Soon, D-Rose’s Return Won’t Be Just A Long Sneaker Commercial

CHICAGO – The updates are coming more frequently now, and with each one, ever so briefly, the clouds that have hung over the Chicago Bulls’ season part. That’s when the sweet sunshine comes beaming through.

Derrick Rose is coming back. Every day, every hour, every minute, heck, every second, Rose and the Bulls get closer to a reunion that is expected to transform their season and restore Chicago to its rightful place at or near the top of the Eastern Conference.

“He’s in drills every morning with me,” forward Taj Gibson said Monday after the Bulls’ blowout home victory over Cleveland. “Every morning, going full steam. It just feels like he never left. He’s doing everything that he’d normally do. It’s been great the last couple weeks.”

The progress has been steady, the pace consistent, with new challenges and freedoms added, each in their own time. One week, Rose is shooting flat-footed. Then he’s cutting laterally in drill work. Or dunking behind closed doors. Lately, Rose has been been participating in walk-throughs, even speaking up at halftimes.

The volume of the reports is intensifying, even if the timetable for the ex-MVP point guard’s first taste of NBA action hasn’t budged: Rose still isn’t expected back until after All-Star weekend, which means late February or early March.

The Bulls have a nice three-game homestand beginning Feb. 26 against Cleveland, with only one set of back-to-backs over the subsequent 26 days. The Cavaliers game would mark 10 months exactly from the date Rose tore the anterior-cruciate ligament (ACL) in his left knee in Game 1 of the playoffs against Philadelphia. That puts it smack in the 8-to-12-month range surgeon Brian Cole laid out after Rose’s May 12 repair.

Bulls general manager Gar Forman and coach Tom Thibodeau talked Monday of Rose’s next test: regular practice. Once he is cleared for that, he will be monitored closely both on the court and in recovery.

At the moment, Rose is doing “predictable contact.” “It’s knowing what’s coming,” Thibodeau explained to reporters. “He’s handled that part great. He’s done a little 1-on-1. But everyone has to be patient.”

Currently, Chicago has the closest thing to a controlled environment an NBA team gets in-season; over the four weeks that began Monday, the Bulls play every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, with Tuesdays and Thursdays open for practice or treatment. That’s followed by a four-day gap between games Feb. 3-6.

Everyone should know a lot more after that.

“We have to feel good about this,” Thibodeau said. “The most important thing is he has to feel really good about it.”

The second-best news for the Bulls is that Rose’s physical work has gone predictably, with no setbacks beyond the normal hiccups of rehab. His spirits apparently are fine, too. Last week, when he finally traveled with Chicago for games in Orlando and Miami, Bulls fans were excited to see him, to the point that a “Peekaboo Derrick Rose” meme has been popping up online.

Reports from inside the walls of the Berto Center practice facility suggest a determined, driven and still upbeat All-Star franchise guy.

“It’s great to see him smiling, running around with the team, man,” second-year swingman Jimmy Butler said. “Because he’s a leader and leaders don’t only lead when they’re on the court. They want to be around the guys off the court.”

The best Bulls news, though, is that the team is doing everything in its power to stay appealing – wait, more than that, poised and ready – for Rose’s return. At 19-13, Chicago sat tied with Indiana atop the NBA Central prior to Tuesday’s action, only a game behind No. 3 Atlanta and just four off Miami’s 23-9 pace.

As you’d expect under Thibodeau, they rank fifth in defensive rating (101.5) and in the top 10 in most defensive sub-categories, from field-goal percentage (.432) to opponents’ assists (590).

Nobody’s delusional, mind you. By the time Chicago lost 13 times last season, it had 42 wins. The Bulls skidded out of 2012, losing three of their final four in December and beating only Washington. Frankly, they’ve had some real clunkers – a United Center loss to New Orleans, a three-game road slide right before Thanksgiving, that Christmas debacle at home against Houston and the game that ended Charlotte’s 18-game losing streak.

Scoring points, particularly down the stretch, remains an adventure without Rose available to create something from nothing or bail them out deep into the shot clock.

But they’ve been getting strong, even inspired play from the guys up front – Luol Deng (17.4 ppg, 6.8 rpg, 40.3 mpg), Joakim Noah (12.7 ppg, 10.4 rpg, 38.9 mpg) and Carlos Boozer (15.2 ppg, 9.6 rpg). Richard Hamilton is back after a four-week injury absence. And the bench, while not quite the “Bench Mob” of the past two seasons, has offered up some valuable and promising play from Nate Robinson and Marco Belinelli. (Kirk Hinrich, who has had six different injuries so far, will benefit most when Rose returns to soak up some minutes.)

Chicago’s victory at Miami Friday was a rouser, built on a 20-rebound advantage. They have beaten New York twice and last spring’s playoff foes from Philadelphia twice, too.

“We’ve been doing this for the last two years,” Gibson said. “Last year, we beat a lot of great teams when Derrick went down.” Rose missed 27 games with a variety of ailments.

“It’s all about guys understanding that we need to get reps, we need to work toward everybody’s strengths and get guys a lot of confidence,” Gibson said. “Carlos, Joakim and Luol are playing their tails off and we’re getting other guys better in the long run.”

If Rose returns by March 1, he and the Bulls will have 24 games to work through any rust and minutes limitations. They likely won’t be working from, or toward, their customary spot as the East’s No. 1 seed, but they still could be a dangerous playoff draw.

Assuming Rose can cope with some inevitable off games, and that Deng, Noah and Boozer can stay healthy, the Bulls might surprise the fans whose hopes had shifted to October 2013 and beyond. As Forman likes to point out, when Chicago has those three frontcourt players and Rose healthy in the same game, it wins 85 percent of the time.

“We understand that we just have to hold down the house,” Gibson said. “That’s what Thibs said: ‘We’re not going to have a sloppy house. We’re going to be the same team we’ve always been.’

“Whenever Derrick does come back, I just want him to be right. Everybody just has to be patient. When he’s ready, he’ll come back. And when he comes back, he’ll be ready.”

If all goes well, Rose will be back sometime near or after the NBA’s Feb. 21 trading deadline. Few teams, if any, will be able to match that acquisition.

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72 Comments

  1. MESKO says:

    DROSE ALLDAY BABY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Jumppong says:

    Go Derrick Rose hopefully he is fully recovered.. and hopefully he will not get another injury maybe on his other knee

  3. Marcel says:

    I will stay up all night to see him when he returns on the court. this man has great skills and maybe the best attitude.
    love to see him playing. We are waiting for you Derrick. Good luck from The Netherlands.

  4. Rocks says:

    I stopped watching Chigago Bulls when MJ and Scottie left. But right now with DRose it’s fun watching the Bulls play again. Great team but not a championship calibre. It will be good to have DRose back on the starting line up. I hope they improve their record and standings.The MVP is coming back!!!

  5. D-RoseMVP says:

    In Rose We Trust!

  6. Crash says:

    Im a big Chicago fan …. its good that rose is doing well but i would prefer him sitting the season out… maybe get some draft picks and maybe get rudy gay on the squad before free agency ends… run the playoffs thru him and than next year Bulls can be the #1 team in the east… AGAIN!!! i wanna see Heat and Bulls in Conference finals

  7. Going 4 da gold says:

    What about iman shumpert

  8. DROSE1 says:

    #The Return
    D rose is not only a very athletic player but also he is a very inteligant and has a great head on his shoulders derrick rose perseveres and gets the job done not only will he return for the playoffs and be a big factor he will take us to the championship
    #GO BULLS

  9. kobeisthebest says:

    although i’m a kobe fan i hope he returns strong

  10. Gary says:

    By the time Rose returns Deng & Noah could be exhausted. Tibs plays them too much.

  11. dwayne rose says:

    i’m happy my brother is coming back

  12. [...] in front of them in the Central are holding things down until their injured stars can return (which isn’t so far down the road for Chicago).  The time is now for the Bucks if they are serious about contending for this [...]

  13. Big Ken says:

    D-ROSE will return…….for the 2013-2014 season……SIT HIM OUT!!

  14. Elliot says:

    Love D Rose. Awe-inspiring even though I’m a Magic fan. I also think Derozan is quality as well. Wierd huh?

    • Megan says:

      I hate the magic they r not doing well without Deight Howard I’m a T-Wolves fan & they have Rickey Rubio back

      • Eli Odell J. says:

        hahahaha, minnesota fan, hahahaha
        is he really back? maybe your coach’s gonna break a leg soon?
        maybe you gonna fall down the stairs, anything’s possible with that bunch

  15. ROSE Jr says:

    Bulls + D.Rose = Championship

  16. MANCHESTER says:

    Wooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooouh! ! !

  17. Reality says:

    cant wait for Rose to get back….The Basketball world Neeeeeeedsss YOU !!!!!!

  18. bj says:

    They really are doing a smart move, no rush and just qualify for Playoffs and really excel with Derrick Rose,
    and quite frankly they are able to beat the big hurdles Heat and Knicks, and most probably Celtics even they are a ferocious playoff team :-) go Bulls, hopefully I can cop ROSE 3.5 too !!!

  19. Curry says:

    Good to know he is coming back soon! Our teammate B. Rush torn his ACL in the early season and A. Bogut has a micro-fracture in his ankle but is expected to come back ready to play after All-Star weekend.

  20. Oddfuture_BULLS#1 says:

    cant wait for stacy king to say “Too Big, Too strong, Too fast, Too good”!
    I Cant wait for Rose to come back!!

  21. Frank Lowe says:

    I truly respect the bulls organization for understanding that it takes time for a player with an injury such as that one to get back to full form. They are making sure that he gets the best possible recovery and he can play at 100%. Most organizations don’t do that for their players. look at Amare, Andrew Bynum, and many of the great players from the 80’s and 90’s. That could have had phenomenal careers that were cut short due to coming back too soon.
    Much respect to the Chicago Bulls organization.

  22. Get will soon D-Rose. We will hold the fort down until you are ready. And will know you will come back strong! Then look out east here come the Bulls! Lets go Bulls!

  23. sphinx says:

    Aw, can’t for his return..hope he’ll better than ever!

  24. Derek says:

    I’m too excited about DR1’s return. If Noah, Deng, Hamilton and Boozer are healthy on the playoffs, I can say that we would probably see a Chicago-Miami ECF and hopefully, Chicago will be on the finals.

  25. Devante says:

    i hope he’ll come back the way Jordan came back in 86 after missing an entire season with a foot injury and killed the celtics in the playoffs even tho his bulls lost the series. i’m curious if we’re gonna see a stronger and better Rose, scary

  26. Schemer21 says:

    Lot of respect to the Bulls organisation for not rushing his recovery schedule and looking out for their start player’s interests and the long term interests of the organisation instead of the short term.

  27. Tunisia says:

    I am counting down the days Derrick Rose to come back! :)

  28. Reggie Evans is an Alien! says:

    Shout out to Derrick Rose, that ninja nice!

  29. Bulls are rose says:

    Bulls will be unbeatable team when rose back, welcome home Derrik

    • pakyaw says:

      LOL! unbeatable!..what makes u think that they can beat miami in 7 game series? 3 against 1?..remember 2011 ecf game 5?..dont get your hopes high..playoffs is different ball game…anyway ,hopefully D-ROSE to be fully healthy this time,

  30. chigago bull says:

    so good to us

  31. flamar says:

    i hope he is as good as before, if he is, the heat better be cautious, because if the bulls have d-rose, it is way different, and the bulls might beat the heat.

  32. MISA,RD says:

    Thanks for this. I always look forward on the Day Rose will be Back at BULLs and lead the Team to a Great record and I believe that when he plays, it’s always entertaining>>>> Yahoooooooooo. better than the Others. Bulls can be Volatile now

  33. RoseWadeRashid says:

    Wade trade to Chicago for Jimmy Butler,Nate Robinson and Kirk Hinrich

  34. binyamin says:

    yay

  35. JCDC says:

    d rose if u see this welcome back and just letting u know i live in australia and I’m constantly spreading the news of ur return by putting ya logo all around the city, honestly I’ve never seen a player as good as u since m.j. just remember that ur fans love ya and have faith in u and ur ability, LONG LIVE S ROES!

  36. Wynsser says:

    we will PATIENTLY BE WAITING for your return D-Rose!!!

  37. aha! says:

    i hope he doesn’t push too hard and risk re-injuring himself. Personally, i prefer him to sit out the rest of the season, just to be safe.

  38. Marlon says:

    \o/
    GO BULLS!!!!

  39. Brian says:

    Even though D-rose is not my favorite player, It is good to see him come back soon. He is a fast player I say this when I’m a Lakers fan.

  40. Nathan says:

    I’m from Israel and I just can’t wait for Rose’s return. the team (especially Deng, Noah) is doing a hell of a job under the great coach Thibs and I would like to believe that when he comes back they may have a chance at the title hopefully and if not – I hope that with hard work and maybe some player acquisitions they can make it next year.

  41. KPIUKOVIC says:

    yes,yes,yes,yes, ROSE ROSE ROSE FOR THE PRESIDENT

  42. l-train says:

    Congratulations to the Miami Heat for their 3rd championship ring.

  43. AnnoYouLater says:

    good to hear that they are not forcing him to play right away…he is already capable of playing but they still giving him time not only to fully recover but to be in shape…derek rose is prolly the only nba player right now that everyone likes…

  44. Drose13 says:

    YUUUUUUUPPPPPYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY

  45. Benny Lin says:

    Welcome back D-Rose, go Bulls…

  46. Tugsuu says:

    Good News. Bulls should not aim for No, 1 Seed this time, because we have showed last 2 seasons. Just keep everyone healthy for the playoff and adjust the position to play with Miami (only rival in eastern) in the playoff as early as possible

    • TEE says:

      They probably want to play Miami last. Who knows LeBron might get injured or get tired during the playoffs if they postpone their meeting. Haha

  47. Martyn says:

    Until he breaks again.Nothing to worry here

  48. karl says:

    I trust you Derrick Rose….I believe that you will be back before the upcoming playoffs..

  49. Derrick Rose says:

    the return

  50. Duv says:

    I hope to see Rose back on court soon. Not just an inspirational player but he seems like a top bloke who is respected by everyone. I wish him a long and successful career…and I’m a Rockets fan

    • jax says:

      lol – top bloke! never though id read that in these comments but you are spot on mate. D ROSE get back in my life!

  51. YEAH says:

    CONGRATULATIONS D-ROSE WELCOME HOME!!!

  52. Asiong Salonga says:

    good news for the bulls but still MIAMI HEAT will gonna win it all!!!!!!!

  53. JULIUS says:

    YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS.

    • Green Mamba says:

      Dang! That yes went out the page homes!! But the way this article was going I thought hed be back in a week or 2! I miss DRose even tho Im a Laker :-(

  54. Jason Lloyd says:

    In Rose we trust. I Belive that the organization will let him play when he is physicly ready.