Chicago point guard Derrick Rose is a game-time decision for Sunday's game against the Thunder, Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau told Chicago reporters Saturday.
Many believe Rose, however, will miss his 10th straight game with a groin injury. If the 2009 Rookie of the Year and reigning league MVP is unable to go, it will put a slight damper on a matchup of conference leaders and two of the game's top point guards.
“It's not tempting at all,” Rose is quoted as saying. “Where I'm worried (is) about my health right now. I think any ballplayer would want to play against a (team) like (Oklahoma City). But every game has been tempting. I just haven't been able to play.”
Rose is friends with Thunder guard Russell Westbrook, and Westbrook said he'd be bummed if Rose is ruled out.
“It definitely bums me out when a guy's hurt and not able to compete,” Westbrook said. “I know Derrick. He wants to compete. If he's able to play, he will play. Hopefully he feels better.”
Westbrook declined to compare and contrast his game with Rose's.
“But me and Derrick are good friends,” Westbrook said. “We've been working out for the last four or five summers since the draft. We definitely have similar games and we do different things for our teams.”
BULLS STILL GOOD WITHOUT ROSE
Even without Rose, the Bulls have been a problem for opponents for much of the season. Chicago is 14-5 without its All-Star point guard, who ranks seventh in the league in scoring at 22.8 points per game.
“Rose is one of the best players in the league,” said Thunder coach Scott Brooks. “You give that team a lot of credit because they've overcome a lot of games without him. And coach Thibs is a great coach. They kind of have that same mentality. There's no excuses. You've got a job to do no matter who's on the floor … They are one of the hardest playing teams in basketball on both ends of the floor. You will see that (Sunday).”
WINNING AGAINST GOOD TEAMS
The most grueling stretch of the season isn't over yet for the Thunder.