Derrick Rose will be ready to play in Game 5 against Pacers
By Herb Gould firstname.lastname@example.org April 25, 2011 11:32PM
Updated: September 24, 2012 6:25AM
Fans might be worrying and the media might be wondering about how Derrick Rose’s gimpy left ankle will hold up when the Bulls try to close out the Indiana Pacers tonight.
Even Rose won’t go too far out on a limb.
But his teammates aren’t worrying or wondering.
‘‘We’ll see what happens,’’ center Joakim Noah said Monday. ‘‘But I don’t think he’ll miss a beat, for some reason.’’
‘‘In the NBA these days, it’s really popular to milk your injuries, to let everyone know how much pain you’re playing in,’’ guard Kyle Korver said. ‘‘But that’s not Derrick at all.
''He’s tough. He doesn’t ever complain. He’s played with injuries that you guys don’t know about. That’s something that, as a teammate, you really respect.
‘‘He’s got a huge heart. He’s shown it all year. Yeah, he’ll be playing. I think he’ll come out great. He’ll be fine.’’
Rose sat out practice to rest his sprained ankle, but he has no intention of missing Game 5 tonight.
‘‘It’s not broke, so I’m definitely going to be playing,’’ Rose said, ‘‘It’s getting better every day.
‘‘I’m getting treatment morning and night. The only thing you can do is take a shot and see how it feels.’’
Take a shot, as in, he’ll receive a painkiller before the game.
‘‘I’m getting one for sure,’’ Rose said, adding that he has taken shots twice before in his three-year Bulls career: ‘‘My rookie year, my wrist was messed up, and I got a shot. And last year, I had to get a shot in my back.’’
Did it affect his performance? ‘‘No.’’
After spraining the ankle Saturday in the first quarter of Game 4, Rose returned quickly and wound up playing 431/2 minutes but was 3-for-16 from the field in the last three quarters after going 3-for-6 before the injury.
‘‘I just missed shots,’’ he said. ‘‘I could say it was my ankle, but there’s no excuses when you’re playing. That’s the way I think about it.’’
Rose, whose shots were consistently short after the injury, is confident he’ll be able to adjust his shot tonight.
‘‘Just legs and follow-through,’’ he said. ‘‘I have a lot of confidence in my shot. That night I was just off.’’
Rose also has confidence in the formula coach Tom Thibodeau has drawn up:
‘‘Be aggressive, the same way we played toward the end of the game [Saturday]. That’s the way we have to play right from the beginning. We have to be more aggressive, just play hard and come out with that edge.’’
The positives of ending Indiana’s season tonight are obvious and numerous. Here are three big ones:
1. Rose could rest up that ankle.
2. Rose could rest up that ankle.
3. A city that has become anxiety-riddled even though the Bulls are up 3-1 could exhale and restore its psyche for the next round of the playoffs.
Meanwhile, after having an edge all season, Thibodeau has been reassuringly calm during the post-season.
The mere mention of suggestions such as putting more shooters on the floor, or having his big men carry brass knuckles, brings a knowing smile to his face.
‘‘It’s the playoffs,’’ Thibodeau said. ‘‘There’s more attention on everything.’’
And then he served up one of his many off-the-cuff proverbs: ‘‘The important thing to do is not lose sight of what’s important. If you know you’ve put everything you have into getting ready to play, you’ll be fine. You just have to go out and do your job.’’
Well, maybe that’s three proverbs. If the Bulls keep them in mind, you have to like their chances of coming up with their fourth victory.