The Chicago Bulls are 13-9 on the season, and currently, that record is strong enough for the Bulls to be the fourth seed in the eastern conference. But, there is no question that without star point guard Derrick Rose, the Bulls are a mediocre team. While this will never be admitted by the Bulls’ management or head coach Tom Thibodeau, the goal for this season is simply to tread water until Rose is ready to return to the starting lineup. The way the Bulls are currently constructed, the team will struggle to keep up with the likes of the Miami Heat and the New York Knicks.
Though, if the Bulls can play on the same level that they have been to start the season, then the team could be primed to make a run when Rose returns. Speaking of which, Rose is slowly beginning to participate on a semi-regular basis in team exercises. Thibodeau provided an update on Rose after Sunday’s practice.
Rose has been doing a little more shooting and running while starting to do some walk-through exercises with his teammates, but the actual practice is a different matter.
“He’s still a ways away from that, from the actual practice part,” Thibodeau said after Sunday afternoon’s practice. ESPN Chicago
Thibodeau clearly does not appear to be too interested in talking about status of Rose. That is not to say that Thibodeau, like most Bulls fans, isn’t eager to get the team’s starting point guard back. Rose reached the seven month mark in his rehab from his ACL tear, and the point guard likely will not fully participate in practice until January at the earliest. There has been an increased focus on Rose in light of Minnesota Timberwolves‘ point guard Ricky Rubio returning on Saturday from the same injury that Rose suffered. Rubio was sidelined for nine months because of an ACL tear suffered last season, but Thibodeau refrains from comparing Rose’s rehab to Rubio’s.
“I don’t think it has really anything to do with Derrick,” Thibodeau said. “Because I think each guy is different and separate, but I’m happy to see it for him. Ricky Rubio is a terrific player and you hate to see anybody go down with that type of injury, so I’m glad that he’s back. I think it will be a big plus for Minnesota.
“Derrick’s doing fine. Just got to be patient, he’s got to keep doing the things that he’s doing.” ESPN Chicago
The nine month mark for Rose will be in February. The expectation all along is that Rose would be ready to return in February. Though, Thibodeau was correct in his assessment in saying that Rose’s rehab needs to be treated with patience. There is no question that the thought of a returning Rose is enough to excite any Bulls fan, but until the point guard is playing for the Bulls, he is not. Meaning the focus needs to be on winning the games that the Bulls have on their schedule with the players that are available.