Joakim Noah: It’s November — Way too early to fret about Rose

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Amid premature but growing concerns that this might be another season without Derrick Rose in full bloom, Joakim Noah provided calming spiritual guidance on the West Side Saturday.

“It’s November. . . It’s No-vember,’’ Noah—as in Yoda—said slowly, while smiling wisely.

The sub-text: Nobody ever won anything at this point in the NBA season. Better to let injuries heal up rather than risk having them linger.

The concerns won’t go away, though. Rose sat out Saturday night with a left-hamstring injury, incurred near the end of the Bulls’ 100-93 victory in Toronto on Thursday.

“It’s day-to-day,’’ coach Tom Thibodeau said. “Derrick is a lot better today than he was yesterday. If he needs time, we’re going to give him time. We just have to be patient.’’

Thibodeau declined to speculate on when the Bulls, who begin a seven-game road trip against the Clippers in L.A. on Monday, might have Rose back.

BACKUPS STEP UP: The play of backup point guards Kirk Hinrich and Aaron Brooks has made patience with Rose’s injuries as easily done as said.

“The thing I love about the team is, Hinrich’s been great as a starter and Brooks has been great playing big minutes. A lot of guys have been stepping in.’’

Hinrich and Brooks have helped the Bulls get off to a 7-3 start despite Rose’s injury-riddled start, which has been hampered by ankle sprains and a hamstring in his return from major knee surgery.

“That’s why it’s a team,’’ Thibs said. “We understand that Derrick coming back is of big interest to a lot of people. But we have a lot of guys playing very well. The thing I don’t want to get lost in it are the guys that are doing a great job.’’

With Noah also coming off off-season knee surgery, that group is led by Jimmy Butler and Pau Gasol, who have been rock-solid.

“We probably haven’t talked about Jimmy [Butler] enough,’’ Thibodeau said. “Jimmy’s been terrific on both ends. He and Pau [Gasol] are leading the way for us right now. Joa [Joakim Noah] is coming on, getting stronger and stronger. He and Pau are developing chemistry. There’s a lot of good stuff going on with the team.’’


* Gasol notched his 3,000th assist against Indiana. He’s one of six NBA players who have 16,000 points, 8,000 rebounds, 3,000 assists and 1,500 blocks. He joins a stellar group—Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Hakeem Olajuwon, Shaquille O’Neal, Kevin Garnett and Tim Duncan.

* The Bulls now put their 5-0 road record to a serious test. They begin a seven-game trip, their longest of the season, against the Clippers in L.A. on Monday. The last time they won their first six road games was in 1996-97. That team finished 69-13, including 30-11 on the road, and notched one of its six Jordan-era titles.

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