Gasol, Noah come to Rose's defense

 
 
Updated 11/14/2014 7:19 PM
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  • Derrick Rose is questionable for tonight's game against Indiana.

    Derrick Rose is questionable for tonight's game against Indiana. Associated Press

First, the nuts and bolts: Derrick Rose has a left hamstring strain, suffered late in Thursday's win at Toronto.

He did not have an MRI exam, he did participate somewhat in Friday's light practice at the Advocate Center, but mostly worked on the stationary bike and treadmill.

He's officially listed as questionable for Saturday's game against Indiana. There's no doubt the Bulls would like to end Rose's run of nagging injuries, so it seems likely he'll sit out against the Pacers with a challenging circus road trip on tap for next week.

"There's no set plan, other than what you would normally do if someone tweaks something," coach Tom Thibodeau said. "If something happens, you send him to the trainer. Let the trainer do his job. (Head trainer) Jeff Tanaka, I have a lot of faith in to make a good decision. And we go from there."

The other storyline that continues to roll are opinions of Rose's "son's graduation" comments earlier this week. Rose said the reason he sits out games is so he won't limp into his son's graduation or business meetings years from now.

Charles Barkley called the comments "flat-out stupid" during Thursday's TNT broadcast, saying it's insulting to people who work just as hard for minimal wages and military personnel who risk their lives.

On Friday, teammate Pau Gasol came to Rose's defense.

"The good thing is he should feel comfortable with us and our team," Gasol said. "Everyone has his back. We want the best for him because that's going to be the best for our team. It would be nice if people can lay off him a little bit and let him be and let him play. Let him enjoy the game and compete and not put pressure on him."

Gasol's plea for Rose was mild compared to Joakim Noah's dissertation on the topic following the 100-93 victory at Toronto.

"It's just frustrating because I feel sometimes he's portrayed as something he's not," Noah told reporters in the locker room. "You don't come back from the injuries he's coming back from without unbelievable commitment."

Noah talked about the power of the media, but no one asked Rose if he's sitting out now so he won't limp later in life. Rose went in that odd direction all on his own when he spoke after practice Tuesday.

And it was a dumb thing to say. Barkley made several valid points. At the same time, it was obvious Rose missed four games this season because he needed to rest a pair of sprained ankles. He's shown remarkable commitment when his career was rolling and now coming back from two knee surgeries.

Rose's actions don't match his words, but the words are what drew attention this week.

"I just don't want to see him down," Noah added. "I know sometimes it's frustrating -- you've got injuries, you've got tweaks. Every time something happens to him, people act like it's the end of the world. And that's so bleeping lame to me. Relax.

"OK, he's coming back from two crazy surgeries. Obviously we're being conservative with him and when things aren't right, he's got to listen to his body more than anyone else.

"So everybody needs to chill the (bleep) out. I mean, I'm sorry for cursing, but I'm really passionate. I don't like to see him down. I don't like it when people portray him and judge him, because it's not fair to him. It's not."

Noah also acknowledged the Bulls need Rose to be healthy. Right now, he's not, so it's bound to be news.

With about two minutes left in Thursday's game, Rose tried to drive into the lane. He planted his left foot, slipped, turned his ankle slightly and then stumbled to the floor with a couple of awkward steps. He walked slowly to the bench and put on his warm-up shirt, knowing his night was over.

Rose was in good spirits after the game, though. So there is no reason to think this injury is serious, but the Bulls don't want it to get worse, either.

"We've played a lot of games without Derrick," Thibodeau said. "Hopefully, we have him back now. But if someone is out, we expect the next guy to get the job done. That's why you have 14 guys on a roster."

And a couple of trainers.

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