If there was a sign that read “Days without a Derrick Rose missed game in 2016’’ it might have to be flipped back to zero.
While first-year coach Fred Hoiberg said that the tendinitis in the right hamstring of Rose was improving, it didn’t sound like the Bulls would chance it with the point guard against New York.
“Derrick, he’s still got some soreness in his hamstring,’’ Hoiberg said, following the Friday morning shootaround. “We’ll monitor him throughout the day, warm him up tonight, and see how he is. But he’s better than he was the other night, but still has some soreness in that hamstring.
“We’ll be cautious with it like we always are, but again, he has made progress from where he was the other night, and we’ll see what happens throughout the day.’’
Rose had only missed three regular-season games this season, first with an ankle injury on the West Coast trip back in late November, and now with the hamstring, but he was also coming off a really good three-game stretch this week.
So will this be a major setback for the point guard when he does return?
Hoiberg didn’t see it that way.
“No, I don’t think so,’’ Hoiberg said. “Conditioning, he’s in a lot better spot. I mean even when he missed those couple games [on West Coast trip] earlier in the year when he sprained his ankle against Indiana, he was having a great game, missed a couple, but he’s in a lot better spot right now than he was earlier in the year, especially from a conditioning standpoint. So if he does … see what happens tonight, but if he does miss a couple games – he’s coming off his first back-to-back 20-point games of the season, so he’s got some confidence going right now.
“He’s going to keep working, and again, I just think that his wind is in a lot better position than he was earlier in the season.’’