The Boston Celtics took a trip to the United Center on Monday to play against the Chicago Bulls. For the first three quarters of the game, the Celtics appeared to be the far superior team to the Bulls. But, then the Bulls rallied from a 13 point deficit, however, the rally fell short and the Celtics left the United Center with a 101 to 95 victory over the Bulls.
There were several players that stood out for the Bulls during Monday’s game against the Celtics. The first player was first round draft pick Marquis Teague. Teague has spent the majority of the season on the bench, but with Kirk Hinrich dealing with another injury, the former Kentucky point guard figures to see increased playing time for the Bulls. Teague played 18 minutes on Monday against the Celtics, and at times, held his own defensively against counterpart Rajon Rondo. Rondo finished the night with 20 points. The man who was opposite of Rondo in the starting lineup for the Bulls was Nate Robinson. Robinson played 30 minutes while scoring 11 points and dishing out 7 assists. Luol Deng and Joakim Noah both had a double-double on Monday night as Deng scored 26 while gathering 11 rebounds, and Noah collected 11 rebounds while scoring 17 points.
The test now comes for the Bulls on the road as the team goes on their annual circus road trip. The circus road trip has always been a sight for concern among Bulls fans, especially now without Derrick Rose. During the course of this road trip, the Bulls will play against the Phoenix Suns, Los Angeles Clippers, Portland Trail Blazers, Houston Rockets, and the Milwaukee Bucks.
Prior to the game, Chicago Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau provided an update on Rose. Rose, who is rehabbing with personal trainer Rob McClanaghan in Los Angeles, is expected to be on the sidelines with the Bulls when the team travels to Los Angeles. As Thibodeau indicated on Monday, Rose is right where he needs to be in his rehab from surgery he had on his torn ACL in May. Rose has begun cutting again, and the point guard is progressing to the next step in his rehab.
“He’s doing great,” Thibodeau said. “You have to be patient with it. He’s been very diligent, he’s in every day. He’s moving along. He started cutting, he’s been shooting for a while now, he feels pretty good so we just have to be patient.” ESPN Chicago
It certainly is encouraging that Rose is right where he needs to be as he progresses to a potential return for the Bulls later this season. But lets not be confused, Thibodeau knows that this season can not be one big status update on Derrick Rose. The Bulls can not afford to focus on when Rose will return, and simply hope to tread water until that day comes. Unlikely as it may be, that day may not come this season. The focus for the Bulls should be on every player exceeding in their role–from Luol Deng to Marquis Teague. The cold reality in sports is that injuries simply mean the next man has to step up. For the Bulls, the next man figures to be a compile of each player on their roster.