Though Derrick Rose's latest injury doesn't appear to be serious, the Chicago Bulls are taking a cautious approach with the former MVP as they try to continue their recent success during a stretch of three games in four days.
Rose won't be on the court against the Toronto Raptors on Friday night as the Bulls look to record a third straight victory and avoid their first 0-4 road start in five seasons.
While Rose's surgically repaired knee appears to be fine, he injured his right hamstring in the fourth quarter of a 96-81 win over Cleveland on Monday. Rose did not need an MRI for an injury he's labeled as minor and initially felt he could overcome it to play Friday.
The Bulls (3-3) have decided to keep him out, however, and coach Tom Thibodeau says Rose will be re-evaluated Saturday before Chicago hosts Indiana followed by a visit from Charlotte on Monday.
Rose is averaging 14.7 points and 33.3 percent shooting this season but believes he is making progress, having scored 16 with a season-high seven assists against the Cavaliers.
"My confidence is getting higher the more I play," said Rose, who did not have a turnover Monday after committing 25 in the first five contests.
Chicago has held opponents to averages of 78.3 points and 35.4 percent from the field while going undefeated at home, compared to the 103.7 and 47.1 it's yielded in losing all three road contests. The Bulls last went 0-4 on the road in 2008-09.
Without Rose in 2012-13, the Bulls dropped two straight to Toronto (4-5) after opening the season series with a 107-105 overtime victory at Air Canada Centre on Jan. 16.
Carlos Boozer is averaging a team-high 18.0 points along with 8.3 rebounds this season, and 24.5 and 11.3 in the last four games against the Raptors.
Despite going 11 for 37 from the floor at Houston on Monday, Rudy Gay scored 29 in a 110-104 double-overtime loss. He followed that with 23 and a 4-of-6 effort from 3-point range during Wednesday's 103-87 victory at Memphis, his first game there since the Grizzlies dealt him to Toronto in January.
"He's definitely one of our go-to guys, so no matter if we were playing anybody, we're going to get him the ball and make sure he gets going," teammate DeMar DeRozan said.
The Raptors have averaged 107.3 points while winning two of three after scoring 92.3 per contest in the first six.
Since the start of 2010-11 season, the Bulls are 97-29 (.770) with Derrick Rose and 63-47 (.573) without him.
DeMar DeRozan had 37 points, but just 1 rebound and 1 assist in Toronto's loss to the Bulls.
He's the first player to score at least 37 points with no more than 1 rebound or assist since January 2005, when Damon Stoudamire had 54 points, 0 rebounds and 1 assist.