Hinrich Iffy For Game 6, And Don’t Bother ‘Going There’ On Rose

DEERFIELD, Ill. – The timing was impeccable. As Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said for the third or fourth time that guard Kirk Hinrich‘s bruised left calf was healing, Hinrich emerged for a cluster of reporters to limp 20 yards toward the locker-room hallway at the team’s Berto Center practice facility Wednesday afternoon.

Long John Silver, Fred Sanford and Jabba The Hutt would have been glancing over their shoulders, laughing, in a foot race. If the Brooklyn Nets have anyone on their bench with whom Hinrich in his current condition can keep up in Game 6, it’s coach P.J. Carlesimo. Maybe.

So it’s a long shot Hinrich — who injured his leg in Chicago’s triple-overtime victory in Game 4 Saturday and sat out the Nets’ Game 5 victory at the Barclays Center Monday — can play Thursday night at United Center. He only ditched a walking boot Wednesday, has yet to test his left leg by running or jumping and said he would have to improve further for his “game-time decision” to go thumbs-up.

That puts instant-offense guy Nate Robinson, the team’s third preferred option at point guard after Derrick Rose and Hinrich, in the likely starter’s role again.

Thibodeau also delivered the news that forwards Luol Deng and Taj Gibson were sick and skipped the practice, further thinning the ranks if only for Wednesday. He didn’t sound optimistic about rusty veteran Rip Hamilton, who hasn’t played since the series’ opener, making an appearance in Game 6, though.

So naturally, it was time to ask about Rose. Hey, he’s moving way better than Hinrich.

“There’s always a chance,” Thibodeau said straight-faced. Then a twinkle appeared in his eyes for what would be a fresh quote on the stale subject. “Small as that might be.”

Chuckles all around. But it scarcely could get smaller at this late date. Rose — whose ACL surgery on his left knee know requires a year reference (April 28, 2012) — still hasn’t felt comfortable enough in his recovery, apparently less for physical reasons than trust and confidence in his game, to return. To do so suddenly for Game 6 or even if his teammates advance to the next round against Miami would be like turning from a standing stop onto a freeway where every other vehicle is going 80 mph, no merge lane, nothing.

That hasn’t stifled impatience and criticism from within the team’s fan base, which has watched a parade of other players — from Hinrich throughout the season and Gibson (strained knee) to center Joakim Noah‘s ongoing plantar fasciitis — gut through discomfort while less than 100 percent.

Thibodeau and Hinrich both said again that the Bulls have Rose’s back.

“We know what kind of guy he is, we know what kind of teammate he is. We don’t feel that way,” Hinrich said. “I haven’t heard one ill word said [among teammates] about it.”

Said Thibodeau: “There’s a big difference between the type of injury he’s had and all these other injuries. We certainly appreciate what all the other guys are doing. But Derrick has had a very serious injury. It requires time. He’s 24 years old. We’re not going to rush him back. When he’s completely comfortable, that’s when we want him out there. If that means we wait another game, if that means we wait till next year, so be it. We want him completely comfortable. We’re not going to make that mistake.”

Criticism from outside of Chicago tossed at its native son, one of the most competitive and popular performers ever for the city’s pro sports teams, means nothing, the Bulls coach said.

“Derrick owes it to do what’s right. And the more I’m around him, the more I’m impressed by this guys’ character. He’s not being swayed by anybody. He’s not quite there, and we made that clear to him from the beginning — we’re going to support him in every way possible. I would never question him. Ever.”


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  2. holyspectator says:

    this whole d.rose scared thing is really crazy..your teammates need your help, hell play for 10-15 minutes man..dont have to score or take it to the rim, distribute the ball, make a couple open jumper jesus christ dude, hey look i understand your not 100% but being 90% at your skill set is better than many nba players who are 110%..drose im still wondering how you even got an mvp, you def dont have a heart of a champion…you got teammamtes or are 60-70% but giving it all they got and then more..ive lost so much respect for this dude…

  3. Ciel says:

    I think D. Rose should do what Al Horford did a year back, come out when they need him the most, he doesn’t need to play at a high level but at least his presence would lift the Bulls’ spirit more, not that it needs more of it but still yeah, it will most likely help to some degree.

  4. Chicago! says:

    D Rose. Your teammates go out there battered and bruise! Time to step up men. They held out on their own now it is time you give back. You owe teammates to play man…

  5. bullsever says:

    Some of the Bulls players are playing through injuries aren’t they also risking their careers and even moreso then Rose. why can’t Rose come back and play, physically he’s a hundred percent, mentally I can’t say for sure but that just tells me that he’s not a great player. Great players do what they have to do for their team for the fans for themself. if he stays out through this post season and the Bulls get knocked out this round or the next to regret it for the rest of his life cause like someone else commented the future’s not guaranteed

  6. BBALL FANN01 says:

    Is it better for DRose to miss 10 games extra rather than doing his ACL again and sitting out another 12 months? I think you know the answer

  7. Davro83 says:

    Rose is thinking about his whole career, not a few games at the end of a season. Its people like bullsfansince88 that would ruin players careers if they were in charge. Stop thinking about right now and think about the long successful career Rose wants. Let him recover 100% before coming back, then watch him smash it up next season and for many after. What hes doing takes great courage. Other players probably get pushed back into playing too early or care what people like you think. Rose knows his body and game. If hes not ready, then trust him and watch out next seaon when a full rested and healed player comes back with a vengence,

    • Jtwon20 says:

      He will never be the same! He let his fears overcome him. He will be another Penny or a grant hill.

  8. Jason says:

    Go Bulls!

  9. Dale Cooper says:

    Even without Rose – who absolutely shouldn’t be put in the position of playing his first games in over a year in a playoff series against Miami, who are playing at a level few teams in history have reached – that Miami/Chicago series should still be fun, with the tough way the Bulls play them. Such a fun team to watch, whoever’s out there for them.

  10. lol u srs? says:

    I would rather have drose than ‘superman’ any day and anyone who thinks otherwise MUST be high or crazy or just stupid….

  11. BullsFanSince88 says:

    Man, I’m so sick of hearing about Rose. I’m a die hard Bulls fan and have been nearly as long as Rose has been alive and I’ve seen real true champions come and go and Rose is not one of them! He hides behind his brother whom knows nothing at all about injuries except that he once had one. Being a champion takes heart and this coward D.Rose has NONE. How could a true champion watch his teammates play hurt night in and night out and have the nerve to sit on the sidelines with a smile on his face. The Bulls as a franchise may support him but the people that matter, the city and the fans do not even respect him any longer. I wish that they would trade him and free up some cap room to get Superman or at least someone that will show up. Nate, do your thing! I take you over Rose any day of the week. Hey D. Rose, little league is still taking sign-ups ! Get out of Chi Town.

    • Jtwon20 says:

      I totally agree with BullsFanSince88. Rose is a Coward. If you are cleared to play “Months ago” why are you not playing. Mentally?? that is some bull! You are being paid to play basketball and to win a championship.. not to hide in the closet and play when you are mentally ready! I never heard that before. Do you think Kobe Bryant would had sat on the bench if he was in Rose shoes?? How about Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Big Wilt, Charles Barkley, king James, Dr J, Etc..? Each and every last one of the great would had and have gave it their all and fear would be the last thing that would pop on their minds. A true Champ has heart and would play through pain and sickness. In which Rose proven to lack. Rose is a coward and needs to find a new career and will always live in regrets. Hinrich dont care when Rose come back. He is a starter and the leader of the team. Why would he want someone to come and still his glory. Superman you are always welcome to the Windy City!

    • Mark says:

      Be a real Bulls fan and show support instead of cynical criticism. You’re right, it’s only an ACL tear, one of the most major injuries in professional sports that has destroyed careers before. No reason to be scared right?

  12. Jaleel says:

    I hate that this is so much critism on one guy. Ok, he dosent play. So what? You gon force him to? Then, if he does play & gets another injury, people will say “Why’d you rush back?”. We should just do him a favor & leave him alone. When he’s ready, he”s ready. Like his team said, “whenever he’s ready, he’ll play.”

  13. Knicksfan101 says:

    Why are ppl hating on Nate Robinson? I’m a Knicks fan but I’ve seen Nate Play and he is absolutely GREAT!! he just may be one of the BEST point guards in the NBA. As for D.Rose, he will come back when he feels 100% ready he isn’t under pressure. And when he comes back, his team will be the third best team in the eastern conference. Ppl need to stop hating on the Bulls team.

  14. Sandeep says:

    Hats off to Noah, Hinrich, and Taj; wake up D Rose. D Rose be a leader and at least play for few minutes for your team!!!!!!!!!!!!

  15. Loyalty bulls says:

    In this moment I don’t know who is drose. My personal opinion I agree with Kerr …I think that confidence he need is gonna take playing BASKETBALL is not other way just that one….but I think he scare by the pressure and he try to come next season because in that way nobody is gonna pressure him or a least less pressure than now . But if the Chicago bull try to win a championship this year they gonna need him, if not why they keep fighting when they have few player playing with injuries and try to put 100% if the reality is they need him, they need point. Just come and put some defense in Williams and make couples shoots and u gonna see what’s happens……..

  16. authordas says:

    As a fan of the Bulls I dont need to see an explosive Rose. We just need another defender on Williams and a shooter. No need for highlights. I understand the pressure is on and he’s probably more afraid of flopping in his return in a playoff game than the actual fear of reinjury, but Bulls need him.

    Less pressure to return in a regular season game but who’s to say Bulls will even make playoffs….with a healthy team? They’re in now so play now. Screw the media, if he has a bad game so what? But by sitting out he’ll be criticiced more.

  17. authordas says:

    Too much pressure for him to return. A soon a he announces he’ll play the world will be watching. If he ha an awful game he will be chewed up. People will say he came back too soon.

    As a fan of the Bulls I don’t need to see the explosive Rose, Bulls need another good defender on Williams and a shooter. Thats all. We dont need highlight dunks. It saddens me because while the pressure is off for Rose in a season game who’s to say Bulls will make Playoffs next season…..and with a healthy team? There in it now. Now is the time. As they say. Live for the moment because tomorrow is not guaranteed.

  18. pasigiri says:

    When DRose gets back, he will absolutely crush everybody.

  19. asil says:

    why nate robinsons a great player he is doing all he can

  20. slider821 says:

    D Rose should never come back. I don’t want him to risk his basketball career by playing basketball.

  21. Necros says:

    These articles are rubbish.

    Before this every article was going on about how Rose should sit out the entire season, how he shouldn’t rush back from this injury.

    Now everyone is almost forcing him to go and play.

  22. Naboo says:

    I got so much respect for this roster of players. Team to watch this year, definetly.

  23. W/E says:

    no hope, D.Rose is a scared little girl, and the worst part of it is that his negative psychology and fear will surelly make him look awfull when the time comes and gets on the court, am telling u am expecting D.Rose to have miserable performances when he comes back only because he let himself feeling so scared and unsure, he is healthy but he doesnt feel like that he can play…that means that he HAS to face his fear and come back slowly, he will need alot of time when he gets back to get used to the NBA intensity again.

    • upaldi says:


    • Big Mike says:

      call him a scared little girl to his face and see how fast you get folded tough guy. you’re a fair weather fan with a low basketball IQ so just stfu ok.

      • W/E says:

        Didnt know D.Rose had so many devoted boyfriends or maybe girlfriends thats what u are most probably, why u get angry anyway ur feelings got hurt cause i told the truth? The guy has zero confidence now thats why he doesnt want to play in the playoffs, u will see when he comes back, he wont be playing any good until he get his confidence back and that may take a long time

  24. NBAFAN!!! says: