Bulls

Injured Rose's status for tonight uncertain

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Injured Rose's status for tonight uncertain

After battling through his sprained left big toe injury, suffered last Tuesday at Minnesota, for four games, Derrick Rose finally took a breather. Prior to Monday afternoons game in Memphis, Rose warmed up, but the pain of the injury was too much.

I went out there to shoot, a little sore, sorer than usual, he said after the Bulls loss to the Grizzlies. I decided to sit out. I was mad, mad the whole time, but hopefully in the future it gets better.

Said Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau: Hes day-to-day. Well see how he is tomorrow.

He just said it was sore. Thats it. If Derrick can play, hell play, he continued. Its a pain-tolerance thing, so well see how it goes.

At this point, Roses status for Tuesday nights home game against the Suns is uncertain.

If it was up to me, yeah. I want to play tomorrow. Ill try my hardest, but if not, Ill have to sit out again, said Rose. Yeah the team probably will recommend that he rests the injury, but its up to me if I want to go out there and play. Its my decision.

They left it up to me for tomorrow.

Rose was particularly disappointed that a game he had to sit out came in Memphis, where he played his lone season of college basketball.

It feels good being back here, seeing old faces from when I was back here. Its always fun to be here. Im kind of mad that I didnt get the opportunity to get out there and play, but theres always next year, he said. I was definitely mad tonight that I didnt get a chance to play, just to play for the fans, my fans back here. I was kind of upset about it.

In a bittersweet twist, Rose was officially named as one of 20 finalists for the 2012 USA Olympic basketball team.

Its an honor to be on that list. If it was up to me, Ill definitely play in it, but Coach K and all the coaching staff has to pick the players, said Rose of the long-expected nomination. Hopefully youll see me playing on that team, but if not, Ill definitely be training hard in the offseason.

Bring your own stuffing: Jazz swat Bulls on Thanksgiving Eve

Bring your own stuffing: Jazz swat Bulls on Thanksgiving Eve

On the second (turkey) leg of a back-to-back, the Bulls didn't bring much energy in a 110-80 loss to the Utah Jazz. 

Instead of diving into the nitty-gritty of the uninspiring effort, though, we decided to just serve you up a Thanksgiving meal of highlights. Here are the top blocks from Wednesday's game: 

5. Derrick Favors is no Rudy Gobert -- that we know -- but imitation is the highest form of flattery. 

4. Are Bobby Portis chase down blocks the new LeBron James chase down blocks? Let's not get carried away... yet. We'll chalk it up to just a real nice hustle play by Bobby. 

3 and 2. Speaking of hustle plays... Jonas Jerebko isn't exactly known as a dominant defender. He sure made it hard for the Bulls on what should of been an easy fast-break bucket in the third quarter, though. First, he silenced Kris Dunn's reverse. Then, he met Lauri Markkanen at the rim and sent the rookie packing. The Baby Bulls 2.0 can blame it on fatigue, but they just handed Jerebko a highlight tape for years to come.   

1. In fairness, Jerian Grant had to get up a shot as the quarter was coming to a close. It is as vicious as it looks, though.  

Just as we all predicted, two rookies stole the show in L.A.

Just as we all predicted, two rookies stole the show in L.A.

There's not often hype surrounding a game between two of the NBA's worst teams, but Tuesday's Bulls-Lakers matchup was intriguing to many because it offered a chance to see a pair of top rookies compete. 

Oh, but you didn't think we meant Lonzo Ball and Lauri Markkanen, did you?

Nah, it was two different, less-touted first-year players that ended up stealing the spotlight at the Staples Center. 

Kyle Kuzma and Antonio Blakeney may not be household names, but they sure played like they were in the Bulls' 103-94 loss. 

Kuzma, the Lakers rook drafted 27th overall, has been a spark for Luke Walton's squad all season long. Boasting a terrific scoring arsenal, the Utah product carried the load for the Lakers' offense in the first half, dropping 18 points on 6-for-9 shooting. He finished the game as L.A.'s leading scorer with 22 in 40 minutes. But if you still need a more in-depth scouting report on Kuzma, just let Lonzo break it down:  

More importantly for Bulls fans, though, was the play of their undrafted guard who's signed to a two-way deal. 

Blakeney, the unofficial Summer League MVP, came off the bench on Tuesday and immediately left his mark on the game. The 21-year-old out of LSU posted 15 in the first half, finishing through contact as well as connecting on outside jumpers. 

Blakeney's shooting isn't reliable quite yet, but his energy has clearly influenced Hoiberg's rotation. The guard went from playing one NBA minute in the Bulls' first 11 games to playing 75 in the last four. Given that his two-way deal allows him to only spend 45 days with the team, it'll be fascinating to see how creative Gar Forman and John Paxson will get with his contract if this type of production continues. 

In a season that's obviously going to have its share of rough moments, an offseason flyer hitting is a huge plus for the rebuild. 

As for the recognized rookies, Lonzo's shooting woes persisted and Markkanen had maybe his worst offensive performance of his young Bulls career. Combined, they finished 7-for-30 with 21 points. Not ideal.