Derrick Rose increased his activity level during a light practice at the Berto Center on Friday, according to coach Tom Thibodeau, who has yet to rule his star point guard out for Sunday afternoon's game against the Nets.
"We'll see how he feels," Thibodeau said of Rose. "This is the first time he's done more activity."
Rose, who has missed four straight games will back spasms, will have to clear two hurdles before he returns to the court.
"If he's feeling good he should play," Thibodeau said. "If he's not feeling good he shouldn't. He has to be cleared medically first. We want him to be pain free. Those are the two things we're looking at. Each day he has gotten better, he's done more. We're just going step by step."
Thibodeau said the Nets 8-23 record will have no impact on whether Rose plays. The Bulls host the 19-11 Hawks on Monday afternoon.
"That decision shouldn't be based on what may be perceived as an opponent's record," he said. "Lots of times when you look at a team their record may not be an indication of how good they are. They may have had injuries themselves. They might be playing well."
In other news, Rip Hamilton was running from halfcourt and practicing his pull-up jumpers and also simulating coming off screens and shooting after practice. Hamilton has missed 10 games with a thigh injury and 20 overall.
"He did a little more today, too," Thibodeau said of Hamilton. "He did some shooting. That was a good sign. He still has a long way to go but he's feeling a lot better."