This time, a real sore spot
Back keeps Rose from facing rival
Derrick Rose was a game-time decision in the Bulls’ previous stop in Boston with a foot injury. He played and dominated in the Bulls’ 88-79 win Jan. 13, taking control in the fourth quarter, compensating for his injury with stunning athleticism.
He was not so fortunate yesterday in Boston’s 95-91 win at the Garden. After missing Friday night’s victory over the Bobcats because of a sore back, Rose attempted to give it a go yesterday but his body didn’t allow it. He declared himself out and said he is scheduled to see a specialist today in Chicago.
The Bulls just finished a nine-game road trip and host the Celtics again Thursday. Rose’s status for that game is uncertain, and the injury appears more than minor.
“It hurts, it definitely hurts missing games like this,’’ Rose said. “[The Celtics] are someone we’re going to have to go through. We can’t go around them. It’s a big game, period, when you play against Boston. You know you are going to get their best.’’
Rose said he almost couldn’t walk before a recent game in New Orleans, although he managed to play 22 minutes.
“Just a pain, like when I first get out there, I’m kinda warm and it seems like when the game picks up, it just gets real tight and that’s when the pain kicks in,’’ he said. “If the pain wasn’t there and it was just stiffness, I’d be out there playing. But once the pain comes in, there’s nothing I can do.
“It hasn’t hurt me since high school, that’s what scared me about it. I don’t really know what’s going on, so tomorrow I will get some answers.’’
Rose was replaced by C.J. Watson, who scored 22 points with 6 assists and 2 rebounds. But he also attempted a game-high 23 shots and missed what he thought was a potential tying 3-pointer with 22.5 seconds left. Watson thought he’d taken a three, but replays showed his foot was on the line. Regardless, the Bulls couldn’t come all the way back after trailing, 86-72, with 5:08 left.
“C.J., he makes those shots, so I’m not going to second-guess that,’’ Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said. “I want him to be aggressive and he was and if it’s there and if there’s not another option to it, I didn’t have a problem with that. We were down timeouts because we had to burn them to try to stem the tide for a while.’’
Bass out 10 days
Celtics coach Doc Rivers got word yesterday morning that the right knee soreness that has been bothering Brandon Bass flared up, and Bass will miss at least 10 days. That robs the Celtics of their best reserve scorer.
Bass missed the Feb. 5 win over the Grizzlies but returned to play in the next three games, averaging 10.3 points and five rebounds. He played 30 minutes Friday night against Toronto, showing no ill effects from the swollen knee.
Trainer Ed Lacerte informed Rivers of Bass’s status just before the game.
“His knee swelled up,’’ Rivers said. “After the [Toronto] game there was really nothing said. That was a surprise.’’
Center Jermaine O’Neal missed his second consecutive game with a sore left shoulder and Rivers said his status is game-to-game. “Shoulder, knee, age,’’ Rivers said.
Chris Wilcox started in O’Neal’s place and scored 11 points with nine rebounds in 26 minutes. Wilcox was productive despite early foul trouble, capitalizing on running the floor with Rajon Rondo.
“Yeah, that’s what I’ve got to do, night in, night out, just got to keep on running, keep getting aggressive,’’ he said. “And I think that’s one of the advantages I do have with a lot of guys - I do run the floor well and that’s what I’ve got to keep doing to help this team win. And that’s what I’m willing to do.
Keyon Dooling returned to the lineup after missing 16 of the past 17 games with a sore knee and hip pointer. He was scoreless in nine minutes . . . Sasha Pavlovic (sore left wrist) was activated but did not play . . . Rivers said he convinced Thibodeau, his former assistant, to take the Bulls job during the 2010 NBA Finals after Thibodeau had interviewed for the Hornets opening. Rivers told Thibodeau not to pass up coaching Rose.
Gary Washburn can be reached at email@example.com.