Derrick Rose wanted additional playing time vs. Pacers
BY JOE COWLEY Staff Reporter October 6, 2013 7:36PM
Updated: November 8, 2013 6:25AM
ST. LOUIS — Derrick Rose’s knee held up just fine.
But his patience was another story. Rose was “mad at Thibs’’ for cutting his minutes shorter than promised Saturday against the Pacers, and after a night to think about it, he still wants to be unleashed — preseason or not.
“Yeah, it’s tough, especially when it’s a close game like it was,’’ Rose said. “To be sitting out, I just wanted to test myself a little more, but I wasn’t able to.’’
Thank goodness for that.
Coach Tom Thibodeau addressed the idea of protecting Rose from himself several times in camp, and while Rose wants to show that his surgically repaired left knee is sound, making sure Rose has a future is Thibodeau’s priority.
“He wanted to play more, which is good, and we’re just going to take it day by day, and if he needs some rest, we’ll give him more rest, and it’s just step by step,’’ Thibodeau said. “Don’t skip any steps. That’s all we want him to do.’’
Rose played 201/2 minutes in the Bulls’ 82-76 victory, about three minutes less than he expected.
Before practice Sunday in St. Louis, there was no unusual soreness.
“I’m feeling good,’’ Rose said. “Thibs has been asking me the same thing. I’m feeling all right. After the game, I felt like I could play some more, but they took me out, making sure I’m all right.’’
Rose will have little choice but to get used to the process.
“That would be the case even if he weren’t coming off an injury,’’ Thibodeau said. “With all the starters, you look at the entire month as your training camp. They’re not playing starters’ minutes yet, but we’ll gradually build up. Whatever [Rose] can handle, he’ll get. Whatever you’re doing, put everything into it. You’re not only getting him ready; you’re getting the entire team ready.
“We’ve got to get our bench ready. The important thing is everyone focusing on making a commitment to the team, putting everything you have into each and every day and striving for improvement.’’
Besides Rose’s health, we got a glimpse of the Bulls’ new-look offense. Taking a page from the Spurs, it’s more of a read-and-react offense. The ball moves quickly, and the sets take advantage of the team’s versatility.
The days of Rose being the primary ballhandler, having to attack the basket before the shot clock hits zero will be less frequent.
“Well, I think the important thing is to be well-balanced,’’ Thibodeau said. “Obviously, you want to get as many easy baskets as you can, so how do you get them? The obvious way is the fast break, but there’s also moving the ball quickly, making quicker decisions and getting your body in motion, which also leads to second shots.
“I think when you have a player like Derrick, who can force the defense to collapse, now you’re going to get some high scoring, some very efficient shooting out of that. Then everyone has the responsibility to hit the open man, keep the ball moving.’’