Chicago’s head coach Tom Thibodeau reportedly called the practice “encouraging” and indicated there is a realistic chance Rose could face the Boston Celtics Thursday night, a game that is already set to be televised nationally on TNT.
Rose has missed 11 consecutive games due to the injury but the Bulls have fared pretty well since he has been out of the lineup. Chicago has gone 7-4 over that 11 game span including a two-game losing streak, their first of the season, in the last two games they played.
The first of the two losses occurred against the Western Conference’s No. 1 seed Oklahoma City Thunder. It was not a surprising loss by any means as Oklahoma City is the heavy favorites to represent the West in the NBA Finals. In fact, the Thunder and Bulls are the two teams many experts are picking to take on each other in the Finals. The second loss came against the Houston Rockets, a potential playoff team as they currently hold the eighth seed in the West with a one game lead over the Utah Jazz.
Chicago has already clinched a postseason berth and currently has a two and a half game lead over the second seeded Miami Heat. Obviously, the Bulls want to keep their No. 1 seed but making sure their All-Star guard is healthy is their top priority. With Rose in the lineup the Bulls have a very realistic shot at going the distance. However, if he is unable to play in several postseason games then I am afraid Chicago might be in trouble.
In 34 games this season, Rose is averaging 22.8 points, 3.5 rebounds, 8.0 assists and 0.9 steals per game while shooting 45.0 percent from the field and 31.4 percent from behind the arc.