Bulls announce Derrick Rose can resume activities in two weeks, opening night likely


Bulls announce Derrick Rose can resume activities in two weeks, opening night likely

Derrick Rose will be able to resume basketball activities in two weeks after undergoing a surgical procedure on his face, as a result of the elbow felt all around Chicago.

Which means after all the consternation stemming from it, he’ll presumably be on track for a return on opening night, which falls on Oct. 27 against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

“All we know right now is Derrick went into the procedure this morning early, and the surgery went as expected,” Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg said. “He’s in recovery now, but yeah, the surgery did go as expected.”

It’s likely he’ll be wearing a mask of some sort or even shades when he does return. In Hoiberg’s rookie year in Indiana, Reggie Miller had the exact same injury late in the 1995-96 season, missed the final five games of the regular season and returned, with the red-tinted shades, for the deciding Game 5 of their first-round series against the Atlanta Hawks.

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“I don’t know. It reminds me a little of Reggie when he had his little bone fracture, and Reggie opted for the cool Oakley shades is what he did,” Hoiberg said. “But I remember that, at least back in those days. I don’t know if the surgery has improved from back when he had it, but he was very sensitive to light in the beginning of the recovery. I can’t remember to be honest with you how long he had to wear the glasses. But we’ll evaluate that as we continue to get more information."

Hoiberg spoke to Rose and Joakim Noah exchanged texts with him yesterday after news of his procedure became public.

“You know in talking to Derrick last night, he’s still in great spirits,” Hoiberg said. “He had a really good day going until he took a really unfortunate elbow, so he’s still in a good place. The great thing is it’s not structural damage to keep him out. As soon as he’s healed, ready to go, he’ll be able to get back in there 100 percent.”

Noah has been around for all of the Rose injury chronicles, so he feels for him in a way many may not be able to. And considering it’s not a knee or severe leg injury, there’s not the sadness that accompanies the usual Rose situation.

“It’s unfortunate. First play, takes an elbow, goes down,” he said. “But it’s not the end of the world. He’ll be back in no time. I think he’s good. I mean, as good as can be. It always sucks to be injured and not be able to play the game that you love. But he’ll be all right.”

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Life goes on in the meantime, especially considering they don’t feel he’ll miss much activity as far as picking up the offense.

“Well, he’s still going to be here in practice, he’ll still be learning,” Hoiberg said. “Hopefully it’s an injury that won’t keep him out too long. He’s in great shape. We don’t know how much he’ll be able to do even when he’s in his recovery mode, but he’ll still be here learning. So we’ll go as expected, as far as putting our stuff in. We added a few new ones in his absence today, and again, guys seem to be picking up things very well.”

Whether it’s Aaron Brooks, Kirk Hinrich, E’Twaun Moore or even Jimmy Butler, there won’t be any shortage of players willing to step forward as a playmaker in practice or in preseason, which will be used for experimentation anyways.

“We’ll get a lot of guys a lot of reps at that position,” Hoiberg said. “Again, they are guys that have played in this league a long time.”

He wasn’t in a dour mood by any stretch, but Hoiberg sounds fully indoctrinated into dealing with life without Rose—perhaps a bit too early for his liking.

SI names Lauri Markkanen a top-five candidate for a breakout season

SI names Lauri Markkanen a top-five candidate for a breakout season

Lauri Markkanen has been making headlines this offseason, mostly for bulking up considerably, and making appearances around Chicago at Nike camps and Jabari Parker’s camp, but as the season nears, his on-the-court exploits are starting to come up as well. On Thursday, Sports Illustrated put Lauri Markkanen on their list of five breakout candidates for the 2018-19 season

SI writer Michael Shapiro had this to say about Markkanen:

Markkanen has all the tools to be a future All-Star, and it looks as though he has the mindset, too. He seemed to take his matchup with Porzingis personally in early January, demanding the ball down the stretch en route to a career-high 33 points in a road victory. The Bulls enter 2018-19 on the outside of the East playoff picture, but Chicago is now home to the NBA’s newest unicorn.

High praise indeed for Markkanen, and well-deserved praise considering that he finished with a usage rate lower with the Bulls than his college stint at Arizona, yet still was able to have an impact on the Bulls. Shapiro mentioned Markkanen’s burgeoning off-the-dribble game as the skill that most stood out, and speaks to the Finnish big man’s All-Star potential. 

While the 21-year-old’s threes lived up to the hype, it was his prowess of the bounce that made the biggest impression. Markkanen showed a deft handle and array of canny fakes in the post, adding a mean streak to boot. The Finnisher lived up to his nickname, unafraid of contact and eager to fight for position in the post. The stereotype of the soft European big man doesn’t apply here.

The numbers back this up. 

Among the Bulls top 10 players in drives per game last season, Markkanen finished second in field percentage (on drives) at 46.1 percent. If that numbers rises, or more likely, Markkanen drives to the basket more, his scoring total will increase. And when it came to finishing around the paint in general, he shot  67.6 percent on shots from zero-to-three feet, making him the third best in that range out of the Bulls top nine rotation players last season. Yet among the same group of players, Markkanen ranked sixth in shot attempts from zero-to-three feet. With the presence of Wendell Carter Jr., and another year of internal growth from Bobby Portis- bigs that can stretch the floor -Markkanen should be the recipient of more plays putting him in a position to score around the basket.

On a roster that will surely give big minutes to Parker, Kris Dunn, Carter, Chandler Hutchison and a working-his-way-back to form Zach LaVine, Markkanen may be surest 3-point shooter on the floor. This means defenses will key in on his outside shot. If players are routinely closing out hard on Markkanen- as they should -this will open up more driving opportunities for the nimble seven-footer. 

The third or fourth season is usually when young players take the leap from good to great, but Markkanen will be playing with the most talented group of teammates he has ever been surrounded with. How he handles playing with this group will go a long way towards establishing what kind of player he will be in the future, specifically if he is an All-Star caliber talent. On the 2018-19 Bulls, someone will have to hover around a 20 percent usage rate, making them a clear third-option, whoever that player is, his last name should not be Markkanen. 

Bulls Talk Podcast: Is Zach LaVine really one of the most over-hyped players in the league?


Bulls Talk Podcast: Is Zach LaVine really one of the most over-hyped players in the league?

Mark Schanowski talks all things hoops with Indianapolis Star Pacers beat writer J.Michael. Is Victor Oladipo ready to take the next step as a legitimate MVP candidate? Can the Pacers challenge the top three teams in the East? Is Zach LaVine really one of the most over-hyped players in the NBA? And, will the signing of Dwight Howard mean disaster in the nation’s capital? Plus, the guys make their predictions for the upcoming season.

Listen to the full podcast here or via the embedded player below: