(MCT) — CHICAGO — There won’t be an advertising campaign built around it. But when Derrick Rose finalizes his return from knee surgery, Marquis Teague will return to the bench — likely, barring injury, for good this season.
“You have to be patient,” Teague said. “I’m 19. I’m trying to grow as a player and wait for my turn. Playing a lot of minutes in college and not getting to play as much is something I never experienced. But you have to fight through it.”
Teague entered Wednesday having played just 17 minutes all month after logging 19 in the New Year’s Eve matinee against the Bobcats alone. Practices have become his games.
“I’ve learned a lot about the league and practice habits,” Teague said. “I now know where my teammates are going to be. And I know the right plays to make. So it’s a lot easier for me. Whenever I get on the floor, I’ll be ready.”
Star gazing: All-Star reserves are announced at 6 p.m. on Thursday on TNT. Joakim Noah, Luol Deng and Carlos Boozer all have solid shots to be added to the Eastern Conference team.
“I think all three are deserving,” coach Tom Thibodeau said.
Coaches vote for reserves. Asked if he had done any stumping for his players or had been solicited by other coaches, who aren’t allowed to vote for their own players, Thibodeau frowned.
“I don’t get wrapped up in that stuff because it’s political and I think it’s a waste of time,” he said. “If somebody sent me something, I wouldn’t even look at it. When they ask me to vote, I try to look at the team success and how the player has fit in. It’s a tough choice because you can make a case for a lot of guys.”
Thibodeau coached the East team last year in Orlando. Might he offer any advice for his successor?
“Everyone figures it out,” he said, laughing. “Basically, you get there, sit down and get out of the way.”
Noah’s deluge: Noah credited Ben Wallace sitting on the baseline for helping motivate his 30-point, 23-rebound, six-assist effort the last time the Bulls played the Pistons on Dec. 17 in Auburn Hills, Mich.
That prompted Pistons coach Lawrence Frank to crack, “Ben, get out of the building. Put on a uniform or watch on TV if you’re going to motivate guys to do that.”