Derrick Rose wanted more minutes in preseason debut

  • Andy Flint


Derrick Rose FINALLY made his post-injury debut for the Chicago Bulls and the basketball world was buzzing with excitement. Rose notched 20 minutes in his first game NBA game since 2012, and he did not disappoint. Rose looked aggressive and his knee seemed to be very strong against the Indiana Pacers on Saturday.

The Bulls beat their divisional foes 82-76, and Rose had a solid outing, connecting on 5-12 shots from the field for 13 points. Rose also added 3 assists and 2 steals, but wished he had gotten to play more minutes in a “close game”.

Rose was reportedly a bit angry with head coach, Tom Thibodeau, over being benched, but hey, Thibs has a job to do, and part of that job is to keep his star point guard healthy and ready to go when it actually counts. Players want to play every minute of every game. It’s on the coaching staff to keep these guys fresh for when it really matter. Preseason is just not that important.

“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.’’

“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 sat out the entire year last season while recovering from surgery for a torn ACL. The fact that Rose is back and has a chip on his shoulder is great, but Thibs knows what’s at stake, and has to be able to do his job and keep Rose from re-injuring his surgically repaired knee.

“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.’’

Sounds like sound advice from a guy who knows a thing or two about the game. Baby steps are a necessary precaution in this particular situation. Rose has to understand his limitations and know that he’s needed for the regular season and beyond. No sense in wasting it in preseason.

“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.’’

With Rose back, and looking as good as ever, the Chicago Bulls have emerged as the front-runners to give the Miami Heat a run for their money this season.

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