Chicago Bulls' Derrick Rose takes a break on the bench during the warm up before the team's NBA basketball game against the Indiana Pacers in Chicago

Rose not returning for Heat game. Fine. But it’s time for him to make a call.


It shouldn’t be a surprise after he missed the first 69 games this season, but because it would have been a dramatic return some people were holding out hope:

Derrick Rose will not play against the Miami Heat Wednesday.

Rose confirmed that speaking with the media after shootaround.

Rose hasn’t played all season and to expect him to come back for this game — especially just because the Heat are on a winning streak — defeats the very idea of him getting fully healthy before returning to the court. While he has been cleared by doctors obviously Rose isn’t comfortable on his leg yet, he said he’s had pain, and he isn’t confident as he feels he needs to be with it. It’s his body, his career and he gets to make the call.

For Bulls fans the bottom line remains he is a 24-year-old MVP — if he misses the entire season after an ACL injury, that’s fine. It’s not about the next five games, it’s about the next five years. And beyond.

But right now Rose is losing the PR battle over this return.

The will he/won’t he speculation consumes Chicago — and at times national — media. We give updates like this one, that he will not be back for this game when he has missed 69 before it.

Rose has to make a call soon — are you in or out this season? For the sake of the team and its mindset as it gets ready for the playoffs. For the sake of his own image, which is becoming tarnished with a “he won’t play through it” label (which isn’t fair considering he played through toe and other injuries before). Rose is in a PR battle he can’t win in the short term (he’s fine long term).

Get in or get out. Either decision is acceptable, but make one. Because he “well, I’m close, I’m practicing but not today” thing has worn everybody thin and it’s time to move on for the good of the organization.

Khris Middleton dunks, Jimmy Butler can’t stop him (VIDEO)

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Khris Middleton has more expectations and more pressure on him after a breakout season in Milwaukee, followed by him getting him PAID this summer.

Well, he looked pretty good on this play against the Bulls, making the steal then throwing down despite Jimmy Butler‘s efforts to stop him.

Middleton finished with 10 points on 5-of-7 shooting for the Bucks. However, Butler had the last laugh as he went off for 23 points on 12 shots and led the Bulls to the (meaningless) preseason win.

Somebody looks comfortable: Paul George drops 20 in first quarter

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Paul George‘s first experience starting as a power forward was going up against Anthony Davis — not just one of the best power forwards in the game, one of the handful of best players in the game period. That didn’t go well for George, and he wasn’t happy about it.

His second experience was in another preseason game Tuesday, going up against the Pistons and their four, Ersan İlyasova. He’s not quite as intimidating.

George scored 20 points on 7-of-8 shooting, 4-of-5 on threes — and that was just the first quarter (you can see it all in the video above).

As we have said before, George at the four is not a bad call by the Pacers, but some of that depends on the matchup. On the nights the Pacers face Davis or Blake Griffin or LaMarcus Aldridge or Zach Randolph (or a handful of others) the Pacers’ coaching staff is going to have to adjust. But there are a lot of nights where George at the four is going to force the other team to adjust, and that will play into the Pacers’ hands.