Derrick Rose practiced on Wednesday while Pau Gasol did not. Both are listed as questionable for tonight's game against the Kings.
Rudy Gay is also listed as questionable, but he played through his injury on Tuesday, so I'd suspect he'll play. In the past, I'd say that might not be such good news for Kings fans anyway, but Gay has been pretty fantastic this season so far.
Either way, he's the type of player the Bulls typically do a very good job controlling, so I'm not too worried about Rudy Gay.
DeMarcus Cousins is an entirely different matter. He's the type of player the Bulls typically struggle with, and the Kings have routed the Bulls the past couple times they've played in Sacramento despite being a pretty lousy team overall.
It'd be easy to say the Bulls were a different team then, but they actually weren't all that different if Pau Gasol and Derrick Rose sit out tonight.
Will DeMarcus Cousins decide this game?
Could be underthinking it, but it just feels like if the Bulls control DeMarcus Cousins that they'll get the win and if they don't then they won't. Sure, it's possible Cousins could go off and the Bulls win anyway, or that he struggles and they lose, but I'm betting the game goes as DeMarcus goes.
Cousins represents much of what has historically hurt the Bulls. Chicago hasn't had much of an answer for bruising offensive centers, and this season they've been killed on the glass. If Cousins plays well he can make Chicago pay in both areas.
Their next high scorers are Rudy Gay and Darren Collison. These both strike me as players the Bulls can manage with their wing defenders and force into tough shots.
The Kings overall have relied on getting to the free throw line to get a lot of their points, and while I think Cousins can continue that trend against the Bulls I like Chicago's odds of keeping Collison and Gay (if he plays) off the free throw line and forcing them into tough shots.
Who stops Jimmy Butler?
It's pretty awesome to write the above headline, but seriously, teams need to figure out how to stop Jimmy Butler now. The thing about stopping Butler is that it isn't like stopping Rudy Gay or Carmelo Anthony.
It's a constant energy, work, athleticism, and strength. Butler isn't going to kill you one on one, but he is going to kill you on the offensive glass. He is going to kill you when he gets a half step if you're out of position. He's going to kill you at the hoop with his aggressiveness.
He's a challenge in that you can't stop Butler in the way you'd stop another star player, in many ways he's easier to contend with because he doesn't have amazing isolation skills, however in other ways he becomes a greater challenge because he's not a guy who can be easily outworked.
Let's error on the side of caution
If Rose/Gasol are ready then they should play (of course), but if there's any doubt then today is a good rest day. The Bulls have a lotto protected Kings pick this season, so if you're going to drop a game, this is the best possible game to drop of the year.
I'd hate to see Chicago rush back Rose/Gasol for a game that has a very real silver lining with a loss anyway.
My 12 year old daughter Chloe underwent successful spinal surgery. She was amazingly brave throughout the entire process, never flinching at the blood draws or needles. She was nervous and scared (as we all would be) but never begged not to do it or asked "why me?" or showed any type of self pity. She just faced her fears and went through it without a complaint.
Recovery will be a long process. She'll be in the hospital for a week and out of school for six, but from today forward, every day is a step towards better health, and the scariest part is over.
They had to fuse one less vertebrae than originally expected, so she'll have a bit more flexibility than they thought she would which is also good news.
Thank you everyone for your thoughts, prayers, karma, support, or whatever you send our way based on whatever you believe.
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