Mike Dunleavy noted on Tuesday that he might be out until after the all-star break in the first real update that's been given about his health since a couple weeks back when it looked like he would return any day.
From the trib:
“Mike Dunleavy finally acknowledged Tuesday what the Bulls haven’t or won’t — that he could be shut down until after the All-Star break.
That may be what ends up happening, but I hope not,” Dunleavy said after sitting out practice for a second straight day and revealing he would miss his 17th straight game Wednesday at Houston. “I want to play as soon as I can without risking further damage, whether that’s the game before the All-Star break or this weekend.”
Dunleavy originally injured his right ankle Jan. 1, jamming ligaments in more of an explosion injury than a rolled sprain. As he walked out of the United Center that night, the veteran forward thought he would return the next game. Instead, he landed in a walking boot.
Dunleavy quickly shed that and, every three or four days, thought he would play the next game. But a bone bruise developed, and while Dunleavy can shoot and move laterally without issue, running brings discomfort.
“What (Pistons guard) Brandon Jennings did with his Achilles, that’s pretty much what I did, but not as far back,” Dunleavy said. “The first thing I told the trainer was, ‘I can’t believe I didn’t tear my Achilles on that.’ And then we went into the other stuff that happened and it was just a major, major bruising of the front part of the ankle, ligaments were stretched or sprained.”
I can't say it surprises me that Dunleavy has been out for quite some time seeing the initial injury. It didn't look good. It looked like the type of injury that went way beyond sprained ankle, and we see that it did go way beyond sprained ankle.
Dunleavy sure looks crucial to the Bulls right now. He adds the shooting they really miss on the floor when he's not around. That's one of the reasons why trading him would be a double edged sword for Chicago. They might get the upgrade they want on the wing, but they'd lose the only reliable shooter they have on the floor.
Looking for Doug McDermott to take his place? Not likely.
Rookie Doug McDermott remains out of the rotation despite practicing for almost a month after arthroscopic knee surgery. Thibodeau called the first-round acquisition “a work in progress.”
“I’m doing everything I was before other than playing,” McDermott said. “I’m studying the playbook, watching film. I just want to be ready.”
For Tom Thibodeau's sake, Doug McDermott better suck donkey balls whenever he gets a chance to play, because if he doesn't I'm going to lead the slap Thibodeau brigade.
McDermott could provide so much of what the Bulls need, and the guys playing in front of him are stinking up the court. Even if McDermott is Hinrich-bad, he'd still only be replacing Hinrich which would make it a wash.
If for some reason he manages to suck even worse, there's still a pretty finite amount of damage that can be done, and the Bulls are getting their asses kicked anyway. They're 5-9 in their past 14 games. They're playing at lottery team levels right now.
There's little harm in trying something that on paper looks like a good idea, even if it doesn't work because nothing is working now, and I'd imagine that McDermott will at least manage to put some effort on the floor given his lack of chances, something which seems missing from about half the roster at times.
Bulls look to rebound come back tonight
Dwight Howard is out for the Rockets, but the Rockets have played really well without Dwight Howard. Can't remember who said it on twitter [which means it must be true], but the Rockets are 11-5 without Howard while the Bulls are 7-9 without Dunleavy.
Still, Houston missing the big man has to be a big boost for Chicago. They match up pretty well against James Harden, and while Josh Smith has played some quality basketball for the Rockets, I'll take my chances on him having a bigger role in the front court and see how it works for me.
Derrick Rose has looked awfully good with large amounts of rest. If you want to be more hopeful than my last Rose article was yesterday, one great sign is that on two or three days rest his splits are actually pretty outstanding as is his shooting percentage.
This gives some credence to the idea that he simply doesn't have NBA conditioning yet and may continue to improve as time goes on. We'll simply hope for the best. The Bulls entered their last multi-day rest break in a similar boat.
They were losing, desperately needed a win, and going up against a high quality team. They came out and annihilated the Spurs. Let's see if they can sweep the series with Houston tonight.
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