(SportsNetwork.com) – As is always the case lately for the Chicago Bulls, the
playing status for guard Derrick Rose is in question.
Hampered by two sprained ankles, Rose is hoping to return Tuesday against the
Orlando Magic at the United Center and missed Saturday’s 106-105 road win
against the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Rose suffered the sprained ankles in Friday’s 114-108 overtime loss to the
Cleveland Cavaliers and head coach Tom Thibodeau is hoping to have the speedy
guard back soon.
“We’ll see (Tuesday),” Thibodeau said Monday. “He’s better today than he was
The former league MVP has made a grueling return from knee issues and could
rest again with an inferior Orlando squad in town. Bulls forward Taj Gibson
also missed Saturday’s game with an ankle issue of his own and could be back
versus the Magic.
In the victory over the Timberwolves, Jimmy Butler sank two big free throws at
the end of the game and finished with 24 points. Butler was sent to the line
15 times on the night and made 11 foul shots, while Pau Gasol scored 20 points
and Aaron Brooks added 16 off the bench.
“I think it shows how deep we are (and) how hard we play,” Butler said of the
win. “We don’t ever give up. The game is never over until the final buzzer. As
many guys we have do so many things well for this team, when a guy goes down
we hate to see that. We still have to win games.”
The Magic have lost their first three games to a season for the first time
since 2005-06 and last started 0-4 back in 1990-91, when they were 0-6.
Orlando’s losing ways continued with Saturday’s 108-95 setback versus Toronto,
as Evan Fournier posted 18 points, rookie Elfrid Payton tallied 16 points and
nine assists and Nik Vucevic supplied 15 points and 12 boards for Orlando.
“We will step it up offensively,” Magic forward Tobias Harris said.
DeMar DeRozan led six Raptors in double figures with a game-high 26 points.
The Magic will play two straight and seven of their next nine games on the
road, and lost two of three matchups with Chicago last season. The Bulls have
defeated the Magic 11 times in the past 13 tries.
Orlando and Chicago have split the last eight games in the Windy City.