Sam: Rose won't blame poor shooting on ankle

Sam: Rose won't blame poor shooting on ankle

Saturday, April 23, 2011
Posted: 7:58 p.m.

By Aggrey Sam
INDIANAPOLIS Derrick Roses late first-quarter ankle injury likely put the collective mindset of Bulls fans in a state of panic and rightfully so. His coaches and teammates were similarly concerned.

Oh, we were all scared, for sure, when he goes down. A lot of guys in the NBA, they get hurt or they get bumped, they really milk it. They want everybody to know that theyre playing in pain, said Kyle Korver. Theres a lot of those guys out there and Derricks not one of them. He had to roll it pretty good, so youre definitely worried.

Echoed Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau: Derrick doesnt leave the game unless hes hurt, so for him to leave, Im sure he tweaked it pretty good.

WATCH: Thibodeau shares his thoughts on Rose's ankle

As for Rose himself, however, he was more irritated than worried at the time of the injury, called a left-ankle sprain by both Rose and a Bulls spokesman.

Im good. Thats basketball. If anything, Im going to be able to rest in couple of days and during the game, I just wanted to keep moving. When you twist your ankle as a guard, the best thing to do is to tie up your shoes tighter and keep playing, said Rose, who walked up and down the Conseco Fieldhouse interview rooms podium steps with a noticeable limp.

Rose finished a tough shot in traffic with 1:14 remaining in the first quarter, fell to the floor and immediately limped over to the Bulls sideline, unable to get back on defense. After play stopped on the other end of the court, he headed to the visiting locker room with Bulls head trainer Fred Tedeschi.

I really cant explain it. Just took off wrong and all my weight just pushed over on one ankle and end up twisting it, said Rose, who got an X-ray after the contest. I just wanted to come back out quick. I didnt want to sit down; they the Bulls training staff were trying to sit me down and I was just trying to come back, and just keep playing.

My thing was just keep it moving and hurry up, and put me back in the game.

Rose refused to blame his 6-for-22 shooting performancehe was 1-for-9 from three-point range and only attempted four free throws; his lack of explosiveness was most evident when Pacers point guard Darren Collison (ironically, he also suffered a sprained ankle during the series) blocked his fast-break layupon the injury.

No excuses. Playoffs. Ive sprained my ankle a million times. I just wasnt able to hit shots, said Rose. Of course when you twist your ankle, its going to slow you down a little bit, but all my shots were on target. They were just short.

I didnt attack enough. I think if I would have kept on attacking, they would have had to make the call, but I eased off.

Regardless, Indiana s strategy of defending him with 6-foot-8 rookie swingman Paul George and physical veteran Dahntay Jones was effective, although Rose appeared to regain some of his burst down the stretch, when he helped forced Pacers turnovers and converted them into Bulls points on the other end, fueling Chicago s late rally.

Poohs a warrior and he wants to be out there and compete. I feel like even Pooh not at 100 percent, he still affects the game with his presence, said Joakim Noah. They did a good job of putting two on him. Every time they set a pick, they always double teamed him and its on us to make a play.

Aggrey Sam is CSNChicago.com's Bulls Insider. Follow him @CSNBullsInsider on Twitter for up-to-the-minute Bulls information and his take on the team, the NBA and much more.

Bulls Bracket Madness: The best individual seasons in franchise history


Bulls Bracket Madness: The best individual seasons in franchise history

We're trying to figure out the best season in Bulls franchise history, and we want your help in deciding.

Because the Bulls tout the greatest player in basketball history, who could have made up this list by himself, we're giving Michael Jordan his own side of the bracket. But the other side of the bracket is also filled with some pretty memorable and remarkable campaigns.

So read up on each matchup and then have your voice heard by voting on our Twitter page here. Check out the entire bracket in the graphic above.

The Jordan Region

No. 1 Michael Jordan (1995-96) vs. No. 8 Michael Jordan (1990-91)

No. 1 Michael Jordan (1995-96): Jordan was on a mission in his first full season back from retirement. He led the Bulls to a then-record 72 wins with a regular-season MVP award, All-Star MVP and romp through the NBA playoffs, where the Bulls went 15-3 en route to their fourth NBA title. Jordan won his eighth straight scoring title at 30.4 points a game, with nine games where he put up 40 or more. He saved his best for Detroit, scoring 53 with 11 rebounds and six steals in early March. To prove Jordan was getting better as he aged, he shot a career-high 43 percent from 3-point range at age 33.

No. 2 Michael Jordan (1990-91): 1990-91: Jordan's second MVP came with his first NBA title, as he was at the peak of his powers physically combined with the ultimate team success, with the Bulls finally getting past Detroit before defeating the Lakers in the Finals. He shot a career-high 54 percent from the field while averaging 31.5 points, six rebounds and 5.5 assists as he began to fully embrace the triangle offense in Phil Jackson's second season. Jordan had 57 games where he shot better than 50 percent from the field, and was among the league leaders in steals at 2.7 per game while earning his fourth straight All-Defensive First Team honor.

No. 1 Derrick Rose (2010-11) vs. No. 2 Scottie Pippen (1993-94)

No. 1 Derrick Rose (2010-11): Where to begin? The youngest MVP in league history took the league by storm, averaging 25.0 points and 7.7 assists while leading the Bulls to a league-best 62 wins. Rose had been named an All-Star the previous season but took his game to new heights in Year 3, appearing in 81 games, making 128 3-pointers (after making a combined 32 his first two seasons) while helping the Bulls rank first in defensive efficiency under first year head coach Tom Thibodeau. Rose and the Bulls lost in five games to LeBron James and the Miami Heat, with Rose shooting a paltry 35 percent on 24 attempts per game. But his historic season will always go down as one of the franchise’s best, and the only non-Jordan MVP.

No. 2 Scottie Pippen (1993-94): Yeah, well what would Scottie be without MJ? We found out that answer in 1993-94, when Pippen took the reins of the franchise as Jordan rode the Birmingham bus as a minor-league baseball player. Pippen responded with a sensational season, averaging 22.0 points, 8.7 rebounds and 5.6 assists. He averaged 2.9 steals, shot 49 percent from the field and became a 3-point threat for the first time in his career. He was named First Team All-NBA and All-NBA Defensive First Team, and finished third to Hakeem and The Admiral in MVP voting. He averaged 22.8/8.3/4.6 in the postseason but ultimately proved it was easier to win in the spring with MJ by his side. Still, this individual season was one of the franchise’s best, if not the best. Hardware isn’t everything.

NBA Draft Tracker: Kentucky PG Shai Gilgeous-Alexander


NBA Draft Tracker: Kentucky PG Shai Gilgeous-Alexander

For most of the college basketball season, John Calipari’s Kentucky Wildcats ranked among the nation’s biggest underachievers. Calipari had perfected the one-and-done route in Lexington, recruiting classes full of McDonald’s All-Americans every year, making a deep run in the NCAA Tournament, and then sending those talented freshmen off to the NBA. Matter of fact, Coach Cal’s ability to get players ready to play professionally is the foundation of his recruiting success.

However, this season the tried and true formula ran into a bit of a speed bump. Injuries and inconsistency led to double digit losses for the Wildcats during the regular season, and an uncertain tournament outlook. That’s when freshman point guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander emerged as the leader of this young team, and sparked Kentucky to a Southeastern Conference tournament championship.

Gilgeous-Alexander has been even better in the NCAA Tournament, scoring 19 points with 8 rebounds and 7 assists in the Wildcats’ opening round win over Davidson, then coming back with 27 points, 6 rebounds and 6 assists in a victory over Buffalo.

At 6-6, Gilgeous-Alexander has the ability to shoot and pass over smaller defenders, while also possessing the quickness that is so crucial at the point guard position. Yes, he is very thin at 180 pounds, but has the frame to put on weight once he’s introduced to an NBA strength training program.

Gilgeous-Alexander has been Kentucky’s most efficient player throughout the season, shooting 49% from the field and nearly 42% from the 3 point line. He has the quickness and ball-handling ability to break down defenses and get in the paint for easy scores or assists. As the season progressed, Gilgeous-Alexander took on the role of go-to scorer late in games, sparking Kentucky’s runs in the S.E.C. AND NCAA tournaments.

So, by now I’m sure you’re asking, where does he fit with the Bulls? 3 weeks ago I was hoping Gilgeous-Alexander might be available in the 16-22 range where the Bulls might be able to get him with the Pelicans’ 1st round pick acquired in the Niko Mirotic trade. Unfortunately, his outstanding post-season play has him rocketing into the late lottery in the most recent mock drafts, and he could move up even higher if Kentucky advances to the Final 4.

The Bulls are happy with Kris Dunn as their starting point guard, and both Jerian Grant and Cameron Payne are under contract for next season. But if somehow the Pelicans fall out of the playoff field in the West (which seems very unlikely right now), adding an athletic combo guard like Gilgeous-Alexander would be an outstanding pick at 13 or 14.

So, when you’re watching Kentucky play in the NCAA Tournament, keep an eye on the tall, skinny guard wearing #22 and try to project just how good he might be on the professional level.