try to win as many games as they can, tax or no tax, but that's not how they do business. Regardless, they still wouldn't have a chance in hell of winning it this year with Rose coming off an injury and everyone would be complaining anyways.

  • In reply to Roman F:

    Why can't you pay the tax to improve the team?

    If you're ONLY going to wait until you get a 2nd superstar before you pay the tax, then the Bulls propaganda has worked on you.

  • In reply to YouBlewwIt:

    The owner and FO are the worst in the NBA and if you can't see that, you're a kool-aid drinking fan. Happy?

  • In reply to Roman F:

    When that player is a legitimate 7 ft starting center who can average a double double and plays world class D, yes they should.

    Certainly instead of paying a 265 lb human piece of feces $15-16 million per.

  • Everyone here is talking about rebuilding the Bulls from the middle out. They need to build from the top down by clearing out cap room and signing the best player available. Although I agree it needs to be someone with athleticism. Which makes me wonder why everyone keeps saying Kevin Love.

  • In reply to Vic Nardozza:

    K Love can be the other big the Bulls need the pf that I mentioned who we all know will crash the boards and he can stretch the floor, an added bonuswith his 3 point shooting, sit he really would be an ideal pick up. Now if the Bulls FO was serious about winning they'd be on the phone this summer with Minnesota trying to put together a package featuring Deng, Boozer or both trying to get K Love in a deal along with some other of their assets. Like I said it can be done, someone just has to put in the work and be willing to spend the money. And if a team is going to pay the tax, that's another type player in K Love that an owner should pay the tax for.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    Not that it will happen, but dare to dream....

  • In reply to Vic Nardozza:

    Clearing out cap space more or less never works for teams.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Especially not the bulls.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    It might be low percentage, but as a sports fan what price do you put on hope? If going for 2014 cap space means you feel like you own a small percentage of LeBron James in the mean time (at least until he inevitably either resigns with Miami or goes back to the Cavs) then that's worth it to me, given the lack of better plans.

    To be honest if you look at recent NBA history the only plans that have worked without a big spending owner are "draft Tim Duncan" and "hope someone throws in a future 4 time DPOY as an afterthought in a trade". That doesn't exactly sound repeatable.

  • In reply to Vic Nardozza:

    Now we're talking. Forget Asik the bench player. Lose Boozer and Deng -- the kind of players who are just good enough to get you beat because they cost so much relative to their game-changing ability. Clean out the cap room and sign a legit 2nd star.

    We talk about Love because he can be had. But is he the legit 2nd star that the Bulls need? That's the question.

  • No Irving tonight will help with us struggling.

  • there's alot of needs. Scoring and athleticism are weaknesses. 3pt shooting was a strength the last several years, now its a glaring weakness. and last but not least, a stud defensive backup center to backup Noah.

    Because of the stingy owner, we went from being one of the top 5 three point shooting teams and top rebounding team to mediocrity heaven. and some people here want to complain about Rose not being happy. He has every reason not to be happy when he sees the dumping of solid players like Asik and Korver. The Lakers want to win a championship while Reinsdorf wants to the financial superbowl every year, can you blame players like Howard and Derrick Rose to dreaming about playing for the Lakers.

  • Scoring and athleticism are far from being weaknesses with this Bulls team but I get what you're say cause I have always complained about the glaring weakness of the Bulls perimeter game even when Korver was with the Bulls. Korver JL3 and Watson were the Bulls 3 point guys and again, the reason why a lot of fans are pissed, cause how is it a team expect to keep up in scoring and they let their 3 point guys go? Its just stupid and a FO being cheap in not wanting to pay those guys and letting them walk for basically nothing... ALL OF THEM INCLUDING ASIK! Had they kept that team together even without Asik, they'd be better than they are now. To me this was just a slap in the face of all the Bulls fans and people wonder why Reggie Rose said what he had to say. And I STILL say... this is D Rose mind set as well as his brother's

  • In reply to Reese1:

    Again its about having common sense and basketball sense Bulls fans... it not that hard to do but this is clearly financial decisions...not basketball and for what???... some bogus 2014 plan...CHILD PLEASE!!!

  • In reply to Reese1:

    The 2014 plan is not bogus.

    How dare you suggest that Reinsdorf will not go against decades of precedence with two different franchises, and pay someone for not doing anything (Amnesty Boozer)?!?!?!?

    How dare you suggest that a player who has given every indication that he is perfectly happy where he is will decide against less money and cultural discomfort, and not pursue a buyout of his just extended contract?

    How dare you suggest the Bulls will not once again pursue players that previously told them 'thanks, but no thanks'???

    Just because the Bulls have failed with every organizational plan since Jordan retired, do not dare doubt the great GarPax's ability to pull off a plan still two offseasons away.

    The nerve!!

  • In reply to Salvamini:

    Lol... I know right

  • I have said it a couple of other times, maybe in other places, but go check the FA list for that summer (2014), it's headliners are guys that have Early Termination Options on their current deals. They would first have to opt out, then they would have to sign here. LeBron, Wade, Melo and Bosh have already thanks but no thanks. Dirk, Kobe, Pierce and Duncan are all lifers with their current teams. We are gonna end up with an old Pau Gasol and Anderson Varejao. When they team up with Noah, we'll have the most annoying frontcourt in the league. Teams will average 5 technical's a game against us. That's 4 extra PPG (assuming 80%FT), that will surely put us over the top. There is no 2014 plan, we should just accept now that much like the Wood/Prior era, the Rose/Nobody era will end without a 'chip. Thibodeau is a modern day Dusty Baker.

  • I've said it before, and I'll say it again. Without Asik, the Bulls are a small if not midget team. When you can have Asik for $5 million for 2 years you do it and you worry about that third year @ $15 million in the summer of 2014

    The NBA world changes a lot in 2 full years. The is a good chance that at the beginning of the 2014 season, the only Bulls that Asik would recognize in that locker room will be Rose, Noah, Taj and Butler.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    Why have Asik at $5 million per year when you can combine the greatness of Hinrich and Nazr for the same price.

    Less games played (combined), less points (combined), less rebounds (combined) and less blocks (combined).

    That is a no-brainer 10 times out of 10, my friend.

  • So this is what basketball hell feels like huh? It's amazing how a term like that can resonate with an entire fan base. Bulls fans are some of the most fickle fans I've ever seen.. I mean seriously I've been reading this blog for years now and I've been silent for the most part, usually popping for FA or the playoffs and the way people feel is for lack of a better word..depressing. Its not just here either, blogabull, Sam smith..friedell articles all have the Same feel of a slow painful death which results in Derrick rose being a shell of himself or either being great and our "stupid non creative pussyhole" Front office will waste his years here and he will ultimately leave after this contract ends. I just don't get it.. Last year everyone was shining derricks praise about how awesome he is and how Derrick would never leave the bulls and so on and so forth. Now in light of Reggie rose comments the whole fan base is questioning derricks commitment and whether he is the player we thought he was. I've read places to trade him or maybe he can be some "star" players "robin to their batman" calling him soft for taking his time to recover from a Torn ACL like its a sprained ankle. I guess I'm done ranting for now. I will end with this.. I love being a bulls fan, I'm 24 years old so at the end of the last three peat I was 10 so I don't remember the great Jordan years and how dominant that team was. I have a few memories of a game here or there with my dad, three peat hats and shirts my uncle wrangled up. Sure I do, but my first REAL memories of the bulls start like in 99 and John Starks on this team and how he hated being here.. I remember Elton Brand and Steve Francis as co rookies of the year, I remember brad miller and shaq doing some sort of wierd air boxing thing. Then I remember the draft night when it looked like dwade would fall to the bulls and how excited I was and then how pissed I was and I hated pat Riley for taking him. But the bulls got better and made the playoffs and won 49 games and bested Miami.. We as bulls fans have had some good and bad times. Remember when the bulls celebrated a 30 win season?? All I want is for us to enjoy the best damn thing that's happened to this team since 98. The goal of course is to win a chip but in the meantime don't miss the forest through the trees is all im saying.

  • In reply to StephanH:

    Thats just it young buck, youre too young to understnd what this Bulls franchise has been through. You probably dont remember Jerry Krause, hewas a guy that Jordan, Pippin and Phil Jackson hated but at least he did know what players to bring to the Bulls unlike the clueless duo of Paxson and Gar. I cant believe im actually saying that i miss Crumbs Krause... WOW!!! Someone pleasebring him back!

  • In reply to Reese1:

    I'm still here lurking, just havent posted in a few months. I've been busy sleuthing for the diamondbacks.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    Like you said, Krause may have been an ass, but he knew how to manage, generally.

    And everybody forgets, Krause was ONLY doing what Reinsdorf was telling him to do, and that's not to pay anybody...which was ultimately why the team hated him.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    The difference between Krause and the current FO is that Krause took chances to win championships whereas this FO is extremely risk-averse. Sometimes they worked and the Bulls 3-peated. Other times they didn't and the team stunk. He gambled on Phil Jackson and won. He gambled on Tim Floyd and lost. He gambled on Dennis Rodman and won. He gambled on Eddy Curry and lost. I'll take big hits and big misses over consistently good every time.

  • Well like I've said on this blog the past few days what moves did the bulls sleep on that could've made the team INSTANT title contenders. Not just marginally better but title contenders. Every one wants to play GM but has no fucking clue on how to put a team together. Just randomly throwing names out there makes no sense. This isn't a video game.. You have to give up something to get something. Unless you sign a player that's a star.. There haven't been any of these people available. Hence because they're fucking stars.. They don't just hit the FA market every damn summer. And show me a team that won a chip without a star(s) the 03 pistons were the last.. Reese1 you don't have all the fucking answers bro

  • In reply to StephanH:

    I didn't say that i did bro, all im saying and other fans are saying is the Bulls FO need to take chances cause since they've been in the FO they really haven'tdone anything. They tried with Ben Wallace and now Boozer, neither move has been big at all and imo failure moves. Just think where would the Bulls be if they hadn't won the top pickin the 2008 draft... think about that bro and i will end on that note.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    And whether you realize it or not you anzwered your own question in sayi.g what moves the Bulls could've made, thats just it... THEY HAVEN'T, they need to take some chances and give up something to get something, not just let players leave for nothing.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    Do you apply the same standards to other teams? How many titles do the Spurs win if they don't win the Tim Duncan lottery? Should we take those titles away?

  • In reply to Roman F:

    I will let you answer that question. What if Jordan never played for the Bulls answer that one too.

  • In reply to StephanH:

    StephanH, the Bulls were in the ECF and everyone complained that they didn't have a 2nd superstar. Now they're complaining about not keeping together a team that couldn't win it and Asik apparently was the missing piece. The only thing consistent is the complaining.

  • Reese I don't deal in semantics.. What if the bulls didn't get the draft pick in 08.?. Is that a real debate.. I guess you just aren't going to answer my question in regards to who you want them to get or what risks you want them to take. Like I mentioned the other day from all accounts they wanted to be in the melo talks and wanted to be in the Howard talks. And from what we heard they were offended they weren't on his "wish list" so what are they to do? Hell the bulls took MAJOR risk summer 2010 by signing Ronnie brewer who was coming off an injury.. Omer asik, Kurt Thomas, Keith bogans. And ended up with the best record in the league.. In large part to Derrick reaching superstar status but still. They have taken risks bro so don't just say they haven't done anything. I have faith that when an opportunity presents itself they will jump at it.. But it has to be one that will put them at a championship level

  • That loss hurts. I really hate that old adage "the other team just wanted it more" both teams want to win but tonight for whatever reason Cleveland just out hustled the bulls. Had more second chance points and just out played harder if that makes any sense. If your calling card is to "outwork" teams and hustle and and play tough D... You can then go out and lose by doing the opposite. Waiters played awesome and totally had the bulls on their heels all night. You know you need to re evaluate some things when Luke Walton is playing harder than you. Bulls schedule only gets tougher from here and i wouldn't be surprised if they fell AND finished in the 7th or 8th seed. If that happens this whole season was a waste. I know alot of fans have said "tank tank tank" but thibs would never let that happen but if they finish 7th/8th and get smacked in the first round this season it's just going to be the worst. I would bet Derrick will sit the next 10 games and see how things go and will make his decision based off that. So ill go out and say he won't return this year. Maybe I'm getting out ahead of myself and a little upset but its frustrating

  • 18-38 Cavs without Irving and no Varejao obviously. Luke Walton, Wayne Ellington and Shaun Livingston beat the Bulls. The savior Hinrich played, so no excuses. And Boozer and Deng played well. Although I could find a play where Boozer plays lazy defense which led to scores for every basket he made on the other end, we don't like to talk about that.

  • In reply to Hunter:

    From the moment that the BozoHole entered the game in the 4rth quarter with 8 plus minutes he was single handedly responsible for every basket that the Cavs scored as they simply ran pick and roll at him every single time. Never mind the careless turnover while inbounding a made free throw with 15 seconds left which sealed the victory for the Cavs.

    There could be no more perfect example of what I have always said, there has never been a single game that he wins for you, he constantly loses games for you, even when he has what looks like a good game to the box score morons.

    Maybe Deng and BozoHole are all stars afterall, as long as we play against he JV team missing their two best players.

    Simple analysis, Taj plays, BozoHole plays less, we win, but at least the box score morons can sleep well tonight knowing that their hero scored 26.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    Oh yea, We win this game even without Taj, if we still had Asik.

    Asik plays, BozoHole plays less, we win.

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