Due to all of the injuries the Chicago Bulls have faced this season, much of their success will come down to the leadership of Derrick Rose and Jimmy Butler. With Joakim Noah and Nikola Mirotic out, the two shooters will have to figure out how to co-exist on the court together, something that has been an issue in the past. However, head coach Fred Hoiberg is confident that both players can be leaders at the same time.
Butler and Rose have both stated many times that they can play together on the court with no issues. There have been reports of feuding between the two players dating back to when Rose was out with injuries and Butler was left to carry the team. Then Butler signed a max contract while Rose returned and the two butted heads as a result. Now, Hoiberg believes all of that is behind them.
"Well, I think a big thing right now is we've had such good movement, the ball swinging side-to-side,'' Hoiberg said, via the Chicago Sun-Times. "We're making a lot quicker decisions than we were making earlier in the year. That benefits everybody. It's not always going to be the same person every night. Our guys have to understand that if you play the right way it's going to give you the best opportunity to win."
The issue for Rose and Butler is they both play two separate styles of basketball according to Joe Crowley of the Chicago Sun-Times. Butler likes isolation which stops the ball movement. Hoiberg told the media they have been focusing on changes while he returns from injury.
Right now, the Bulls do not need to worry about Butler and Rose co-existing on the court because neither are playing at the moment. Butler has been out with a knee injury and the Bulls have yet to give a timetable for his return according to the Chicago Sun-Times. Hoiberg told the media that he is hopeful to get Butler back for some simulated practices soon.
"As far as Jimmy is concerned, he's another guy that's making progress,'' Hoiberg said. "He's feeling a lot better, and hopefully we'll get him out there [this week] to at least test him to see if he can explode off that leg.''
Rose is currently dealing with hamstring tendinitis. The point guard missed the game against the Washington Wizards and could be held out of the matchup against the Atlanta Hawks according to Nick Friedell of ESPN.com. Rose told ESPN that he does not believe the injury will be a huge issue and he is just being cautious right now.
"I'm taking it one day at a time," Rose said, via ESPN.com. "Try not to risk it. That's what it's all about, just reading my body."