Derrick Rose: Trying to be smart

ByNick Friedell ESPN logo
Sunday, November 2, 2014

MINNEAPOLIS -- Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose did not play in Saturday night's 106-105 win against the Minnesota Timberwolves after spraining both ankles in Friday's loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers.

After the game, Rose didn't sound concerned about the injury.

"It felt all right," Rose said. "If it was a real need for me to play I think I could have played. But [I'm] just trying to be smart, trying to give it an extra day and thank God that we came out with the win. I believe in my teammates, believe in the team -- we made the game hard tonight but we ended up coming out with a victory."

Rose warmed up with his teammates before the game and was listed in the starting lineup, but he was scratched just minutes before the contest.He initially sprained his left ankle in the second quarter Friday night, but remained in the game.

Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau acknowledged that Rose also tweaked his right ankle in Friday's game, but that injury was not believed to be as serious. Rose said that the left ankle was giving him more problems than the right ankle. He remains hopeful that he will be able to play Tuesday night when the Bulls take on the Orlando Magic.

"I felt like I couldn't [explode]," Rose said. "Didn't have no burst when I was out there. I felt like there was no need for it."

X-rays taken after Friday's game were negative, and Rose appeared to be in good spirits as he left the locker room. The Bulls' front office, however, likely wants to take a conservative approach as Rose makes his way back from two severe knee injuries.

Despite the latest setback, Thibodeau remains as outwardly confident as ever that Rose will return to being the MVP-caliber player he once was.

"He's going to make it all the way back," Thibodeau said before Saturday's game. "It's going to take a little time, but you see the flashes. To get back to doing it night after night, it's going to take a little bit of time. Sometimes [the progress] is hard to see day by day, but if you look back to last month he's made up a lot of ground since then. He's a lot better now than he was with [Team] USA [this summer]. So in another month he'll be further down the road. He's going to make it all the way back."

Thibodeau has repeatedly praised Rose's work ethic throughout the summer and understands that there are going to be rough nights during the season for his point guard.

"There's the physical part, but there's also the competitive part," Thibodeau said. "When you've been away this long, that competitive edge, you got to get that back as well. So there's a lot that he has to shake off, he's making steady progress. He's doing fine, but there's going to be some up and downs, that's to be expected. Just keep grinding, it's going to all work out."

Veteran point guard Kirk Hinrich started in Rose's place, scoring 11 points in 28 minutes.

Jimmy Butler made his first appearance of the season after missing the first two games because of a sprained thumb, sinking the go-ahead free throw with 0.2 seconds left.

Taj Gibson sat out because of a sprained ankle suffered in Friday night's loss.

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