The Bulls' matchup with the Rockets this evening may have once looked especially tantalizing on paper, pitting 2010/11 MVP Derrick Rose against 2011/12 sensation Jeremy Lin. However, Rose remains on the shelf recovering from ACL surgery, and Lin hasn't looked nearly as spectacular this season as he did a year ago. Still, the Rockets and Bulls are both multiple games above .500 and would earn playoff spots if the season ended today, so the contest figures to be a good one. As we wait for tip-off, let's round up a few Bulls-related links out of Chicago….
- The Rockets' trip to Chicago means the return of Omer Asik, whose offer sheet the Bulls declined to match this offseason. Speaking to K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune, who notes that some members of the Bulls organization believe Asik could've won a Defensive Player of the Year award with increased playing time, Tom Thibodeau and Joakim Noah both had nothing but praise for the former Bull.
- Jason Kidd, like Rose, suffered a serious knee injury early in his career, and expressed optimism to Aggrey Sam of CSNChicago.com about Rose's recovery: "It's a lot of hard work, especially when you're talking about your knee. You've just got to be patient, but you've got to do all the little things to maintain that strength and I know Derrick is going to do that. From what I'm hearing, he's worked extremely hard. It takes time."
- Aggrey Sam also fielded plenty of Bulls questions in his latest mailbag, weighing in on possible 14th-man options and the team's trade-deadline plans, among other topics.