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 and Cavaliers' flights delayed with matchup in Chicago on Saturday

Bulls and Cavaliers' flights delayed with matchup in Chicago on Saturday

The Bulls (15-28) and Cavaliers (12-29) will face off Saturday night in Chicago, both teams on the second night of back-to-backs. But already unideal circumstances just got a bit more adverse for both teams.

Per the Bulls, their team flight from Philadelphia — where the team just suffered a 100-89 loss to the 76ers — and the Cavaliers' flight from Memphis — where the Cavs currently battling the Grizzlies — have both been delayed overnight. Both teams plan to fly into Chicago on Saturday.

The impending matchup will be the Bulls' second against the Cavaliers this season. On Oct. 30, the Cavs beat the Bulls 117-111 in Cleveland.

Second nights of back-to-backs are already a marker for potentially wonky basketball. Given this development, anything is possible between these two teams on Saturday.

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Four observations: First half energy fades in Bulls' loss to 76ers

Four observations: First half energy fades in Bulls' loss to 76ers

The Bulls hung with Philadelphia in the first half, but let another one slip in the third quarter and beyond. Observations from the Sixers' 100-89 victory:

Run, Chicago, run

The Bulls are at their best on the run — they entered play tonight ranked sixth in the NBA in percentage of total points on the fastbreak (14.3%), and that dynamic kept them in this one in the earlygoing.

Through quarter one, the Bulls outscored the Sixers 11-2 on the fastbreak (24-11 on the scoreboard), and extending into the beginning of the second, 16 of the Bulls’ first 27 points came in transition. By halftime, leading Philadelphia 47-46, their fastbreak points advantage had swelled to 18-4. All of that while forcing only five Sixers turnovers.

Lauri Markkanen benefitted the most from the pick-up in pace. He ran the floor hard throughout the first two quarters — cutting, dunking and curling around screens with purpose en route to 12 first half points on 5-for-7 shooting.

As a team, the Bulls had six dunks in the first half. Rims were rattling:


The Bulls finished the night wih 29 fastbreak points, but the energy noticably shifted in the Sixers' favor as the game wore on.

The third quarter got away from the Bulls

In the Bulls’ three games prior to this one, they outscored opponents by an average of 4.7 points per game in third quarters. Their season-long -1.9 third-quarter point differential ranks 27th in the NBA.

Tonight’s third quarter, which the Sixers won 35-24, was thus a regression to reality. In the 12 minutes that ultimately decided the game, Ben Simmons sliced and diced his way to six points and four assists, and Al Horford had nine points on 4-for-5 shooting. The two of them burned the Sixers’ pick-and-pop coverages with regularity. The Bulls committed five turnovers and shot 2-for-8 from three in the period. 

But Furkan Korkmaz led the way. In the period, he scored 14 points and hit 4 of 4 from 3-point range on the heels of a first half that the Sixers shot the longball at only a 21.4% clip. Korkmaz finished the night 24 points on 8-for-11 shooting and hit a career-high six threes.

In the second half, the Sixers outshot the Bulls 55% to 41.5% from the field, 40% to 10.5% from three and outscored them 54-42. Philadelphia is a vastly better team and dominant at home, but it felt all too familiar.

Lauri Markkanen faded again

Also of note from that third quarter: Markkanen played eight-and-a-half of 12 minutes and took no shots as the 76ers vaulted from down one to up 10. In the second half, overall, Markkanen went scoreless on 0-for-2 shooting after his aforementioned strong first half.

This is a pattern now and has been for some time. Markkanen's 13:22 minutes in the first half (a half in which he at one point sat for a 10:38 minute stretch between the first and second quarter) and 28:48 minutes for the game feels too few (with the obvious caveat being the unknown severity of his lingering ankle ailment). Still, when all was said and done, Luke Kornet finished with more points (13) and shots (10) than Markkanen.

Salvaging Markkanen’s development should be trending towards a major priority for the Bulls in the second half of this season. Performances like this aren’t encouraging in the context of that mission.

Individual notes

  • Ben Simmons loves playing the Bulls. He finished this one with 20 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists and for long stretches looked absolutely unstoppable against the undersized cast of characters the Bulls threw at him. Entering play, Simmons was averaging 19.2 points, 10.5 rebounds and 9.5 assists with three triple-doubles against Chicago in his career.

  • Might it be Coby time? A bright spot! (I always try to sneak one in these things). Coby White ended up the Bulls’ second-leading scorer with 14 points and added four assists, to boot. His 5-for-13 shooting from the field and 2-for-6 from three don’t jump off the screen, but in spurts, he sparked the Bulls’ offensive attack and is beginning to pepper in more instances of his improved patience and decision-making in the halfcourt. The Bulls are now 15-28. If development is the focus, might it be time to give White a shot with the big boys?

  • Zach LaVine couldn’t find the netting on his jumpers tonight, finishing 0-for-7 from three. But he still got to the rim at will and finished with 23 points, seven rebounds and 9-for-13 shooting inside the arc. It’s his first game since Jan. 6 with less than 25 points. It all goes to show how not-empty LaVine’s offensive numbers are, even if not all of his stellar performances translate to wins. On a night where he was good not great, the Bulls mustered only 89 points and were out of the game part-way through the third quarter.

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