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updated: 1/19/2012 8:43 PM

Rose's status unclear for Cleveland game

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  • Coach Tom Thibodeau walked the Bulls through a practice Thursday, only the third one since the season began on Christmas.

    Coach Tom Thibodeau walked the Bulls through a practice Thursday, only the third one since the season began on Christmas.
    Associated Press


The Bulls ran through practice at the Berto Center on Thursday while Derrick Rose sat on the sideline resting his sprained left toe.

Now, which of those items is bigger news?

Rose skipped the last two games due to the toe injury and was expected to rest through the team's two off-days.

Coach Tom Thibodeau couldn't say whether or not Rose will play today at Cleveland.

"He's feeling a little better," Thibodeau said. "We'll see how it goes tomorrow. The swelling is down, so that's a good sign.

"The doctors have said basically it's a sprain and it's a pain tolerance thing. Once the swelling goes down and he can tolerate the pain, then he can play."

On the other hand, practice has been a rare occurrence during the lockout-shortened season. Since the season began on Dec. 25, this was the Bulls' third actual practice in a span of 26 days.

"Can't beat it," Thibodeau said with a laugh. "Our guys were great. They came in with a great spirit to them, coming off a day off. They were really good today."

Through Wednesday's action, the Bulls (13-3) had played more games than any other NBA team and also carried the league's best record.

The busy schedule is the overwhelming reason for the lack of practice.

They had one at the Golden State Warriors' facility in Oakland on Dec. 28, then another at the Berto Center on Jan. 2.

"It felt good to be at the Berto again," Joakim Noah said. "It wasn't too grueling or anything like that. Just a mental practice."

Not every player was feeling sentimental about being back on the practice court.

"I'd rather play in games than practice," C.J. Watson said. "I like the schedule."

Considering the busy schedule, high number of road games and injuries to Rose, Watson and Richard Hamilton, the Bulls have reason to feel good about their fast start.

After facing the Cavs today, the Bulls will have played 11 road games. They'll follow that with four straight at home before embarking on a monster nine-game "ice show" road trip.

Thibodeau talked about the challenges posed by scarce practice time. Most of the team's adjustments have been made in shootarounds or film sessions.

"The hardest thing is you can't (practice) too long," Thibodeau said.

"There are a lot of things you want to work on, that need to be worked on, but we don't have the time. So you have to prioritize the things you want to get done.

"The things that need the most work, start there and tomorrow we'll maybe address one of the other areas. Some things you can address in a film session, some things in a shootaround and some things are best discussed through regular practice. We did a little bit of everything today."

Thibodeau suggested offensive timing and spacing are some of the prime topics that can only be addressed at a full practice. The Bulls are coming off their best offensive performance of the season, with 118 points against Phoenix on Tuesday.

• Follow Mike's Bulls reports via Twitter @McGrawDHBulls, and check out his All Bull blog at

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