Bulls’ Boozer out with sore hamstring
(MCT) — MILWAUKEE — The longest consecutive games streak of Carlos Boozer’s 11-year career is over.
Boozer, who played in every game last season for the first time in his career, succumbed to a sore right hamstring that he suffered in Monday’s victory over the Bobcats. The forward had started 123 straight regular-season games, last sitting with a sprained ankle on March 18, 2010.
Boozer said he suffered the injury in the first quarter on Monday, even though he placed the exclamation point on the victory with a left-handed dunk over Bismack Biyombo with 1 minute, 24 seconds remaining.
“I played through it, but it got a little tight (Tuesday),” Boozer said. “It’s already feeling better, so I should be fine soon.”
The Bulls merely watched film and did individual shooting for Tuesday’s practice.
Star gazing: In a mild surprise, Jimmy Butler was shut out of the Rising Stars Challenge, a game featuring top first- and second-year players as part of All-Star weekend.
“Not at all,” Butler said, when asked if he’s disappointed. “I’m a part of this team. It would’ve been fun, but I’m not worried about it.”
Coach Tom Thibodeau downplayed the decision as well.
“It really doesn’t matter what other people think,” he said. “I know how his teammates feel about him and his coaches, and that’s what is really important. His play will do the talking for him.”
In another All-Star development, NBA Commissioner David Stern named Nets center Brook Lopez as the Celtics’ Rajon Rondo’s injury replacement. That meant Boozer and Bucks guard Brandon Jennings were left out. Thibodeau had said Boozer deserved All-Star status.
“I thought Brandon deserved to be selected,” echoed Bucks coach Jim Boylan. “My criteria the whole time has been to reward teams that have had a good season. So it’s hard to complain about Brooklyn getting a guy in.”
Chicago’s very own: Derrick Rose, whom the team said began taking full contact on Jan. 22, has yet to scrimmage in a five-on-five, full-court setting. Until he does, Thibodeau said “nothing is different.” The team also has said Rose will have to endure full contact for an extended period of time with no issues before he returns to game action.
That means, barring setbacks, Rose’s return likely will come after the All-Star break or even into March. Full-court scrimmaging in practice is rare at this point of a season.
“We know what we have to do,” Thibodeau said.
Layups: Richard Hamilton said he traded text messages with Tayshaun Prince, the last remaining Piston from the 2004 championship team on which Hamilton starred. Prince, according to multiple reports, is headed to the Grizzlies in a three-team deal that nets the Raptors Rudy Gay. ... The Bucks’ charter plane experienced mechanical issues after their victory Tuesday over the Pistons and the Bucks had to stay overnight in Detroit and fly home Wednesday.