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Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose has insisted that his confidence is “through the roof” as he continues to battle to overcome niggling injuries this year.
Rose scored 21 points and grabbed four rebounds in the 109-102 win over the Boston Celtics on Friday and he insisted that he just needs to play more.
“My confidence is through the roof, man,” Rose said.
“I don’t need no more confidence, I just need to play. I know how good I am and I know how good I’m going to be. It’s just that I just need to be out there playing.”
The 26-year-old has been plagued by injuries over the past three years, and he has already missed eight games this season with sprained ankles and a hamstring strain.
His comments about managing his injuries and being “smarter” with a view to his life after basketball received a significant backlash, but it is clear that he will be capable of winning over his critics if he continues to play and produce.
“He played,” coach Tom Thibodeau said.
“The thing for Derrick is he’s got to keep building. Honestly, I looked at the 10 minutes [in Denver] as a positive. Back-to-back [games], he’s out there. I looked at the last two days, practicing and practicing hard, so he plays better. That’s how he’s going to shake the rust off. So I just want him to keep building. That’s what I want him to do. He’s got to be out there in order to do that.”
Thibodeau received another boost on Friday with Joakim Noah returning to the line-up after suffering with eye and knee issues earlier this week.
Noah put up 15 points and 14 rebounds along with six assists and six blocked shots against the Celtics, and Thibodeau believes that he saw a bounce in his step which has been lacking so far this season due to health issues.
It was a vital win for the Bulls who had dropped four of their previous six games, and it was clear the difference that Rose made with his aggression and ability to score easy baskets in transition as he helped the team improve to 10-6 for the season.