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Chicago Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau insists that point guard Derrick Rose needs to string some games together in order to get back to a high level of play.
After missing the previous four games with a strained left hamstring, the 26-year-old made his comeback in Monday night’s 97-95 win over the Utah Jazz and went 5-for-10 from the field with 18 points, five assists and three rebounds in 25 minutes of action.
Rose had already missed a handful of games this season due to sprained ankles as he looks for consistent minutes after playing in just 10 games in the previous two seasons.
When asked if he felt the point guard was fatigued in the second half of the Jazz win, Thibodeau delivered his verdict on his performance.
“Oh I don’t know. Jesus. He’s got to get out there and play,” Thibodeau said. “I thought he did a lot of good things. You could see he’s not real comfortable with the ball yet, but that will come. When Derrick strings some games together, he’s going to take off. He’s got to go. That’s the bottom line. He’s got to go.”
Rose was questioned on his injury woes and said he understood Thibodeau’s frustrations as the Bulls coach had his preferred starting five out for only the third time this season, while he also believes he needs to work on limiting the number of turnovers he committed.
The explosive former MVP started the game aggressively on Monday but his teammates insisted that his presence on the floor makes it easier for them all to get good looks and open shots as so they will hope he can go again against the Denver Nuggets on Tuesday with Pau Gasol also hopeful of featuring in back-to-back games after recovering from a calf strain.
“It’s been time,” Rose said. “To me, it’s been time. Every injury is a setback a little bit, but as far as emotions and everything, how hard I worked, it’s been consistent with how I’m feeling, being positive. And it’s been a minute since I’ve played. This is the first one and now it’s behind me and now we’re on to Denver.”
“I wasn’t trying to do too much when I was in there. They were giving me shots, and I was just trying to take the shots that they were giving me.”
The Bulls are also without Taj Gibson and Kirk Hinrich, but Thibodeau is hopeful that he will get his full roster available sooner rather than later as Chicago look to get some consistency in the regular season and live up to their tag of being a favourite to emerge from the Eastern Conference.