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posted: 11/13/2013 8:05 PM

Rose injury further stalling Bulls' progress

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  • Derrick Rose, driving past Cleveland's Kyrie Irving during Monday's victory over the Cavaliers, did not practice Wednesday as he nurses a hamstring injury.

    Derrick Rose, driving past Cleveland's Kyrie Irving during Monday's victory over the Cavaliers, did not practice Wednesday as he nurses a hamstring injury.
    Associated Press


Derrick Rose is listed as day to day with a sore right hamstring.

Well, Wednesday wasn't that day. Rose did not practice and was out of sight by the time reporters were allowed in the gym at the Berto Center.

Coach Tom Thibodeau gave the standard update -- Rose is feeling better, we'll see where he is tomorrow. Rose did not get an MRI exam, which might be a good sign, but there's really no telling whether he will be ready to play Friday when the Bulls visit Toronto.

If Rose doesn't play, the Bulls will turn to veteran Kirk Hinrich, who started 60 games last season while Rose recovered from ACL surgery.

Like most of the Bulls, Hinrich is not off to a great start this season, averaging 7.3 points and 4.0 assists while shooting less than 40 percent from the field. Taj Gibson usually plays with Hinrich on the second unit and gave a positive review.

"So much knowledge, so much patience, not shy about taking a big shot," Gibson said of Hinrich. "It's great to have him out there with the second unit because he knows so much and he's never panicking. He always gets guys in the right spots at the right times."

The Bulls got a rare three-day break this week, between beating Cleveland on Monday and visiting Toronto. Their team chemistry and outside shooting has room for improvement, but they had to work without Rose on Wednesday.

Another backcourt player trying to get going is Jimmy Butler. He's averaging a respectable 10.5 points on the season but shooting 39.6 percent overall and 25 percent from 3-point range (5 for 20). During the playoffs last season Butler was better than 40 percent from long range.

"Jimmy just has to play to his strengths -- that's defend, run the floor, move without the ball," Thibodeau said. "I think he's gotten some real good looks. He's put a lot of time into his shooting, I don't want him to lose sight of the things he already does well."

Victories over Utah and Cleveland brought the Bulls even at 3-3. Their shooting accuracy leaves plenty to be desired, but the defense is coming around. The Bulls rank second in the league in points allowed (91.0) and third in defensive field-goal percentage (.412).

So defensive-minded players such as Hinrich and Butler have paid dividends. Carlos Boozer is the only player on the roster off to a good start offensively. Injuries that keep players away from practice could slow down the process of getting things right.

"Whatever your circumstances are, you make the best of those," Thibodeau said. "So it gives other guys an opportunity to get some work in and that's the way we'll approach it."

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