Cubs

Despite ulcers, Rose will play tonight vs. Magic

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Despite ulcers, Rose will play tonight vs. Magic

Friday, Jan. 28, 2011
1:08 p.m.
By Aggrey Sam
CSNChicago.com
A day after revealing he suffers from stomach ulcers, newly-named All-Star Game starter Derrick Rose will try to play in Friday nights Bulls home game against fellow Eastern Conference contender Orlando.

Ill have to see when I get down there to the United Center. More than likely, I am going to play, said Rose after Fridays shootaround at the Berto Center. This is the game that I love. I should be able to play. Im going to try my hardest, but well have to see.

Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau indicated whether or not Rose plays would be a game-time decision.

Well see how he is tonight, Thibodeau explained. I want him to go through his normal routine tonight and then, when he goes through it, if he feels like he has the energy to play, then he plays. If he doesnt, then he sits and backup point guard C.J. Watson starts.

If his energy is good, then he goes. But if its not good, then he wont go, continued Thibodeau, who added Rose got through the whole shootaround and that the abbreviated game-day practice had a good pace.

Rose elaborated on his current state of health since his diagnosis.

I can eat portions of things, but I havent had a whole meal in three or four days, explained Rose, who is taking medication for his health issues. The only thing Ive been drinking is probably shakes and smoothies."

I havent gotten on the scale yet, but I probably have lost weight, continued Rose, who added that he weighed in at 213 pounds before the condition cropped up. Im just waiting for it to heal right now.

I really cant complain right now. Were winning. Everythings going great right now. This is just something Ive got to fight through.

The Bulls point guard also discussed his selection as an Eastern Conference starting guard in next months NBA All-Star Game at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

Its great, knowing that everything is going my way right now. I feel blessed. If it wasnt for my fans, the organization, adidas, everybody playing a big role, I wouldnt have got that spot, said Rose, the Bulls first All-Star Game starter since Michael Jordan in 1998. I love L.A. The crowd there is going to be crazy, playing with a great bunch of guys, just out there having fun, the only thing that changes is Im going to be a starter.

It wont surprise anyone whos observed him closely that he wasnt overenthusiastic when he heard the news Thursday night.

Regular. It wasnt like a celebration or anything, Rose recalled about his reaction to the announcement, as he spent a quiet evening at home with friends and family. I just wasnt into it like that. Thats just really not me.

Rose found out when they Roses mother and friends came in the roomthey were in the living room, watching itI was in my room.

Rose did acknowledgein his own waythat he was deserving of the honor and excited about the upcoming event.

Ive been playing well. My confidence is very high right now, said Rose. Last year, I didnt start, but it was a good experience.

Still, he refused to classify himself among the NBAs elite players.

Not yet, Rose repeated three times. Ive still got a long way to go.

Added Thibodeau: Its great. Were happy for him, but were also concerned about what we have to do tonight. Thats a priority for us.

Business as usual.

Aggrey Sam is CSNChicago.com's Bulls Insider. Follow him @CSNBullsInsider on Twitter for up-to-the-minute Bulls information and his take on the team, the NBA and much more.

Albert Almora Jr. gave another example of his all-around game

Albert Almora Jr. gave another example of his all-around game

Albert Almora Jr. might be in the middle of a breakout season. The 24-year-old outfielder continues to show his impressive range in center field and is having his best year at the plate.

In Sunday's 8-3 win against the Giants, Almora had three hits and showed off his wheels in center to rob Evan Longoria of extra bases. The catch is visible in the video above.

"Defensively, right now he's playing as well as he possibly can," Maddon said.

On top of the defense he has become known for, he is hitting .326. That's good for fifth in the National League in batting.

"He's playing absolutely great," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. "He's working good at-bats. His at-bats have gotten better vs. righties.

"The thing about it, is there's power there. The home runs are gonna start showing up, too."

There's also this stat, which implies Almora is having a growing significance on the Cubs as a whole:

There may be some correlation, but not causality in that. However, with Almora's center field play and growing accolades at the plate, the argument is becoming easier and easier that he is one of the most important players on the Cubs. That also goes for Almora's regular spot in the lineup, which has been up in the air with Maddon continuing to juggle the lineup.

Bears still see Dion Sims as a valuable piece to their offensive puzzle

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USA Today Sports Images

Bears still see Dion Sims as a valuable piece to their offensive puzzle

Dion Sims is still here, which is the outcome he expected but perhaps wasn’t a slam dunk — at least to those outside the walls at Halas Hall. 

The Bears could’ve cut ties with Sims prior to March 16 and saved $5.666 million against the cap, quite a figure for a guy coming off a disappointing 2017 season (15 catches, 180 yards, one touchdown). But the Bears are sticking with Sims, even after splashing eight figures to land Trey Burton in free agency earlier this year. 

“In my mind, I thought I was coming back,” Sims said. “I signed to be here three years and that’s what I expect. But I understand how things go and my job is come out here and work hard every day and play with a chip on my shoulder to prove myself and just be a team guy.”

The Bears signed Sims to that three-year, $18 million contract 14 months ago viewing him as a rock-solid blocking tight end with some receiving upside. The receiving upside never materialized, and his blocking was uneven at times as the Bears’ offense slogged through a bleak 11-loss season. 

“The situation we were in, we weren’t — we could’ve done a better job of being successful,” Sims said. “Things didn’t go how we thought it would. We just had to pretty much try to figure out how to come together and build momentum into coming into this year. I just think there were a lot of things we could have done, but because of the circumstances we were limited a little bit. 

“… It was a lot of things going on. Guys hurt, situations — it was tough for us. We couldn’t figure it out, along with losing, that was a big part of it too.”

Sims will be given a fresh start in 2018, even as Adam Shaheen will be expected to compete to cut into Sims’ playing time at the “Y” tight end position this year. The other side of that thought: Shaheen won’t necessarily slide into being the Bears’ primary in-line tight end this year. 

Sims averaged 23 receptions, 222 yards and two touchdowns from 2014-2016; that might be a good starting point for his 2018 numbers, even if it would represent an improvement from 2017. More important, perhaps, is what Sims does as a run blocker — and that was the first thing Nagy mentioned when talking about how Sims fits into his offense. 

“The nice thing with Dion is that he’s a guy that’s proven to be a solid blocker,” Nagy said. “He can be in there and be your Y-tight end, but yet he still has really good hands. He can make plays on intermediate routes. He’s not going to be anybody that’s a downfield threat — I think he knows that, we all know that — but he’s a valuable piece of this puzzle.”