Derrick Rose, Raymond Felton, Tim Hardaway Jr
BULLS AT 76ERS
The facts: 6:30, Ch. 9, 1000-AM.
Updated: December 3, 2013 6:13AM
The wait for Derrick Rose’s return was exhausting at times.
It was the ultimate test of patience, and it isn’t over just yet.
Rose knows his 29 percent shooting from the field through the first two regular-season games is unacceptable. He’s well aware that a point guard shouldn’t have nine turnovers to seven assists.
“My game is going to come to me,’’ Rose said Friday. “The more I just go out there and play, I’ll get in rhythm. I’m playing through my mistakes, and I’m grateful that [coach Tom Thibodeau] has been allowing me to play through them and giving me my same minutes.’’
Then again, Rose is the face of a franchise and a city, so Thibodeau doesn’t have much choice.
“We do a lot of shooting, but when he was shooting great in the preseason, no one was talking about his shooting,’’ Thibodeau said. “If he doesn’t shoot well for a game or two, that’s fine, but he scores a lot of different ways. He scores in transition, pushing the ball up the floor, he can catch-and-shoot, he’s very effective in the pick-and-roll and he can also beat you with the pass.
“You just stay patient, keep working the game, and it will come around. I’ve seen him enough now to know he’s a scorer.’’
But the blame shouldn’t fall solely on Rose.
Thibodeau’s system is predicated on five-man offense, five-man defense. Rose, Jimmy Butler, Luol Deng, Joakim Noah and Carlos Boozer started together for the first time Tuesday in Miami, so the chemistry is in catch-up mode.
Noah missed all but one preseason game because of a groin strain, Rose sat out a game with a sore knee and Butler was nursing a banged-up left knee.
“It’s something that’s just going to come with time,’’ Rose said. “It was only the second game. People are looking at it like we’ve played 10, 20 games already. We’re just trying to get used to each other, and that’s something that’s going to come quick, knowing the guys we have, how we’ve dedicated ourselves to this game and to this team.’’
The good news is that in opening the season by taking on two playoff teams from last season, the Bulls are 1-1 as they go through the growing pains.
Wait till they get on the same page.
“I wouldn’t say we’re lost, but the chemistry part, it can always get better,’’ Rose said. “I think we have a great upside. I think we can be a great team.’’