With ankle improving, Rose has 'amnesia' from Heat game

733342.png

With ankle improving, Rose has 'amnesia' from Heat game

DEERFIELD, Ill. - Two days after his career-low two-point outing in the Bulls thrilling overtime win over the Heat, in which he shot a nightmarish 1-for-13 from the field, Derrick Rose claimed he had amnesia.

"It was just one of those games, said the reigning league MVP following the Bulls Saturday-afternoon practice at the Berto Center, after which the team left for Detroit in advance of Sundays game against the Pistons. I forgot about that game and its on to the next one.

We have a good team. Only thing I can take from it, continued Rose. Of course I didnt play up to the ability I can play at and we still found a way to win the game. Weve got a deep team.

Rose, who watched film of Thursdays win with Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau after practice said he was Just seeing how they were defensively and how open people were on the weak side. Her wore a thick wrap around his right ankle and though he was a full participant in Saturdays session, he admitted that the injury severely hampered him against Miami.

When your ankles hurting, you cant move. You know how a sore ankle is. Bone is tender, cant get around like that or you tend to walk around, he acknowledged. When I was out there, it was definitely sore. An ankle injurys definitely going to be sore. If you play basketball, you would know that. But right now, its getting better and hopefully Ill be able to make some shots tomorrow.

Added Thibodeau, the perceived frontrunner for the leagues top-coaching honors for the second straight season: Rose is doing great. He came in yesterday, got a lot of work in yesterday. Hes feeling really good.

After two supbar performances since returning from a strained right groin that kept him out of 12 consecutive contests - he scored 29 points, but shot only 8-for-26 from the field in an Easter Sunday overtime loss at New York before sitting out Tuesdays home win over the Knicks with the ankle sprain, then returning for Thursdays victory - Rose was optimistic about his chances of bouncing back strong in the near future.

Its getting better every day and improving. Im just trying to work on my health, stay positive, like I always say, and keep my spirits up, he said. Shooting, running, shooting off the dribble, things like that to keep my rhythm up. Just try to get back quicker, just playing one-on-one, stuff like that.

Roses conditioning is all right. During the game, it didnt bother me. I think Ive been running enough. Beginning of the season, even when I was out with the groin injury, I took probably a week or something off. Then, I was running a little bit, working on my cardio in the pool and I think Im all right, he continued. Its possible that Rose plays more minutes in the Bulls final seven games of the season, yeah. I would love to. Its really up to Thibs, to see how much hes going to play me.

Fast Break Morning Update: Bulls gearing up for realistic run at the postseason

Fast Break Morning Update: Bulls gearing up for realistic run at the postseason

Today on CSN: White Sox continue spring training slate against Padres

Jimmy Butler, Bulls prep for stretch run with realistic eye on the postseason

Bears believe they got more than just a No. 2 QB in signing Mark Sanchez

Carlos Rodon headed to the disabled list, will start throwing program

Is Addison Russell still on track for Opening Night?

Nikola Mirotic reflects on pump fakes, maddening March, future in Chicago

Tanner Kero latest to try and fill Artem Anisimov's skates

 

No Bears move yet on CB Deiondre' Hall except maybe to safety

Cubs release Munenori Kawasaki and keep the door open for his return

Kristin Cavallari shows off her favorite NFL tight end: A nude Jay Cutler

Nikola Mirotic reflects on pump fakes, maddening March, future in Chicago

Nikola Mirotic reflects on pump fakes, maddening March, future in Chicago

If there's a more maddening player in the Eastern Conference than Nikola Mirotic, that player's psychologist should be getting paid double considering Bulls fans have been talking to themselves about Mirotic so much over the past three years.

And as they've reached no conclusion on Mirotic, along with many other sage minds, only one thing is for certain: March is his month.

Meaning it's the month where it becomes maddening to watch him play and probably equally as maddening for his teammates who've watched his inconsistencies for the better part of four months or so.

Averaging 16.0 points and 5.9 rebounds in 41 career March games, it's the only full month where Mirotic averages in double figures for his career—meaning there's a lot of inconsistencies to wade through to get to the proverbial pot of gold.

In 2014-15, he emerged as the NBA's best fourth-quarter scorer that month when the Bulls were without both Derrick Rose and Jimmy Butler. Last season, he came back fresh after an appendectomy took a big chunk of his year.

This year, there's no big macro reason. He's just playing definitively, making quick movements and it's paying off as his two best scoring games took place within a four-day span (28 against both Detroit and Milwaukee).

"Right now, you see I'm shooting without hesitation," Mirotic said to CSNChicago.com. "Just catch and shooting. It's a great feeling."

No word on whether Mirotic hears the fans in the arena or the twitterverse screaming for him to ditch the pump fake that he actually admits it got in his head, but this season has been a roller coaster of the most dramatic kind, as the Bulls are still vying for playoff positioning with eight games remaining in the regular season.

"Sometimes, especially when I'm reading you guys (media), Niko pump fake, pump fake," Mirotic said with a smile. "Okay, no more pump fakes, just fire that ball. I'm laughing because you guys are (right)…that's true. You guys want me to shoot. It doesn't look good when you pump fake every time you have a wide-open shot."

Being penciled in as a training camp starter due to the need for floor spacing, Taj Gibson quickly outplayed Mirotic for the power forward spot. Then Mirotic's up and down, down and up, season began.

Kind of like his pump fake that often drew more defensive attention for it's predictability than effectiveness, stability has been hard to find for a player many have been waiting on since the day he was drafted in 2011.

"I know the defenses are ready for my pump fake so now just like, shoot the ball," Mirotic said. "I've been spending a lot of hours working on my shot before practice, after practice, trying to catch the feeling."

Better late than never or too late?

That's the question surrounding Mirotic and he knows it, being aware of his status as a restricted free-agent-to-be, along with his trade value a month ago being so low, the Bulls could only get a future second-round pick for him from teams.

[VIVID SEATS: Get your Bulls tickets right here!]

With the Bulls having so many questions going into the future, who knows if they want to go through the up-and-down, down-and-up cycle with a talented player yet again, with a big-time financial commitment.

In a sense, Mirotic knows he's left plenty on the table as far as his play through the years and seems to be content with playing with a sense of freedom as the season concludes, whether he's back with the Bulls or not for next year and beyond.

"I just wanna leave a good impression for the Bulls," Mirotic said. "Whatever decision they make. It's been a pleasure. A lot of people dream to be here, I was one of those guys when I was in Europe. I was really like, I wanna go there and play for the Bulls. The history they have. For me, it's a dream come true. Whatever decision they make, I make, whatever. I don't know. The years here have been great. I know it's been up and down. It's been a pleasure and I just wanna finish right."