Sam: Rose won't blame poor shooting on ankle

Sam: Rose won't blame poor shooting on ankle

Saturday, April 23, 2011
Posted: 7:58 p.m.

By Aggrey Sam
CSNChicago.com
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.

Aggrey Sam is CSNChicago.com's Bulls Insider. Follow him @CSNBullsInsider on Twitter for up-to-the-minute Bulls information and his take on the team, the NBA and much more.

After fighting through unspeakable adversity, Celtics 'enjoying the moment' with new perspective

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USA TODAY

After fighting through unspeakable adversity, Celtics 'enjoying the moment' with new perspective

Championship moments rarely occur in the first round. With a playoff format that drags the postseason out for more than two months, with playoff series taking as long as two weeks, the second season feels like just that. It’s far too early to say what exactly Friday night in Chicago will mean for the top-seeded Celtics, but a sense of a team coming together under unfathomable circumstances may prove to be the turning point in a season that a week ago appeared hanging by a thread.

It happened in three parts.

On the floor the Celtics looked every bit the part of a 51-win team that edged out LeBron’s Cavs for the top spot in the East. Brad Stevens’ small-ball approach came full-circle as the Boston guards lived in the paint against the Bulls, kicking out to open shooters for 16 3-pointers that helped the Celtics put away the game (and series) midway through the third quarter.

Avery Bradley starred for a second consecutive night, tallying 23 points while making Jimmy Butler work for his, while eight different Celtics hit a 3-pointer and the team shot 49 percent. For the first time in the series the Celtics looked dominant, like a team poised to contend with the Cavaliers for supremacy in the East.

“It felt good to play Celtic basketball again,” Avery Bradley said. “We were all smiling, having fun, and that’s what it’s supposed to be. That’s how hard we worked this entire year, to play that type of basketball.”

Isaiah Thomas was naturally somber much of the series. The well-documented death of his 22-year-old sister put a damper on the series before it began, and the MVP candidate understandably chose not to address it on the few occassions he spoke with the media. But Thomas looked more like himself as the series went on. Not only did his numbers improve, he appeared more vocal after made baskets, laughed off trash talk from Bulls point guard Isaiah Canaan, and engineered the Celtics' offense to near-perfection.

His defining moment came late in the third quarter with the Celtics nearing a 30-point lead. After a hard foul he gathered his four teammates in a huddle near the baseline and shouted that the series for the Bulls was "a wrap for these m------------!" This was the same player who two weeks earlier was brought to tears prior to Game 1, and who will bury his sister on Saturday in Tacoma, Washington. Under unthinkable circumstances, Thomas averaged 23.0 points and 5.7 assists in 34.8 minutes in the series.

“I feel like he has grown,” Al Horford said. "And we all have in a way with all the adversity that has gone on. It could have easily gone the other way, but I feel like especially tonight when we got the game in hand, in control, we all just kept on repeating to stay focused to keep it going, keep pushing. We didn’t want to give them any life and we were a focused group and we were enjoying the moment.”

Thomas' journey won't get easier. He'll have another short turnaround to get ready for Sunday's second-round matchup against the Celtics. But like his teammates did in Games 3 and 4, when Thomas flew by himself to Chicago following his return home to Tacoma to mourn with his family, they'll have another opporuntity to grow closer. Brad Stevens kept an incredible perspective on the situation throughout the series, and applauded his team for doing the same while still fighting for wins.

"Bigger things than basketball happened, and that took precedent and it takes precdedent," he said. "I was really proud of our guys for how they treated each other, how they stood together, stuck together. And how nobody pointed fingers, they were just a great support for one another, especially Isaiah."

When Thomas does return, and when the Celtics gear up for their next postseason journey, expectations will have remained the same. Though the Wizards were one of the league's best teams in the second half, and with John Wall and Bradley Beal playing on another level, it'll take more performances like Friday night - both on the court and collectively staying together - for Boston to advance. A 2-0 hole against the Wizards will feel a whole lot different than it did against the Bulls.

That sort of letdown doesn't feel like it will happen again. Though no one would have wished such tragedy to force it, the Celtics came together at a critical moment and came out better for it. Their work isn't done, and they know it. But the way they were able to handle the adversity in Round 1, anything seems possible for Stevens, Thomas the top seed in the East.

"We just try to stay the course in the day-to-day. And if that results in us winning more games or winning in the playoffs, or whatever the case may be, there’s only one goal in the Boston," Stevens said. "Seventeen (NBA championship) banners above us. We don’t have a choice. We only shoot for one thing there."

BullsTalk Podcast: Top-seeded Celtics too much to handle for Bulls

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AP

BullsTalk Podcast: Top-seeded Celtics too much to handle for Bulls

In the latest episode of the BullsTalk Podcast, Mark Schanowski, Will Perdue and Stacey King break down the final game of the Bulls' season, a 105-83 loss to the Boston Celtics in Game 6 of their first-round playoff series.

Also, hear postgame press conferences from head coach Fred Hoiberg and All-Star forward Jimmy Butler. And the guys look ahead to the offseason and the NBA Draft.

Listen to the latest episode below: