Derrick Rose will see a specialist Monday for back spasms he’s had for weeks. Wait, what?

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Derrick Rose missed Sunday’s game against the Bulls with back spasms he’s been dealing with. But the bigger concern may be why they haven’t gone away. So Rose will be seeing a specialist on Monday, he told reporters before Chicago’s game against Boston. Via CSN Chicago:

Rose will see a specialist Monday when the Bulls return to Chicago, but wouldn’t speculate on whether he’d play in the team’s next game, Tuesday against Sacramento at the United Center.

“Probably go see some people tomorrow, have them look at it. But I don’t know yet,” he said. “I can’t say I’m going to be out. If I feel good tomorrow, I’m definitely going to play then, but I don’t know yet.”

Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau, who started C.J. Watson in Rose’s place, indicated that the organization would be cautious with Rose.

“It’s not cleared up as much as we would like right now. He still has a little bit of stiffness, so we decided it’s better to sit him out of this one,” he said. “Once we get back home, we’ll have a chance to go see a specialist and we’ll go from there.

“Well, you’re always concerned. It’s something that he’s had before. He had it when he was in high school, so we’re hopeful it gets cleared up shortly, but we want to make sure.

via Rose out vs. Celtics, will see specialist Monday.

So that’s not good. Rose is pivotal to the Bulls’ chances, but at least they’re invested in getting him right for the playoffs. The rest of the team is good enough behind Tom Thibodeau’s defense to sustain without Rose, and having him healthy for the playoffs needs to be the priority. So this is a good move.

But where was it a few weeks ago when Rose was dealing with various injuries including an ankle issue? Here was a particularly interesting quote from CSN Chicago:

“It was the whole trip, but I just played through it. The more I played through it, it tended to get worse after every game. At the time, I was really worried about it, but just tried to stay positive and hopefully I’ll be all right.

via Rose out vs. Celtics, will see specialist Monday.

Am I the only who, if my MVP was having the sniffles, if he had any hitch in his giddy-up, if he had Carpal Tunnel, I would keep him out as long as I had a top five seed in the East? This is a season about survival. It got worse every game… and yet he’s playing. And not just playing, playing heavy minutes.

There’s trusting your player, and there’s doing what’s best for your team. Rose needs to go down for a long stretch of time to get completely healthy. The Bulls are gambling with chips they’re going to need in three months.

Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook go head-to-head, literally (video)

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This sure didn’t look like just another game for Kevin Durant – and not only because the Thunder beat the Warriors for the first time since he left.

The 108-91 Oklahoma City victory didn’t look like just another game for Russell Westbrook (34 points, 10 rebounds, nine assists and four steals), either.

Harrison Barnes banks in game-winning, buzzer-beating 3-pointer (video)

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With the shot clock off in the fourth quarter and the game tied, Grizzlies big JaMychal Green put back Tyreke Evans‘ miss with a clutch flush. There’s a very fine line between ensuring the last shot and leaving time for an offensive rebound, and Memphis threated it almost perfectly.

Emphasis on “almost.”

The Grizzlies left the Mavericks 0.5 seconds, which Harrison Barnes used to bank in a 3-pointer – off a pinpoint bounce pass by Dennis Smith Jr. – to give Dallas a 95-94 win.

Heat snap Celtics’ 16-game winning streak

AP Photo/Lynne Sladky
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The Celtics didn’t have another comeback in them.

After overcoming a 13-point fourth-quarter deficit against the Mavericks on Monday to extend its winning streak to 16 games, Boston lost to the Heat tonight, 104-98. The streak ends as the NBA’s longest since the Hawks won 19 straight during the 2014-15 season.

The Celtics trailed Miami by 16 in the fourth quarter then cut the deficit to only one with three minutes left. But Dion Waiters hit back-to-back 3-pointers, helping the Heat pull away.

Goran Dragic (27 points) and Waiters (26 points) led Miami, which needed a reason to feel good after losing three of four to fall to 7-9.

The Celtics, on the other hand, still have a four-game cushion over the rest of the Eastern Conference. This might help them regain focus.

Serge Ibaka gets dunked on by Enes Kanter, hit in face by ball (video)

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Is Enes Kanter mad Serge Ibaka rifted with his family?

(No, not this family. That family.)