The timetable surrounding when Derrick Rose’s vision would return to normal was as blurry as Rose’s vision itself but now it’s a bit clearer—although it’s not news that would produced immediate normalcy.
According to Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg, team doctors said Rose’s double-vision could last for three months, meaning there could be at least another month of it considering he underwent surgery on his left orbital bone on September 30.
“They said it could be as a long as 3 months,” Hoiberg said. “But it's continuing to improve and that's obviously a positive.”
The timetable was news to Rose when asked about it after Hoiberg spoke following the team’s practice.
“Nah, this is my first time hearing about it,” he said. “You kind of have that hope in your mind that it gets well a lot quicker, but for this to be seven or eight (weeks) out and still the same way, I can’t do nothing but live with it.
“Get the most out of every day, keep putting my deposits in and keep working on my game until my eye gets better. I’m loving the way I’m working out. I’m loving the way that we’re playing. We’re winning games, so that’s the only thing I’m worried about. Everything else will come.”
Rose’s scoring, shooting and efficiency numbers are career-lows, which makes sense given his physical condition. He’s had a few flashes in the first nine games but mostly he’s struggled with the outside shot, making just one 3-pointer in 18 attempts. Although no one knows what his ceiling will be once his vision returns to normal, even the most pessimistic observer should admit it’s affecting his play in a big way.
“The depth perception of the rim, my eyes are thrown off,” Rose said. “I’m finding ways around it, but there’s no excuses. I’m not going to blame anything on it. I just know it’s part of the process and something I have to deal with.”
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To that end, he’s been far more encouraging of Jimmy Butler to be more aggressive offensively, repeatedly saying after games that Butler should take more shots. It manifested itself in Butler’s 20-point second half Friday, recovering to go six of nine from the field after starting out missing five of seven shots.
“Yeah, trying to get him to shoot more, man, especially with what I’m dealing with,” Rose said. “Certain games, I’m going to have it. Other games, I’m not. I know it’s part of the process. I want him to shoot a consistent amount of shots. He needs to. He shot a lot more threes last game (0-4), where all of them were good looks. It’s just that he has to be more consistent with his shots.”
And despite his physical condition, teams have yet to adjust to how they’re playing Rose defensively, which he believes opens things up for Butler and Pau Gasol—especially Gasol.
“Still the same, still the same. I haven’t seen anything different,” Rose said. “Ever since I’ve been in the league, it’s been like whenever I have the ball, it’s like, ‘Don’t let him get to the rim.’ It’s like a contain type of blitz where Pau keeps getting open shots or any pick-and-roll I have, the big is going to have the shot more often than I do.”