EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - Having sat out the entire regular season while he recovers from a torn left anterior cruciate ligament, there is no indication that Derrick Rose will play this postseason.
However, with no indication, that means there is some chance he will surprise everyone and suit up. At the very least, the fact he has not been ruled out by Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau should not be overlooked.
Whether the 2011 NBA MVP is on the Barclays Center floor when the Nets and Bulls play Game 1 of their first round series on Saturday evening, the home team is not making any special preparations. It simply went about its business on Thursday and will do so again on Friday.
"We're preparing, but if he plays, he plays," Nets interim head coach P.J. Carlesimo said after practice on Thursday afternoon at PNY Center. "It's like an injured guy, he might play, he might not play, but we're not doing anything differently."
As he tends to do when it comes to injury news, Thibodeau has been coy about his 24-year-old star point guard, who has been out since tearing his ACL in Game 1 of the first round against the Philadelphia 76ers on April 28. The Bulls were leading by 12 points with 1:22 to play in the game at the time of the injury.
Given a timetable of 8-12 months following surgery, Rose didn't need the full year. He began taking full contact in practice in late January, followed by clearance to begin playing in games on March 9. With no pressure from inside the organization to make an appearance and the majority of his career in front of him, Rose has taken his time.
"You're concerned because he's a great player," Carlesimo said. "If he plays, we'll see how he plays and we'll go from there. It's hard to not have played for quite some time and be effective, but if anyone can do it, Derrick can."
The Bulls have dealt with a slew of other injuries to key rotation players including 15 games over three different stints for the right knee of Joakim Noah, 19 games for the lower back of Richard Hamilton and 17 games over two stints for the left knee of Taj Gibson.
A hard-nosed, defensive-minded outfit in Thibodeau's mold, the Bulls have kept their collective heads above water to earn the Eastern Conference's No. 5 seed and a first-round matchup against a fourth-seeded Nets squad it took three of four from during the regular season.
Whether or not Rose plays in this series, the Nets figure to have their hands full. In the fourth and final regular season meeting between the teams on April 4 in Brooklyn, the Nets raced out to a 16-point lead, gave it all back and lost, 92-90, after shooting just 38.7 percent in the second half.
"You're not gonna simulate the things he does," Carlesimo said. "He was arguably the best player in the league when he last played, but they play so much quicker when he's on the floor and they're so much more disruptive defensively. The things Derrick makes happen, you can't simulate."
Playoff flopping guidelines announced
With three players warned for flopping (Reggie Evans, Gerald Wallace and C.J. Watson) and two players fined for a second warning (Evans and Wallace), the Nets were among the worst abusers of the NBA's new anti-flopping policy during the regular season.
That said, it's worth noting that the NBA will be stepping up its flopping enforcement during the postseason. There are no more warnings as the first violation will the offender $5,000. A second violation is $10,000, No. 3 will cost $15,000 and a fourth will cost $30,000. Beginning with the fifth violation, suspensions come into play along with a fine.
Josh Newman is SNYNets.com’s Field Reporter. Follow him on Twitter for up to the minute news and banter on all things related to the Brooklyn Nets and the NBA