Bulls being cautious with Rose
CHICAGO – The wait continued for Bulls point guard Derrick Rose on Thursday.
Rose, 23, missed his 12th consecutive game against the Boston Celtics despite participating in a full practice a day earlier. Fifth-year veteran C.J. Watson started in place of Rose, who has not played since he injured his groin March 12 against the New York Knicks.
Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said a long-term outlook was important with Rose. It’s likely that Rose will be a game-time decision Sunday when the Bulls visit the Knicks.
“You just want to make sure,” Thibodeau said. “At this point in the season, you’re cautious. … He has to be healthy. We’re not going to rush him back just to get him back.”
Rose admitted Wednesday that he was not sure whether he could recover fully from his groin injury this season or be forced to play through some pain until the offseason.
Until Rose returns, nobody will know the answer to that question.
“Hopefully, he’ll be fully recovered,” Thibodeau said. “We’re not going to take any chances with him, and that goes for all of our players.”
Big endorsement: Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers could be a candidate for the NBA’s coach of the year award if his team continues to win, but he would vote for someone else.
Rivers said Thursday that he believed that Thibodeau deserved the award.
“Yeah, I do,” Rivers said. “I think ‘Thibs’ and [San Antonio Spurs coach] Gregg Popovich. … Those would be my two guys.”
Thibodeau won the league’s coach of the year award last season after he guided the Bulls to a 62-20 record in his first season at the helm. He worked alongside Rivers as an assistant coach with the Celtics from 2007-10.
Familiar face: The Bulls signed veteran guard Mike James for the remainder of the season.
James, 36, averaged 5.4 points and 3.1 assists a game in eight appearances with the Bulls earlier this season. He signed three 10-day contracts prior to rejoining the team.
“We liked what he brought to our team before,” Thibodeau said. “He gives us the flexibility to play two point guards. He has size. He has veteran experience. He knows what he’s doing. He’s just more of an insurance policy.”
Bulls bits: Actor Bill Murray, who threw out the first pitch at the Cubs’ home opener Thursday, capped his evening by attending the Bulls’ game. … The Bulls have averaged 5.8 blocks a game this season.