PHILADELPHIA — Chicago Bulls swingman Jimmy Butler(Jimmy Butler Jersey) will play in Thursday night’s game against the Philadelphia 76ers, according to Bulls head coach Fred Hoiberg, but point guard Derrick Rose will sit out because of left knee patellar tendinitis.
“I feel good,” Rose said before the game. “I feel good, just trying to be smart about the situation. [I] could go tonight, but thinking about the back to back and who we play [Friday]. Give it a chance tomorrow, for sure I’ll be playing tomorrow, but tonight I felt like I didn’t have that burst that I needed to play with.
Butler did not go through Thursday’s shootaround because of a right-ankle sprain. Rose did take part in the shootaround but decided against playing. Rose said he is confident he will be ready for Friday’s game against the Dallas Mavericks.
“Every day, every day [the knee's] getting a lot better,” Rose said. “So the smart thing about if I was to go out and try to play tonight, depending on the game, like why go out there and tweak something when I could play tomorrow, then be able to play next week when the big games are there. So [I'm] just trying to be smart about it.”
Pau Gasol, who is dealing with a strained right shoulder and sore Achilles tendons, did not travel with the Bulls to Philadelphia. Hoiberg said he is hopeful he will be able to play on Friday night against the Dallas Mavericks. Joakim Noah, who continues to deal with some soreness in his left shoulder after missing almost a month because of a slight tear in the joint, will start in Gasol’s place on Thursday night.
“My mindset doesn’t change,” Noah said. “I just want to go out there. We’ve lost a couple in a row now. Just trying to get back on the winning page.”
Doug McDermott, who has a right-ankle sprain, went through shootaround and will play.
Rose participated in warm-ups before the game to see how he was feeling. He said he did not have to get an MRI on Wednesday after leaving Tuesday’s game late in the fourth quarter in a loss to Milwaukee. He acknowledged that he still has a little pain and soreness in his knee but only when he pushes off.
Thursday’s game marks the sixth that Rose has missed this season. He missed three consecutive games two weeks ago because of a sore right knee and a sore right hamstring. Rose explained his mindset regarding all the injuries after Thursday’s shootaround and said he knew he would have to deal with lingering aches and pains coming into the year.
“Of course. That’s all part of the process,” Rose said. “Coming into the season I was just trying to play as many games as possible. Next year, that’s when I throw in my individual goals and all that, but it’s all about just getting a solid season under my belt, playing hard in the playoffs whenever we get there, but along the way just being smart and really taking care of my body and pushing my teammates to be better.”