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.