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.
Filed under: Miscellaneous