Chicago Bulls Derrick Rose attends news conference in Chicago

Specialist finds nothing structurally wrong with Rose’s back


The good news is, there is nothing seriously wrong with Derrick Rose’s back.

The real question is will coach Tom Thibodeau allow Rose to give it the rest it needs.

Rose went to see a back specialist on Monday and there is no structural damage, the issue is muscular, reports and the Chicago Tribune. This is a confirmation of the Bulls’ doctors’ diagnosis. Which is good, muscular heals quickly with rest.

Rose is listed as day-to-day. Of course, the Bulls are so secretive about injuries that if Rose had his spine removed they would say he was day-to-day. But that’s the official standing. Rose has missed the last two games due to a sore back.

This all circles back to the minutes issue in Chicago — in a season with a condensed schedule and the Bulls poised for a deep playoff run, Thibodeau has to balance getting wins and a high seed with having his players rested and ready to go come the playoffs. The Bulls need to get Rose to back off. This year there the playoffs will not be as spread out, the recuperation will not be the same. Health will matter for the Bulls (and every team) and wearing down players in the regular season could come back to haunt Chicago. Running Deng out 41 minutes right after an injury, not just sitting Rose when his back flared up — and Rose said it felt worse after every game he tried to play through — was a mistake. Rose is a competitor, he doesn’t want to sit. Thibodeau has to make him at times.

Cavaliers stand in middle of Raptors dancers’ routine (video)

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The Cavaliers were ready for their game against the Raptors tonight, and Toronto’s dance team wasn’t going to change that.

The last time I remember something like this happening, Grizzlies guard Tony Allen walked through the Warriors’ kid dancers. This video doesn’t show got the Cavaliers got to that point, but they might have the defense of being there first. Allen definitely didn’t have that.

Wizards score 6 (!) fourth-quarter points in loss to Hornets

Cody Zeller, Ramon Sessions
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Gary Neal made a jumper with 10:12 remaining in tonight’s Wizards-Hornets game.

That was Washington’s last basket.

Jared Dudley made a pair of free throws on the Wizards next possession, and Neal added two more free throws with 23 seconds left.

And that was all the Wizards scoring in the quarter.

Washington, which entered the final period up seven, lost 101-87 after its 1-for-20 final-period shooting.

The six fourth-quarter points were the fewest by an NBA team in a quarter since Cavaliers scored six third-quarter points in a Jan. 26, 2014 loss to the Suns. Last time a team scored so few in a fourth quarter: Nov. 13, 2012, when the Raptors had five against the Pacers.

At least Neal’s late free throws spared the Wizards further shame. Nobody has scored four or fewer points in a quarter since the Warriors managed just two in a Feb. 8, 2004 loss to the Raptors.

As it stands, this is one of only 44 times in the shot clock era a team has scored so few points in a quarter.

76ers tie NBA-record losing streak, dropping heartbreaker to Celtics

Isaiah Thomas, T.J. McConnell

After a rare period of on-court competence, the 76ers led the Celtics by five with two minutes left tonight.

Then, Philadelphia snatched defeat from the jaws of victory.

The 76ers yielded a 9-0 run to close an 84-80 setback.

They’re now 0-16. Combined with their 0-10 finish to last season, that’s a 26-game losing streak – tied for longest in NBA history. Last year’s 76ers already shared the record.

Philadelphia is also in danger of the worst start to a season. The 2009-10 New Jersey Nets began 0-18, and last year’s 76ers won only one game sooner.

The 76ers will try to avoid the all-time longest streak at the Rockets on Friday. If that goes unsuccessfully, they’ll try to avoid matching the worst season start at the Grizzlies on Sunday. And if both fail, they could set the worst-start record against the Lakers on Tuesday.

76ers-Lakers – it’s shaping up to be a big one.

Timberwolves read mean tweets about themselves (video)

Flip Saunders, Karl-Anthony Towns, Tyus Jones
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The Timberwolves didn’t select the meanest tweets about these players, but credit Karl-Anthony Towns, Tyus Jones, Shabazz Muhammad and Zach LaVine for being good sports.