Derrick Rose

Derrick Rose is dunking again, taking some contact in practice

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Everyone near the Bulls still says the plan is to be patient. Don’t rush Derrick Rose back. Think more like the All-Star Game timeframe.

Still, there are positive signs.

Like the report in the Sun-Times that Derrick Rose is dunking again.

Aside that, he is taking what the team calls “predictable contact” in practice. Of course, the way the Bulls Jimmy Butler described it, to Aggrey Sam of CSNChicago.com, things are pretty hands off with Rose — and he is looking good.

“Everything!” exclaimed Jimmy Butler, when asked about pleasant surprises observed during Rose’s rehabilitation from ACL surgery. “I think it’s all a blessing and it’s just great to see him out there, jumping and shooting jump shots, and moving the way that he does. Who knows if he comes back and has a start like Adrian Peterson did? That’s crazy.”

“We definitely don’t want to get him hurt again, so if he’s going to the cup, let him go. Open ‘J,’ contest it, but don’t let him come down any wrong way. Playing smart basketball, but at the same time, we know—and that goes for anybody—don’t undercut anybody,” Butler explained. “Things that basketball players do with their teammates. As far as he goes, he’s continuing to go hard, that’s for sure.”

Peterson may be a little optimistic. But the Bulls with even 80 percent of Rose become a real tough out come the playoffs. And that may be the best plan in Chicago right now.

76ers increase Joel Embiid’s minute limit to 28

Philadelphia 76ers' Joel Embiid, left, tries to get around Cleveland Cavaliers' DeAndre Liggins, center, and Kevin Love during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, Nov. 27, 2016, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
AP Photo/Matt Slocum
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Take comfort, chairs and staffers.

The 76ers have raised Joel Embiid‘s minute limit from 24 to 28.

Jessica Camerato of CSN Philly:

This was never a hard limit. Embiid played more than 24 minutes in five of his 12 games with a high of 27 in an overtime contest. Presumably, the new “limit” will also allow for Embiid to sometimes it.

Embiid’s numbers per 36 minutes are eye-popping: 28.6 points, 12.2 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 3.8 blocks and 6.4 turnovers. A small workload likely factors into his per-minute dominance, and he’s still a long way from typical starter minutes. But I’m interested to see how his production translates over a larger sample.

The 76ers, in their mission to be less bad this season, will also appreciate a few more minutes of Embiid. They defend like the NBA’s second-best defense with him on the floor and the league’s second-worst defense without him. They also score a little better with him. Overall, they get outscored by just 2.2 points per 100 possessions with him and a whopping 14.2 points per 100 possessions without him.

This could give Philadelphia a couple extra wins over the rest of the season. At minimum, it’ll make the 76ers more enjoyable to watch for a few more minutes each game.

James Johnson dunks on Rudy Gobert in crunch time (video)

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Opponents shoot just 41.8% at the rim with Rudy Gobert defending it – which is now second to Hassan Whiteside among the 50 players who defend the most shots at the rim per game.

But James Johnson went up with no fear, scoring two of his 24 points in the Heat’s 111-110 win over the Jazz last night.

Nicolas Batum bounces assist through Dwight Powell’s legs (video)

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The Hornets didn’t just beat the Mavericks, 97-87, last night.

Nicolas Batum got Charlotte style points with this pass through Dwight Powell‘s legs, assisting Cody Zeller.

Rondae Hollis-Jefferson floors Malcolm Brogdon with crossover (video)

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To be fair, Malcolm Brogdon was already off-balance before Rondae Hollis-Jefferson began his crossover.

To be real, DID YOU SEE BROGDON FALL OVER?