The Bulls are routing the New Jersey Nets in Newark, N.J. tonight, but the news isn't all good. Derrick Rose has back spasms and will not return.
Rose picked up two early fouls -- the second one an offensive foul and went out of the game with 9:14 left in the first quarter and the Bulls leading 9-2. Rose returned with 10:38 left in the second quarter and went back to the bench with 2:54 left in the first half.
Rose scored four points on 2-of-3 shooting, with no assists, no steals and two turnovers.
The back issue, which has hampered Rose from time to time throughout his career, flared up in Milwaukee when he missed much of the second quarter while he was having his back treated by assistant trainer Jeff Tanaka. He returned to that game and did not appear to be significantly affected by the back problem.
He downplayed the injury at the time.
''My back tends to get tight a little bit, that's why my shots were kind of flat,'' he said after the Bucks game. ''I know [with] the day off [Sunday], I'll get my back worked on and that should be out of the way quick. It just got tight on me. That can easily go away.''
The Bulls practiced on Sunday at the Berto Center and coach Tom Thibodeau said Rose was able to participate in ''most of practice.'' The Bulls cancelled their Monday morning shootaround in New Jersey.
Thibodeau acknowledge Rose's back was a minor issue prior to the game but had no concerns about him being able to play. He did start but played just 11 minutes of a blowout.
Backup C.J. Watson replaced Rose on the court. He scored six points and had two assists to spark an 18-6 run that gave the Bulls a 27-8 lead.