Thibodeau 'optimistic' about Rose, Deng playing vs. Heat?


Thibodeau 'optimistic' about Rose, Deng playing vs. Heat?

CHARLOTTEThough Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau spouted his standard game-time decision line about the status of All-Stars Derrick Rose and Luol Deng for Thursdays showdown with the Heat in Miami, he also joked that hes taking a positive outlook about the likelihood of the duo suiting up. One of the pair, Deng, is apparently on the same page.

Its getting better. Still a little sore, but its getting better, he said after watching his team blow out the lowly Bobcats. Ive been off it and just getting treatment.

Just mostly trying to get some motion, just moving it around. Trying to get the muscles to loosen up and just ice, and stim. I had trouble with some motion and weve been doing that to try to get my motion back, Deng continued. Were going to re-evaluate in the morning, but most likely, I should be able to go. But well see how it feels tomorrow.

Deng has missed two consecutive games after taking a shot to the ribs from former teammate Ben Gordon in the Bulls overtime win Sunday at Detroit. Hes also dealt with the effects of torn ligaments in his left wrist for the majority of the second half of the season.

Rose, on the other hand, has been dealing with soreness in his right foot the past two contests after missing a game due to spraining his right ankle. Before that, he he was sidelined for 12 consecutive games with a groin injury and that isnt even counting 10 absences because of turf toe and lower back spasms.

Thatll be a game-time decision. As you guys all know, Im an optimist. I think itll be good, quipped Thibodeau. Theyre making good progress. The first guy theyve got to get by is Fred Tedeschi, the Bulls team trainer. Fred has to clear them. They have to show that theyre confident and comfortable on the floor. It hasnt been easy for them, but I think theyre handling everything well and weve just got to make the right decision. The most important thing is the team playing well and being healthy, so weve got to take care of those two things going forward. So, thats what were going to do.

Added teammate Carlos Boozer: Theyre warriors, man. If they can, they will. I think its up to them and see how their body feels tomorrow when we tip, but theyve played through so many different injuries throughout their careers. Just this season alone, its countless injuries theyve played through.

Nick Nurse confident in Jim Boylen, Bulls: 'He'll be a good leader for them'

Nick Nurse confident in Jim Boylen, Bulls: 'He'll be a good leader for them'

Toronto Raptors head coach and lifelong Cubs fan Nick Nurse was in Chicago on Friday to throw out the 1st pitch and sing the 7th inning stretch at Wrigley Field.

It was a major moment for Nurse—who grew up in Carroll, Iowa and played college basketball at the University of Northern Iowa—to be able to talk with Cubs manager Joe Maddon. Maddon actually started his pro baseball career as a catcher for the Quad Cities Angles, based out of Davenport, Iowa, in 1976.

Nurse stated that Maddon is a huge inspiration to him and was clearly overjoyed to speak with someone he considers an excellent leader. Nurse's Chicago trip would not have been complete without a little NBA talk and he had no problem discussing his faith in colleague and Bulls head coach Jim Boylen.

"Well, first of all, Jimmy Boylen, the head coach, is a good friend of mine and he is a hell of a coach."

Nurse went on to joke about not wanting the Bulls to do "too well" of course, as the two teams will see each other four times next season and will both be battling for a potential postseason berth in a new-look, wide-open Eastern Conference. The Raptors, of course, will be looking to make another deep playoff run despite the loss of NBA Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard. The Bulls will be looking to at least have a competitive season after finishing with a whopping 60 losses in 2018-19, their first 60-loss season since 2002. 

But when discussing the future outlook of the Bulls, Nurse was confident in the direction of the franchise and Boylen's presence as a strong headman for the team is a major reason why. 

"Everything rises and falls with leadership and...he'll be a good leader for them."

Anthony Davis speaks on the Chicago hoops scene at Nike Rise Camp: 'We are the Mecca of Basketball'

Anthony Davis speaks on the Chicago hoops scene at Nike Rise Camp: 'We are the Mecca of Basketball'

On Friday afternoon the Nike Rise Camp took place at Kenwood High School and it was hosted by new Lakers star and Chicago native Anthony Davis.

Davis is excited to be able to help the Chicago youth with camps like Nike Rise, especially the much younger generations. The Nike Rise Camp is for kids ages 8-17 and focuses on skill development, drills, game programming, and various workshops. 

Davis stated that while he went to many of the illustrious basketball camps—like Pangos, Five-Star, Nike's individual player camps, etc.—he hadn't been to any basketball training camps at such a young age.

These kids are amazing, y'know, they're fun to hang around, they listen, they wanna learn. [There's] some good talent upstairs.....The future is definitely bright for all these young kids so I'm excited to come back and just give them my knowledge and my experience and spend that time with them."

View this post on Instagram

#Risecamp #Nike

A post shared by Tony Gill (@tonygill670) on

When asked to describe the relationship Chicago has with basketball, Davis made sure to laud the toughness of the Chicago hoops scene.

"It's basketball in any condition, y'know you gonna find a way to play...their love for the game right now is tremendous...No matter if it's hot, it's freezing cold in the gym, outside it's raining, whatever."

By any means necessary, we wanna play the game.

-Anthony Davis on the mindset of Chicago basketball

On a summer day with 90+ degree weather, the Kenwood Academy gym was even hotter inside but that didn't stop the coaches and trainees from getting in a great workout. 

Davis minced no words when letting the world know how he feels about Chicago hoops, "In Chicago, it means a lot more to us because we are a basketball city and we are the Mecca of Basketball and you can quote me on that."