As anniversaries go, this wasn't one to celebrate, but it's nice for Bulls fans to know nine months have passed since Derrick Rose suffered a torn ACL in his left knee late in a playoff game against Philadelphia last April 28.
Rose has returned to practice, apparently with no restrictions, but he's not expected to return to game action for at least a couple of weeks.
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"He's already done a lot in terms of working into practice," coach Tom Thibodeau said before Monday's game. "We've got a good group of guys. We bring a lot of guys in early to go through stuff. Some first-team guys, some second-team guys."
Even though the Bulls aren't doing much scrimmaging in practice at midseason, they are creating some opportunities for Rose to get some work.
"At this time of the season you're doing things more in the half-court," Thibodeau said.
"But you also have the opportunity to do things before practice with guys who need work. Obviously, the guys that are playing heavy minutes, you're not going to do as much with them and you tend to stay with more non-contact stuff. But some guys need the work, so it's good for those guys and it's good for Derrick."
Bulls eyed Charlotte coach:
Mike Dunlap was still relatively unknown when hired to be head coach of the Charlotte Bobcats last summer. But the Bulls gave him an interview back in 2008 before eventually hiring Vinny Del Negro.
Dunlap was a Denver Nuggets assistant at the time and two years removed from a job as head coach at Division II Metro State in Denver.
"Yeah, I'm surprised to hear from my wife, let alone the Bulls," Dunlap said Monday. "I was pretty happy about it. It was a great interview. They were really kind to me. They asked me my name, they asked me my age, then they said, 'You're out of here.'
"No, it was a good experience. (Bulls executive John) Paxson and crew really put me through the paces on the white board. It was a precursor maybe for the interview with Charlotte because I knew what to expect by then."
Grilling by Paxson:
Bobcats coach Mike Dunlap added more details about what the Bulls asked of him during that 2008 job interview in Denver.
"Three hours (on the white board drawing up strategies)," he said. "I brought a white towel and then the white towel was not so white at the end. It was a really good experience. As you know, they have a winning tradition here and the folks there asked pointed questions. I looked at it as a grad school class in three hours."
Any breaks to get a drink of water or study his notes?
"No, not at all," he answered. "They grilled me and they just kept the heat on. It was a very positive experience and it was very surprising at that time. I think, really, they came in and it was very conversational and it was because of who was in there."
The Bulls will play their next six games on the road, as Disney on Ice moves into the United Center. … Since Dec. 31, when Charlotte snapped an 18-game losing streak at the UC, the Bulls had gone 10-4 and the Bobcats 3-9 heading into Monday's action.