Back at full strength, Bulls start 2nd half on right foot

February 28, 2012|RedEye

Just one game into the second half of the season, the Bulls look like a whole new team. Well, that's because they're as healthy as they've been in a while, playing with their full roster for the first time in a month. The result was a 99-95 win over the Hornets, though Bulls fans still have reason to worry. Four players in particular will draw extra hand-wringing given their recent injuries.

Derrick Rose (back)

Why we're worried: The reigning MVP got off to a slow start and opted for a layup on a play he normally would have punctuated with a thunderous slam. Rose also was knocked to the floor several times. Don't scare us like that, Derrick!

Why we're not: He still led the Bulls with 32 points and nine assists, and he looked as speedy as ever driving to the rim. Fast don't lie.

Richard Hamilton (groin)

Why we're worried: He played just 17 minutes and scored just five points on 2-of-5 shooting.

Why we're not: On the opening possession, he took a pass on a backdoor cut, made a layup, got fouled and hit the free throw. He also chipped in five assists. Yep, he's still waaay better than Keith Bogans.

Luol Deng (wrist)

Why we're worried: Deng put up three airballs in the first half and had another jumper that looked almost as ugly.

Why we're not: He still tallied 14 points and 11 rebounds in 40-plus minutes. He also looked pretty healthy when he took a steal that he dribbled behind his back, eventually finding Rose for a layup.

C.J. Watson (concussion)

Why we're worried: The Hornets outscored the Bulls by 12 when he was on the floor. That hardly inspires confidence.

Why we're not: It's only one game. If he's struggling this much a month from now, then we'll start panicking.

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