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Coach Tom Thibodeau still won’t tip hand when talking about Derrick Rose

Bulls center Joakim Noah blocks shot then steals ball from Bobcats center Bismack Biyombo second quarter Chicago Bulls-Charlotte Bobcats NBA

Bulls center Joakim Noah blocks a shot and then steals the ball from Bobcats center Bismack Biyombo in the second quarter of the Chicago Bulls-Charlotte Bobcats NBA game Monday January 28, 2013 at the United Center. | Tom Cruze~Sun-Times

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Updated: January 28, 2013 11:40PM



News about Derrick Rose continued to be handed out cautiously Monday, as it remained evident coach Tom Thibodeau is in complete control of the message.

Asked if there were any restrictions on Rose in practice, Thibodeau said, ‘‘He’s doing fine,’’ again showing his ability to duck and weave.

What Thibodeau would discuss is how the Bulls have been getting Rose into the mix with the first-teamers while making sure Kirk Hinrich still gets his work in with them, too.

‘‘[Rose has] already done a lot in terms of that in practice,’’ Thibodeau said. ‘‘That’s not going to be an issue. We have a good group of guys, so we actually bring guys in early before practice to go through stuff. They all — some first-team guys, some second-team guys — play different positions, so it adds a lot of versatility to our team.’’

In other words, if Rose wants to get in some extra work to test the surgically repaired torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee, his teammates are there to provide it, even if it means showing up early for practice.

The Bulls have four games this week, so practice time might be hard to come by. But Thibodeau wouldn’t say whether Rose was participating in five-on-five full scrimmages yet.

‘‘At this time of the season, you’re doing things more half-court,’’ Thibodeau said. ‘‘But you also have the opportunity to do things before practice with guys that need work, so in some ways it’s good. Some guys need the work, so it’s good for those guys and it’s good for Derrick.’’

Rondo effect

The Eastern Conference landscape changed a bit during the weekend, with the Boston Celtics learning point guard Rajon Rondo will miss the rest of the season with a torn ACL in his right knee.

Thibodeau, who was an assistant with the Celtics before becoming the Bulls’ coach, reached out to
Rondo with some encouraging words.

‘‘As a team, they’re still going to be very dangerous,’’ Thibodeau said of the Celtics. ‘‘If you overlook them, you’re making a big mistake. In terms of how I feel about Rajon, he’s a true superstar and a great guy.’’

First-timer

Charlotte Bobcats coach Mike Dunlap was a surprise coaching candidate for the Bulls in 2008 before they settled on Vinny Del Negro.

‘‘I’m surprised to hear from my wife, let alone the Bulls,’’ said Dunlap, who was an assistant with the Denver Nuggets at the time. ‘‘I was pretty happy about it. They were really kind to me. They asked me my name, they asked me my age, then said, ‘You’re out of here!’

‘‘No, it was a good experience.’’



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