‘Coach’ Derrick Rose will remain on bench for Game 3
BY JOE COWLEY firstname.lastname@example.org April 25, 2013 12:14PM
Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose, second from right, watches from the bench during the second half of Game 2 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series against the Brooklyn Nets, Monday, April 22, 2013, in New York. The Bulls won 90-82. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
Updated: April 25, 2013 10:07PM
At the beginning of the season, Tom Thibodeau half-joked that Derrick Rose’s basketball acumen was such that he could see him wearing a shirt and tie on the sidelines one day, dry board close at hand, coaching an NBA team.
Who could have guessed that “years down the road’’ is now?
But there Rose has been through the first two games of the playoff series with Brooklyn, grabbing guys as they come off the court for some advice. And if he follows that pattern and sits on the bench for tonight’s Game 3, it will be the first time this season he does so in front of the home-crowd at the United Center this year.
“He’s a great leader,’’ Thibodeau said of Rose’s presence. “He’s been here every day. He’s been practicing with us. You guys don’t see him in the locker room. He’s doing all the things he can do. His role right now is to support his teammates. And that’s what he’s doing.’’
He’s doing more than supporting them.
Rose admitted last month when he was still spending game-times in the locker room, that he would talk to his teammates when they would come in for halftime, giving them tips, advice, and anything else he saw in the first 24 minutes of a game.
“It’s been helping me out a lot,’’ Rose said of all the watching he’s been doing this season, as he recovers from May surgery to repair the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee. “The game is definitely going to slow down for me. Just watching the game enough, seeing all the coaches.
“It’s been a lot of coaches that’s moving or thinking about taking jobs other places and they usually run the same system that they run the whole time they’re in the NBA. So I’m looking at all their tendencies with the new teams they’re on and the teams they’ve been coaching. It’s definitely going to help me with the play calls when I come back on the defensive end. And like I said, the game is going to slow down for me, definitely.’’
Thibodeau and the Bulls are still holding out hope that Rose will have the chance to see how much slower that game is during these playoffs, even though the coach did say last week that the MVP point guard is “most likely out’’ of postseason play.
“We’ve said this all along,’’ Thibodeau reiterated after the Thursday shootaround. “If he’s ready to come back, he’s coming back. And that’s no matter when it is. If it’s a week from now, great. If it’s not, then that’s fine too. We just have to keep moving forward.’’
And if he doesn’t return and is that other voice on the bench for his teammates, they’ll be listening.
“Maybe it’s better to see him on the bench, with us,’’ guard Marco Belinelli said. “But same thing, when he wasn’t on the bench, he was the same person. Try to help each other.’’