Previous ArticlesBulls and Rose ready for home opener
Rose expects to face Knicks despite neck soreness
by Adam Fluck
Posted on Oct 31
Derrick Rose is dealing with a sore neck but the Bulls point guard doesn’t expect it to sideline him for Thursday’s home opener against the New York Knicks.
Rose is under the assumption he tweaked his neck at some point during Chicago’s regular season opener in Miami on Tuesday, though he doesn’t know exactly when it happened.
“I don’t know what play did it or whatever,” said Rose following the Bulls shootaround at the United Center. “My body just has to get used to playing. My knee is good. It’s just my neck.”
Rose missed Wednesday’s practice to rest and receive treatment, then sat out of Thursday’s morning shootaround.
While Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau called him a game-time decision, Rose was more specific: “Oh hell yeah, for sure I know I’m going to play. I’ve just got to get loose.”
As for facing the Knicks, Rose said he hopes the Bulls can come out and set the tone—something the Heat were able to do in Tuesday’s defeat
“We’re coming into these games where teams are really shooting for us,” noted Rose. “We have to be the most aggressive team out there. That’s what we didn’t do last game.
“They didn’t even give me a chance to attack the bigs like I wanted to,” Rose added. “They were jumping out way before I got to the screens. [I’m] just trying to make the game simple and find Joakim [Noah] or Taj [Gibson] or whoever it is in the middle, then they’ve got to make plays from there.”
Improvement from Tuesday in Rose’s mind will also involve better ball movement and hitting shots, especially those they normally make.
Thibodeau, meanwhile, is looking for a more consistent effort than what he saw against the Heat. Staying out of foul trouble—both Jimmy Butler and Luol Deng were hampered by that in the first half of the opener—will also help.
“You’ve got to play for 48 minutes,” said Thibodeau. The first quarter was very good; the second quarter we gave up 37 points. When [Rose] went to the bench and Jimmy went to the bench and Lu went to the bench, we had a hard time. You have a bad quarter against a quality team and it’s hard to make up.
“Every team in this league is very talented,” Thibodeau added. “Readiness to play is critical. Playing for 48 minutes is critical. We’ve got to establish the right habits and you’ve got to put the work into it.”