Putting the Playoff Pieces Together

The Chicago Bulls have been missing some key starters for quite a few months now, their “Bench Mob” has been holding their own on the court, but it looks like they may soon be full strength again, or at least a bit closer.

Hopefully we will be seeing ex-Piston Rip Hamilton suit up against Detroit during tonight’s game. After this morning’s shoot around practice coach Tom Thibodeau said Hamilton participated in the entire practice, that he would be a game time decision, but CSNChicago.com reported, “A source with knowledge of the situation told CSNChicago.com Friday afternoon that the 13-year pro, who last played in the opening minutes of a March 5 home win over Indiana, will return to the lineup Friday evening against the Pistons at the United Center.”

The real question is, when is our reigning MVP Derrick Rose going to be healthy again? Chicago obviously wants him completely recovered – no need to re-injure the nasty groin injury – but we also don’t want him coming off the bench cold turkey for the playoffs. After this morning’s shoot around he told Comcast Sportsnet Chicago, “There’s not too much to say. I’m trying to get better every day, just trying to get healthy. It’s coming along, so hopefully I’ll be out there soon,” he explained. “It’s killing me. Just being out, missing the action, some good games have been played, but really taking my injury into concern. I’m not trying to rush back, where if I do rush back too early, I could re-injure it, so just taking my time.” Rose participated in part of this morning’s shoot around practice.

Found this fun little statistical chart on CSNChicago.com. You have to give head coach Thibodeau major props for ingraining a suffocating defensive strategy. The Bulls are 13-5 without their star player. We will only get better with a healthy Hamilton and Rose.

Season Reigning MVP GM missed  Team W-L  Head Coach
 1993-94  Charles Barkley, PHX  17  8-9  Paul Westphal
 1994-95  Hakeem Olajuwon, HOU  10  3-7  Rudy Tomjanovich
 2001-02  Allen Iverson, PHI  22  7-15  Larry Brown
 2003-04  Tim Duncan, SA  13  6-7  Gregg Popovich
 2011-12  Derrick Rose, CHI  18  13-5  Tom Thibodeau

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