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

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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.

Shabazz Muhammad awkwardly mentions Collective Bargaining Agreement during halftime interview (video)

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The Timberwolves surprisingly led the Spurs by nine at halftime last night, which takes us to Shabazz Muhammad‘s mid-game interview.

Muhammad:

We’re doing a great job on defense, Wiggs, myself, everybody. It’s a tough team, especially Kawhi and the guys. So, we’re doing a really good job and everybody’s collective – Collective Bargaining Agreement.

Um. What?

To be fair, I can’t even imagine what type of nonsense I’d spew in the midst of a taxing workout or a high-pressure situation – let alone something that qualifies as both.

Unfortunately for Muhammad, Minnesota eventually fell to San Antonio, 100-93. But hopefully, he can laugh at this moment. He should, at least.

hat tip: reddit user cjsplash

Duke’s Jayson Tatum, California’s Ivan Rabb declare for NBA draft

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Wednesday a couple of forwards expected to go in the first round of June’s NBA draft said they plan on making the jump to the NBA.

As expected, Duke’s Jayson Tatum and Cal’s Ivan Rabb made their decisions official.

Duke announced Tatum’s decision.

Tatum is expected to be a top-five pick, DraftExpress.com currently has him as the No. 4 pick. The 6’8″ wing can flat-out score the rock, which is why teams are intrigued, as Rob Dauster of NBC’s College Basketball Talk told us in a recent podcast. However, teams wonder if he can create shots for others and not just himself, and if he’s going to be a good defender at the NBA level. He has the physical tools to do be a good defender, but will he put in the work game in, game out?

Rabb is a 6’10” sophomore who has a great NBA build and athleticism to spare, but at the NBA level everyone is a great athlete. Rabb doesn’t have a great perimeter game and needs to develop one and be a consistent defensive force to be a difference maker (or have a lengthy career) at the NBA level. DraftExpress.com has him going 22nd in this draft, and his stock seems to have fallen over the course of the season.

PBT Extra: What coaches are on hot seat? Alvin Gentry at front of list.

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This season, for the first time in 46 years, no NBA coach will be fired during the season (nobody is getting canned at this point).

However, once the off-season starts, there will be a few changes.

Alvin Gentry in New Orleans and Fred Hoiberg in Chicago are the names most mentioned, but there will be an unexpected firing somewhere around the league. Some GMs are on the hot seat also (Rob Hennigan in Orlando leads that parade).

I get into all of it in this latest PBT Extra.

Raptors’ Serge Ibaka, Bulls’ Robin Lopez each suspended one game for thrown punches

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It was obvious this was coming. Get in a shoving match “fight” in the NBA and you get a fine. However, actually throw punches and…

Toronto’s Serge Ibaka and Chicago’s Robin Lopez each have been suspended for one game by the NBA “for throwing punches at one another during an altercation,” the league announced. What that works out to is a $120,715 hit for Lopez and a $111,364 ding for Ibaka.

Also, Raptors assistant coach Jamaal Magloire earned a $15,000 fine shoving the Bulls Nikola Mirotic and “acting as other than a peacemaker as part of the same altercation.”

This all came out of what seemed a rather innocuous play. Ibaka and Lopez were battling for rebounding positioning, it went on for a second after the ball went through the hoop, Ibaka caught Lopez with a little chicken wing elbow in the back, Lopez spun, and, boy, that escalated quickly. Lopez’s punch missed, while Ibaka’s caught Lopez in the hair more than the body.

Both men got technicals and were ejected.