Bulls

Rose a game-time decision vs. Hornets

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Rose a game-time decision vs. Hornets

NEW ORLEANS After leaving Mondays win at New Jersey in the second quarter and not returning to the contest not that the Bulls needed him to Derrick Roses status for Wednesdays game against the Hornets seemed unclear, despite the protestations to the contrary of the reigning league MVP and his coach. Prior to the teams morning shootaround at New Orleans Arena, Rose said he was confident he would suit up.

Backs feeling better. If anything, I should be able to go tonight. Game-time decision, see how it is when I go out there and I should be all right, said Rose. Shootaround, probably not. Just dribble the ball the whole time, get a feel for the ball and hopefully Ill be playing tonight.

Something that just happened. I havent had back issues since high school, so I know this could easily go away, he added. It feels a lot better, where Im able to move. That night, I wasnt icing. It locked up on me, but Im fine now.

Confirmed Thibodeau: Its a game-time decision. Hes feeling better right now, but we want to see how hes feeling after he warms up tonight.

Well, he said the back is fine now, which is the thing we were concerned with, but we just want to make sure that hes good, he continued. Hes had it before. He had it one time last year against Denver, when Rose sat out his only game of the 2010-11 campaign with neck stiffness and it was similar. It was one game, then the rest and he was fine after that, never had it again. But I guess hes had this since high school, so I think he knows how to deal with it pretty effectively.

Since the Bulls had a day off Tuesday in the Crescent City, Rose was able to treat his ailment without having to practice.

It was great, man. Laid around the whole day. I really dont get that much time to do that, but since Im out here I dont really know too many people out here so I had the whole day to myself, he said. Treatment the whole day, got stim on my back, massage. So, I should be all right.

Dont expect Rose to tone down his all-or-nothing game because of his back or the fact that the Bulls are facing the injury-decimated Hornets, already regarded as one of the leagues least talented squads.

Hell no. We still know that weve still got to go out here and play this game. Theyre an NBA team. That means they have good players on their team. Got some people thats nicked up on their team, but they might come back so weve still got to go out here and play this game, said Rose, who, in his typical fashion. When Im on the court, I dont pace myself like that. If anything, when Im out there, Im trying to create or do something to lead us in the right direction to get that win and pacing yourself, I think Thibs wouldnt allow you to do that anyway.

Three Things to Watch: Bulls take on Suns

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Three Things to Watch: Bulls take on Suns

Here are Three Things to Watch when the Bulls take on the Phoenix Suns Sunday on NBC Sports Chicago and streaming live on the NBC Sports app. Coverage begins at 6:30 p.m. with Bulls Pregame Live.

1. Something's got to give

What's the opposite of an unstoppable force vs. an immovable object? That's what we'll be looking at when the Bulls have the ball in their hands. Chicago ranks dead last in offensive efficiency, while the Suns have the 2nd worst defensive efficiency in the NBA. That means the Bulls, after scoring a season-high 123 points against the Hornets, can build on that momentum against a Suns defense that allowed 90 points in the FIRST HALF to the Rockets on Thursday.

2. Kris Dunn for real?

Fresh off the best game of his young career - he scored 22 points in a win over the Hornets on Friday - Kris Dunn continues to look like the best point guard on the Bulls roster. He's going through a really solid stretch right now, averaging 13.2 points on 47 percent shooting, 4.2 assists and 2.6 steals over his last four games. With Eric Bledsoe out of Phoenix, Dunn could be in line for another big game going up against Mike James and Tyler Ulis, regardless of whether or not he starts over Jerian Grant.

3. Watch out for Devin Booker

We'll try to get an opponent in here once for every tune-in, and Devin Booker certainly fits the bill. Much like Dunn is doing, Booker is on quite a roll these days. Over his last four games Booker is averaging 30.5 points on 51 percent shooting, 4.5 rebounds and 5.8 assists. The Bulls will need to keep their eyes on Booker at all times, especially after allowing Kemba Walker to go off for 47 points on Friday.

Bulls Talk Podcast: Will Kris Dunn build off career night?

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USA TODAY

Bulls Talk Podcast: Will Kris Dunn build off career night?

On this edition of the Bulls Talk podcast, Mark Schanowski, Kendall Gill, and Kevin Anderson react to a breakout game from Kris Dunn against the Hornets Friday night. They’ll discuss his development and how it impacts rookie Lauri Markkanen. Plus just how long will both the Wolves and Bulls be judged on the Jimmy Butler trade? Is Dwight Howard a hall of famer? And a new era in Philly with Simmons and Embiid. That and more on this edition of the Bulls Talk podcast.