NEW YORK -- After missing 12 consecutive games due to a strained right groin, Derrick Rose will return to the Bulls lineup Sunday afternoon against the Knicks.
"He's going to go," Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau said prior to his team's afternoon matinee at Madison Square Garden.
The All-Star point guard has been a full participant in recent Bulls practices and said he would "more than likely" play in New York following the team's Saturday afternoon session.
Ironically, the reigning league MVP was first injured when the Bulls last played the Knicks, during a March home win at the United Center.
The Bulls have fared well without Rose, going 8-4 in this most recent stretch and 15-7 overall without him in the lineup this season.
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.
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: