Some fun stuff from Derrick Rose last night. Not only his myriad finishes at the rim in leading the Bulls to a blowout win, but some interesting quotes as well.
"I said what I had to say. I think my teammates took it to heart. I think the entire team took everything we said to heart."
There was never any credible report that Thibs was 'losing the team', but certainly the Bulls did need to start addressing their lackluster play. Jon Greenberg's column at ESPN Chicago frames Rose (and the team's) mindset well.
let’s be clear. Rose wasn’t trying to "win one for the Thibber."
There was no real issue with the coach, beside his everyday Thibs-ness. The Bulls play for themselves, as they should.
"It don’t have anything to do with Thibs, at all," Rose said. "The way we’ve been playing don’t have anything to do with Thibs. He’s preparing us right, doing everything and did everything possible to prepare us as a coach. It’s up to us to give the effort."
For those who only listen to Rose to nitpick his verbiage, this has been a consistent message from him all season. And now that his game is coming more easily to him, Rose is becoming more vocal.
Rose said the Bulls, who were still without Noah and Mike Dunleavy (also suffering from ankle issues), had to get angry.
"Get mad if they score on you, get mad if anything happens wrong, show some emotion and get mad...we shouldn’t come in here and feel like we’re in a 9-to-5 [job]. And that’s no disrespect to people who got 9-to-5s, but when you play a sport for a living, you shouldn’t have that feeling. You should have that joy you remember when you were young and you was out in the park. The joy of winning games and just competing, giving your all while you were on the floor. Appreciating the game...It came back, but we’re going to see how long it can last."
(As a charter member of the #DerrickRoseSaysStuff organization, have to admit that '9 to 5' bit was downright insightful!)
It helps that Rose's play has improved so much, even while the team was struggling.
Over his last eight games, since the end of the 13-2 stretch, Rose is averaging 21 points and 5.4 assists per game. He’s been more aggressive finding the basket. Even the three-point shots, which have been such a cringeworthy part of his game for most of the year, are falling. Since the Bulls’ January 7 loss to the Utah Jazz, which was the first sign of trouble, Rose is shooting 44.9 percent from three-point range.
And the best news of all: as KC Johnson reported before the game Thursday, Rose is no longer on a minutes restriction.
Ironically enough, in that game Rose played merely 26 minutes. It was a blowout win, and Rose managed his own minutes:
Derrick Rose said he got "stiff" b/c he sat too long on bench as #Bulls were dominating. "There really wasn't a point to go in," he said.— Cody Westerlund (@CodyWesterlund) January 23, 2015
Looks like Rose is getting there, letting his game do the talking...and talking a bit himself.