Bulls

Bulls: Derrick Rose practices, could play in preseason finale

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Bulls: Derrick Rose practices, could play in preseason finale

The left eye was still squinting but opening more than it had been since media day for Derrick Rose, who went through a contact practice and appears ready to play a few minutes in Friday's preseason game against Dallas.

Fred Hoiberg would certainly like to see Rose out there for at least a few minutes of game action before declaring his point guard fit to play on opening night.

“Derrick participated in a little bit of the contact, not a lot,” said Hoiberg, who wants to see Rose play 5-10 minutes if possible. “But it was good to see him out there. He’s getting more work with Randy (Brown, assistant coach). We’ll see. Maybe see how he feels in the morning. He has a lot of general soreness right now just from picking up the activity after basically not doing anything for two weeks.”

Hoiberg said Rose’s double vision would prevent him from playing but Rose said he would play anyways, as long as his vision doesn’t take a step back overnight.

[MORE BULLS: Adidas' slogan for Derrick Rose this year is, well, ironic]

“They just want me out there,” Rose said. “As long as I'm out there and moving around, I'm not worried about attacking or being aggressive. That's going to come. I just need to be out there.”

Playing with the mask seems to be growing on him, although he’s not sure if he’ll stay with it even after the eye heals. Catching the basketball and judging the speed of it are the major issues with the healing orbital bone, which was repaired a little over three weeks ago.

When asked by a reporter if he still has double vision, Rose said, “Yeah, yeah. Right now I see two of you. It’s kind of bad, but it’s preseason you know, so it’s all about getting out there and playing, just playing a couple of minutes and seeing how it goes.”

Rose worked up a good sweat in Charlotte before the game Monday, shooting around, and actually got hit in the face with his mask on during practice. He said it didn’t feel as bad as he thought it would, which could bring him some level of comfort as far as driving to the basket.

“Every day I’m improving. The eye itself, the swelling is going down, so just taking my time,” Rose said. “Practice has been going well. Been practicing pretty hard, and if everything is alright tomorrow, I’m going to play a little bit.”

[NBC SHOP: Gear up for the season, Bulls fans!]

It seemed like a daily thing with Rose, as far as his progress headed toward opening night. But it seems as if, at the very least, playing on opening night against the Cleveland Cavaliers next Tuesday is not only in his sights but a priority.

“I mean for anybody opening night is opening night,” Rose said. “It’s when the season starts, so it’s your showcase to show everybody what you been doing the entire summer. So it’s a big night, but at the same time if I feel like I can’t go there’s no point in rushing it or pushing myself.”

Hoiberg stressed it’s a long season, especially with three games in four nights hitting the Bulls smack in the face to start the season but isn’t putting any pressure on Rose.

“To have him out there today, there’s a lot of rust, which there should be,” Hoiberg said. “Not many guys can take that amount of time off and come back and look like an All-Star right away. I think it’d be great for him if he could (play).”

Three Things to Watch: Bulls-76ers

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NBC Sports Chicago

Three Things to Watch: Bulls-76ers

The Bulls square off against the Sixers tonight on NBC Sports Chicago, with coverage beginning at 6:30 with Bulls Pregame Live. Here are three things to watch as the Bulls begin the stretch run of their regular season.

1. The new rotation: Most of the Bulls’ rotation looks the same, but the addition of David Nwaba, Cristiano Felicio and Cameron Payne will have a different feel. The Bulls clearly want to get a look at these guys before the end of the regular season, meaning they’re not just going to get sporadic minutes. They’ll have to play through their mistakes, play out-matched at times and be put in uncomfortable situations. But the Bulls need to see what they have, especially in Payne, who has missed the entire season to this point with a broken foot.

2. Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons: They’re quite the 1-2 punch and have the Sixers looking at their first playoff appearance since Derrick Rose hadn’t yet torn an ACL. Yeah, that’s a long time. Embiid just finished his first All-Star appearance (starting in his second year) and Simmons is the front runner for Rookie of the Year. The Bulls will have their hands full with these two. Luckily…

3. Kris Dunn is back: The Bulls wanted to get Dunn some run before heading to All-Star Weekend to play in the Rising Stars Challenge, and he looked healthy in that thumping against the Raptors last week. The good news is John Paxson says Dunn won’t be on a minutes limit, which means he’s healthy. That, of course, is more important than how he’s playing. It’ll be fun to see him, LaVine and Markkanen play together down the stretch. Their numbers together aren’t great, but the Bulls are 2-2 with all three in the lineup, and tanking or not…it’s more fun to watch when those three are rolling. 

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Of Bulls and Blackhawks, which team will finish with higher draft pick?

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USA TODAY

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Of Bulls and Blackhawks, which team will finish with higher draft pick?

On the latest SportsTalk Live Podcast, Patrick Finley (Chicago Sun-Times), Hub Arkush (ProFootball Weekly) and Jason Goch (SB Nation) join Kap on the panel.

The guys debate which team will finish with a higher draft pick when the season ends: Bulls or Blackhawks?

Plus, hear their reaction to the MLB’s new pace-of-play rule change.

Listen to the full SportsTalk Live Podcast right here: