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After his team was held to its lowest point total of the season on Thursday, Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said he wanted to see his team respond.

No one seems to know when Rose’s hurting right foot will allow him to return to the lineup, though there is some speculation that the most likely scenario is that he plays in Chicago’s final two regular-season games. Chicago is 30-7 with him on the floor, 17-9 when he’s out.

He’s missed nearly half the season with an array of injuries, and the Bulls still could have wrapped up the No. 1 seed with a win on Thursday. Even now, they’re still in the drivers’ seat, hardly panicking that a lead that seemed invincible in the East just a few days ago now looks a bit shaky.

“You deal with it like you deal with it all year,” Thibodeau said. “We lost, we go home, we study, get ready for Dallas. This game will reveal certain things to us, things that need to be corrected, continue to strive for improvement, and we’re not going to get caught up in (leads of) 1 1/2 games, 2 1/2 games or whatever. Just keep doing the things we need to do to win, that’s all we’re focusing on.”


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