Owners of Chicago Bullstickets would likely see their star guard play again on April 8 when the team visit the New York Knicks. Derrick Rose practiced with the team and took contact for the first time since the injury. He was already a game-time decision in their game against the Boston Celtics.
Derrick Rose has missed the past 12 games for the Chicago Bulls but that has not kept the team from leading the league in terms of the standings. The reigning regular season Most Valuable Player has been bothered by a strained groin, which he suffered in a March 12 game versus the Knicks. During the stretch that Rose missed time with a strained groin, Chicago has gone 8-4. Overall, Rose has already missed 22 games for the season due to various injuries where the Bulls are 15-7.
Chicago is currently holding a 43-13 record, two games ahead of Oklahoma City Thunder for the best record in the league. Despite having their first two-game losing streak for the season with losses to Oklahoma City and Houston Rockets, Chicago has maintained their grip for the best record.
The success of Chicago despite Rose’s absence has people raving about the job that second-year coach Tom Thibodeau has done for the team. Thibodeau, who won the Coach of the Year trophy last season after stirring the team to a 62-20 record, is being considered by many to win the award again this season. No other coach in the history of the league has won it back-to-back but with the way Thibodeau has helped the team maintain the best record, he might at least achieve history. Before their latest win against the Celtics, Chicago has a winning percentage of .764 which is better than the .756 mark they had last year. Their scoring differential is also better this season along with their defensive rating, and offensive rating.
During the season, Rose is not the only player Thibodeau lost due to injury. Richard Hamilton missed 37 games already due to various injuries. All-star Luol Deng also missed some time (nine games) during the season. During Chicago’s first 55 games, Thibodeau has lost 90-man games. In comparison last season, Thibodeau lost 61 man-games for an 82-game season wherein Carlos Boozer and Joakim Noah were injury concerns.
Winning Coach of the Year or not, Thibodeau would be definitely be getting a contract extension from the Bulls management. Thibodeau signed a three-year deal with Chicago prior to the 2010-2011 season, wherein the third year is a team option. With the success of Thibodeau on the sidelines, a more lucrative contract awaits him. According to General Manager Gar Forman, negotiation for the contract extension already started before the season and the talks would resume when the season is already over. There were reports though that the associates of Thibodeau are not happy with the lack of lucrative extension but he has already downplayed the story.
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