MILWAUKEE –- Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose went off for 15 points in the first quarter of Saturday night's 113-90 win over the Milwaukee Bucks and then spent most of the second quarter lying on his back, wincing at times, while assistant trainer Jeff Tanaka worked him over on the far end of the bench.
What was the problem?
"My back tends to get tight a little bit," Rose said. "That's why my shots were kind of flat. But I know after tonight and the day off [Sunday], I'll get my back worked on and that should be out the way quick."
Rose isn't sure when exactly the back issue flared up, but he is confident that he can control it.
"It just got tight on me and that can easily go away," he said.
After already dealing with Rose’s painful turf toe injury this season, the Bulls know they must watch their franchise star carefully anytime he has any kind of injury. Of course, Rose still managed to almost pull off a triple-double.
"The way he plays, he's going to get hit," Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said. "He usually just brushes it off and moves on. But you're always concerned."
Bulls fans invade Bradley Center: A sellout crowd of 18,717 was announced on Saturday night. Most in attendance were Bulls fans.
"I thought the crowd tonight was amazing," Bulls guard Kyle Korver said. "It was like a college crowd. It was rowdy. It was all for us."
"It's unbelievable," Bulls center Joakim Noah added. "I've played in Milwaukee for five years now and I couldn't believe how one-sided it was."
The last word: Rose, on having Luol Deng back in the lineup:
"It makes the game easy. Especially when Rip [Hamilton] gets back too. But Lu, when you're playing with guys like that, they got your back no matter what. Defensively, just talking to you, being a veteran on the floor. Just playing in this league, makes everybody comfortable out there ... it feels good when we've got all our leaders out there."