Despite his backups' solid play, Rose planning to play Monday

Derrick Rose is "telling people he plans to play on Monday" when the Bulls host the Nets at the United Center, K.C. Johnson reported, adding:

As for Rose, he told teammates on Friday in Cleveland he planned to play and didn't. So the morning shootaround could determine if he can play on his sprained big left toe.

In the four games missed by Rose last week, C.J. Watson, John Lucas III, and Mike James combined for 95 points, 40 assists, and 15 turnovers (23.8, 10, and 3.8 per game), shooting a .544 eFG%, according to Basketball-Reference.com. Watson's led the way with three starts, 31.0 MPG, 16.5 PPG, 6.0 APG, shooting a .598 eFG%, averaging 10.3 shots per game and nailing 81% of his 21 trips to the line.

Rose has missed five of the last seven games, is admitting he likely shouldn't have played in the two games he did, and says the injury's lingered since first sustaining it in the 2010 playoffs:

Rose said he has been dealing with the injury in his left big toe off and on since his second season in the league, in 2010, when he believes he injured it during the Bulls' playoff series against the Cavaliers.

"I wasn't able to bend my toe in like three years so when [the injury] happened, it bent it and it aggravated it ... I forgot when I played on it again," Rose said. "I played on it sooner than when I was supposed to play on it and it was real bad."

Rose admitted that he has to be a little more careful with the injury.

"Yeah, knowing that right when it starts feeling good, it could go right back to zero," Rose said. "I definitely want to be out there playing, but I got to make the smartest decision."

After Rose, Lucas (groin), Joakim Noah (ankle), Taj Gibson (high ankle sprain) all sat out Saturday's win over the Bobcats, it was announced that Luol Deng sprained his wrist in the game. K.C. reported Deng may not be able to suit up Monday, making it more difficult for the Bulls to simply have a team to put on the court. The "line between tough, stupid, and necessary" are becoming further blurred.

To add a sixth big man on the roster so the rotation isn't limited to Carlos Boozer, Omer Asik, and Brian Scalabrine, the Bulls would have to either sign a big to a ten-day contract or pay the luxury tax, K.C. added, making an addition "unlikely at this point". Sorry, Leon Powe fans.

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