Derrick Rose should have a higher basketball IQ when he returns
BY JOE COWLEY firstname.lastname@example.org March 30, 2013 8:14PM
Carlos Boozer works against the Mavericks’ Dirk Nowitzki in the first half Saturday. He had 25 points and 11 rebounds in the Bulls’ loss. | Michael Mulvey~AP
Updated: May 1, 2013 3:57PM
DALLAS — Considering all the jumpers Derrick Rose has shot during his rehabilitation from surgery to repair the torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee, the Bulls are counting on him to be an improved scoring threat from the outside when he returns.
But if there’s another positive to come out of all the sitting and waiting for his return, it’s that Rose has been sitting and watching. If Rose’s basketball acumen was off the charts before the injury, where will it be when he comes back?
‘‘You just learn how the game runs, see what the coaches like to call offensively and defensively when you’re playing in certain play sets,’’ Rose said when asked what he has been picking up from watching games from the locker room. ‘‘What a coach’s move is against certain teams. Does the offense stay the same? Defense stay the same? It’s basically learning everybody’s tendencies.’’
And he’s not learning quietly, either. Rose is like another coach for his teammates, especially when they return to the locker room for halftime.
‘‘You have to be a leader on the team,’’ Rose said. ‘‘When the guys come in the locker room, I tell them what I see. It’s up to them to take the information and run with it. If not, they just go about their business. But they’re always going to hear me.’’
As far as the latest about when Rose might return this season, it was status quo Saturday against the Mavericks. Rose was out, and coach Tom Thibodeau was vague about the matter.
‘‘As long as he continues to improve, that’s all we’re concerned with,’’ Thibodeau said. ‘‘When he gets comfortable, he’ll get out there.’’
Thibodeau acknowledged he still hasn’t signed the four-year, $17.5 million contract extension the Bulls announced Oct. 1, but he put the blame on the lawyers handling the ‘‘language’’ of the deal.
‘‘Total non-issue,’’ Thibodeau said. ‘‘The lawyers had it tied up for a while, whatever it is that they do. I don’t know what these lawyers do. Something about language or something. I just got it back, and as soon as I get an opportunity, [general manager Gar Forman] will have it.’’
On the mend
Marco Belinelli (strained abdomen) missed his third consecutive game and Joakim Noah (plantar fasciitis in right foot) his fourth in a row against the Mavericks, but Thibodeau said both were close to returning, especially Belinelli.
‘‘Both guys are improving,’’ Thibodeau said. ‘‘Marco is very close, but we just want to make sure. We want to be playing our best and we want to be as healthy as possible going down the stretch. So if that means one more day, two more days, so be it.’’