Once again, the Chicago Bulls are unsure of the status of Derrick Rose.
Even if he returns Monday night, he likely won’t help solve some unprecedented rebounding woes under coach Tom Thibodeau.
The Bulls have been outrebounded in six straight games heading into Monday night’s Central Division home matchup with the Detroit Pistons.
Rose sat out Saturday’s 106-101 home loss to Boston because of sprained ankles. The former league MVP has missed consecutive games and four of five.
”He’s not ready to go yet," Thibodeau said. "We’ll see where he is (Sunday).”
Kirk Hinrich has started the last two games in place of Rose and missed all seven shots in a scoreless effort Saturday.
Thibodeau was more concerned about watching his team get outrebounded 45-38 by the Celtics and allow 18 second-chance points. This is the first time Chicago has been outrebounded this many times in a row under him.
"In order to do something special, you gotta be a great rebounding team so that’s something that we’ve got to correct," he said.
Joakim Noah had a team-high 11 rebounds but sat out the final 2:03 because of what Thibodeau called ”restrictions.”
Neither would say whether they were related to a minutes limitation or complications from Noah’s left knee surgery six months earlier. Noah has played consecutive games after missing two with an illness.
Chicago (5-2) has won 15 of its last 16 at home against Detroit (2-5), which begins a four-game trip after Sunday’s frustrating 97-96 home loss to Utah. The Pistons had just one basket in the final 2:50.
”It would have been nice to start that trip off a three-game winning streak – that’s why this one hurts so much,” forward Josh Smith said.
The Pistons have dropped 21 of their last 23 road games. This trip also includes stops in Washington, Oklahoma City and Memphis.
"We’re playing some good teams," Smith said. "We have a hard-playing Chicago team tomorrow and we have to be able to prepare for them now."
Detroit is the NBA’s worst shooting team at 40.7 percent. Brandon Jennings led the way with 23 points Sunday as the Pistons finished at 38.7 percent from the field.
The game plan Monday could revolve around whether Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond can control the glass. Both rank among the league leaders in rebounds, with Monroe averaging 11.8 per game and Drummond 11.7.
Drummond had 26 points and matched a career high with 26 rebounds the last time these teams met in Chicago’s 106-98 win April 11. The Bulls rallied from an 18-point deficit in that contest to take three of four in the season series.
Smith missed the last meeting because of tendinitis in his left knee. His 36.3 field-goal percentage at the United Center is his worst in any NBA arena.
Chicago’s surprising scoring leader with Rose in and out of the lineup is Jimmy Butler, averaging 19.6 points. Butler has been aggressive, averaging 7.4 free-throw attempts.