Chicago Sun-Times

Bulls-Sixers: Game 2 preview

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Coach Tom Thibodeau still doesn't know if Derrick Rose will be at the United Center for Tuesday night's Game 3 against the Sixers.

"We're leaving it up to him," Thibodeau said. "As soon as he's ready to be around, obviously, we want him to be here."

Thibodeau continued to tell his players and the media that nothing changes in Game 2 even though Rose will miss the remainder of the postseason with a torn anterior cruciate ligament suffered late in the Bulls' Game 1 victory.

Thibodeau has used the same approach all season and he's not going to change now.

"You begin your season thinking about all the things you're going to need for the end of the season," he said. "You have to be building those habits all season long. If you're starting to build those habits now you're in trouble. Hopefully, we've built those habits. How we prepared should not change. The things we need to get accomplished in the game is not going to change and everybody knowing what they're supposed to do is not going to change. We feel if we do those things we can win."

C.J. Watson will start in place of Rose tonight. Watson has started 25 games during the regular season. Thibodeau said whether John Lucas III or Mike James is the second point guard off the bench will be a game-time decision.

"It has helped a lot not just for me but the whole team," Watson said when asked if he will benefit from playing so much in Rose's absence this season. "We have confidence we can make big shots and play big minutes even with Derrick out. We've also been able to win games with Derrick out so it's nothing new for us."

The Bulls scored 103 points in Game 1 and are now 23-0 this season when scoring 100 or more points.

"Offensively I liked the way we played," Thibodeau said of Game 1. "We scored a lot. The ball was moving. We need to take better care of the ball. If you turn the ball over against them it puts them in the open floor. Taking care of the ball is a big priority for us. Defensively, they have a lot of guys who can initiate offense for them. You have to be down and ready. We have to keep our feet moving. We have to challenge shots and rebounds."

Elton Brand was 8 of 15 from the floor for a team-high 19 points for the Sixers. The former Bull also had seven rebounds.

"You're talking about a guy who has accomplished a lot in this league," Thibodeau said of Brand. "He can shoot the ball, he can post the ball, he's tough on the offensive boards, a skilled playmaker. There are a lot of things he brings to the table. Because of all the things we have to do with guys off the dribble, too, we have to make sure we're getting back to his body. He's a tough matchup."

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This page contains a single entry by Neil Hayes published on May 1, 2012 12:31 PM.

Derrick Rose's Olympic dream could be over --- forever was the previous entry in this blog.

76ers see Kyle Korver as offensive key for Bulls is the next entry in this blog.

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