Rose on his legacy: I want to be a clutch player


Rose on his legacy: I want to be a clutch player

WASHINGTON Immediately after Sunday afternoons loss to the Heat in Miami, Derrick Rose revealed his extreme disappointment, most of which centered around, apart from the defeat itself, his two missed free throws in the final minute of the contest. Prior to the Bulls Monday night game against the Wizards, the reigning league MVP echoed those sentiments, but far from his crestfallen demeanor after the game, he voiced a determination to get past the high-profile failure.

Im fine. I can deal with it. My teammates, theyve got to roll with me through the good and the bad. I know if I ever get in that position again, itll be totally different, said Rose, showing even more of a swagger and confidence than in the past. You know, at first, it definitely hurt, knowing that I never would have thought in a million years that I would miss both free throws, but at that time, it definitely hurt. Talked to a few people, you know people try to encourage you. I know if I get in that position again, which I am, it will be a different outcome.

Thats something I live for. I think of my legacy. I want people to think of me as being a clutch player, someone that always comes through, majority of the time, when theyre on the court and Sunday, it hurt a little bit, but I know itll help me in the long run, he continued. If anything, Im just hurt for not only me, but the city of Chicago, knowing how big that game was, not only to me and to the organization, but to the city and our fans all over. Thats a rivalry there and you had your best player up there, had the opportunity to take the lead and I didnt come through. The only thing I can do is hope that they stay with me, stick with me and I promise that I wont let them down again.

Rose refused to take solace in the fact the constantly short-handed Bulls were missing small forward Luol Deng, the teams second-best player, and reserve stalwart C.J. Watson, who could have spelled Rose for at least few minutes Sunday.

Dont get me wrong, thats all good, but we still had an opportunity to win and we didnt. In the NBA, theres no excuses, no matter whos playing, whos out, whos injured, said Rose, putting the loss in perspective. It was huge because it was our next game, but losing to them in the playoffs, of course, with that history, we definitely wanted to win that game Sunday. I think we put ourselves in a position to win and I just didnt come through. I think if I would hit those two free throws, it would have changed the game, but it didnt work that way.

But when asked if there would be any carry-over from his disappointment to Mondays game, Rose was steadfast in his response.

Oh, hell no. Hell no, said Rose, who cited the NCAA championship game during his lone college season at Memphis ironically, he lost to Kansas, whose hero was Heat starting point guard Mario Chalmers as the last time he can recall coming up short in the clutch individually. It just makes me hungry, where tonight, Im going to try to go crazy.

On the other hand, Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau, equipped with a similar competitive spirit, was adamant in not discussing Sundays game.

We dont look backwards. All were doing is looking at tonights game against Washington, be ready to play. Thats all. Theyre a team, youve got to be ready for their speed and intensity, he said. I dont want our focus to be on Sunday. I want it to be on today and thats all were thinking about.

As for Rose, the All-Star point guard claimed his turf-toe injury doesnt affect him anymore.

I dont feel it anymore. My biggest thing now is just getting rest, he said. My toe is all right, been getting treatment on it, so Im fine with that. Its just getting rest and getting the proper sleeping time.

Ive been making sure Im eating good. I stopped eating sweets as much. Getting rest, sleeping. Really, just laying around in my bed, getting off my feet and eating-wise, I only eat chicken. I dont eat beef, pork or fish, so I think Im eating OK, Rose continued, explaining a health kick partially motivated by the condensed schedule. Just sugar, period. Candy. Thats something Ive stoppedIve slowed down, I would sayand Im still working on it.

Rose also talked about how being a Chicago native, he feels even more of a responsibility to his hometown team.

I wouldnt say a burden, but I like seeing my city happy, especially if Im one of the reasons why. I know what we went through after Mike left and all the years people didnt really watch the Bulls and for them to start watching the Bulls, and for the organization, get our fans back, it means a lot to me, knowing that when you see people, theyve got Bulls hats on, Bulls apparel on. It means a lot to me, he said.

Bulls announce substitute broadcasters for first five Neil Funk-less games


Bulls announce substitute broadcasters for first five Neil Funk-less games

If you haven't heard, Neil Funk is cutting 20 road games from his 2018-19 Bulls' play-by-play schedule.

Friday, the Bulls announced that Adam Amin, Andy Demetra and Kyle Draper will fill in for Funk for the first five of those games.

Amin, a play-by-play commentator for ESPN, will games on Oct. 22 against the Mavericks and Nov. 14 against the Celtics. He grew up in Addison, resides in Chicago and also does play-by-play for Bears preseason games.

Demetra is from Oak Brook and currently is the play-by-play broadcaster for Georgia Tech basketball and football. He will call games on Oct. 26 against the Hornets and Oct. 27 against the Hawks. He has previous play-by-play experience with the SEC Network, Pac-12 Network and Fox Sports South.

Draper will call the Bulls' Nov. 7 game against the Pelicans. He is the Celtics' pregame and postgame host for NBC Sports Boston and an occasional play-by-play annoucer and sideline reporter for the Celtics.

The Bulls said they will continue providing updates on substitute broadcasters as they are scheduled.

Pistons have the look of a playoff team in wide open East


Pistons have the look of a playoff team in wide open East

Finishing 9th in the Eastern Conference last season cost Stan Van Gundy his job as Pistons head coach and President of Basketball Operations. Van Gundy was replaced on the bench by 2017-18 Coach of the Year Dwane Casey, who was fired after the Raptors were swept by Cleveland in the conference semi-finals.

Casey’s job in Detroit is to find a way to develop the young players on the roster while getting the team to the playoffs. He has a pair of All-Star caliber players in the front court, Blake Griffin and Andre Drummond, along with highly-paid, erratic point guard Reggie Jackson.

Griffin has battled injuries in recent seasons, but Van Gundy decided to roll the dice at mid-season a year ago by trading Tobias Harris, Avery Bradley AND a 1st round pick to the Clippers for the former slam dunk champion in a desperate bid to save his job. The trade didn’t work out for Van Gundy, but it’s possible Griffin could enjoy a resurgence in Detroit this season.

The 29-year-old power forward scored 26 points, pulled down eight rebounds and dished out six assists in the Pistons’ 103-100 win over Brooklyn on Wednesday. Meanwhile, Drummond had a monster game with 24 points and 20 rebounds. As Bulls fans know all too well, Drummond has made the 20 rebound game commonplace when facing Fred Hoiberg’s squad in recent years.

As for Jackson, a severely sprained right ankle limited him to just 45 games last season, probably costing Detroit a chance to make the playoffs. The 8th year pro is lightning quick, with the ability to disrupt defenses by getting into the paint and challenging bigger defenders at the rim. Jackson scored 19 points in the season opener against Brooklyn, and he’ll be a problem for the Bulls Saturday night, especially if Kris Dunn is unavailable.

Casey is still trying to figure out how to use the rest of the roster Van Gundy built, with recent 1st round pick Henry Ellenson and former rotation player Jon Leuer getting DNP-CD’s against the Nets. Meanwhile, two other expected rotation players, small forward Stanley Johnson and swingman Reggie Bullock missed the opener because of injuries.

That left second year guard Luke Kennard and 2018 2nd round draft pick Bruce Brown as the other starters in game one, something that’s unlikely to continue once everyone’s healthy.

So, how do the Bulls even their record at 1-1 on Saturday? Here are my three keys:

1. Keep Drummond and Griffin off the offensive boards. This is much easier said than done. Drummond in particular is relentless going after missed shots, and his bulk will cause problems for 19 year old rookie Wendell Carter Jr. Hoiberg hinted at possible line-up changes on Friday morning, which could include starting veteran Robin Lopez at center to battle Drummond inside. Griffin has turned into more of a jump shooter now and doesn’t have the multiple jump capability that characterized his early seasons in the NBA, but he’s still a threat to create 2nd shot opportunities.

2. Close out on three-point shooters. Of all the defensive issues for the Bulls in Philadelphia on Thursday, losing touch with shooters in transition was probably the most troublesome. Robert Covington seemed to be open at the three-point line throughout the game, and Bulls players struggled to handle cross-match situations. Kennard had one of the best games of his rookie season against the Bulls, and Jackson, Ish Smith and Langston Galloway are all capable of heating up from long distance.

3. Attack Detroit’s interior defense. The Bulls were at their best offensively in the first quarter against Philadelphia when they drove to the basket to set up easy scoring chances. Zach LaVine was getting to the rim at will in scoring 15 of his 30 points in the opening 12 minutes, and his penetration also set up Bobby Portis for open looks from the three-point line. Hopefully, Dunn will return to stabilize the point guard position and give the Bulls' first unit another shot creator so they can sustain their pace and scoring potential over four quarters.

Saturday’s home opener is definitely winnable against a Detroit team still finding its way under a new coaching staff. Better effort and attention to detail on the defensive end along with a fast-paced, drive and kick offensive attack should make for an exciting opening night at the United Center.

Make sure to join Kendall Gill, Will Perdue, Kelly Crull and me for a special one hour edition of Bulls Pre-Game Live at 6 p.m. on NBC Sports Chicago and the new My Teams app, followed by the play by play call with Neil Funk and Stacey King at 7 p.m. And, stay tuned after the final buzzer for reaction and analysis on an expanded edition of Bulls Postgame Live.