Rose bounces back in a big way for Bulls

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Rose bounces back in a big way for Bulls

AUBURN HILLS, MIch.At least we know Derrick Rose doesnt have selective amnesia, forgetting the games he wants to forget.

Following his nightmarish 1-for-13 performance in the Bulls overtime win against the Heat Thursday at the United Center, Rose told the media after Saturdays practice that he had amnesia and already put that game behind him.

After Sundays win at Detroit, in which he scored 24 points, dished out nine assists and saved the Bulls from an upset loss by hitting a game-tying three-pointer with 6.4 seconds left in regulation to send the contest into the extra session, Rose proved that it was true with a strong individual outing and afterwards, he credited both his teammates and his own work ethic for the bounce-back game.

Were learning from it. Were finding ways to win. I dont know how, but were finding ways. We have a good team, man. Im trying to catch up with my teammates. Im trying to play as hard as them and Im trying to get my rhythm back, but theyre allowing me to. They give me the ball in situations where I was in before the injury. Im just trying to learn my way through it, the reigning MVP explained afterwards.

It was a brawl. Theyre a good team. Theyre still trying to win and they played hard. We had the game. We were up by 12 in the third, we let the game slip and fought our way back.

Its coming along, man. Ive still got to get used to the tape, but driving, I think its coming along. Just shooting, just my rhythm is coming along, he continued. Just working on my game, man. Every off day, just in the gym, just shooting shots. Driving, doing Mikan drills, just trying to get the feel for the ball and the basket.

Uncharacteristically, Rose shot four airballs in the gameIm shooting them. Im shooting airballs, he admitted. Thats not stopping me. If I get an open shot, Im shooting it. but he came up big when it counted most Sunday.

I just saw I had an open shot. I thought they were going to foul. Right when I saw BG Gordon didnt foul me and Monroe was kind of back some, I just shot the ball, he said, describing the shot that sent the game into overtime. Freelancing. Pick-and-roll, see what we can get in transition. They backed up and I shot the ball.

Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau was pleased with Roses progress since Thursday.

I thought he was very explosive today. I thought he was terrific. He was in the lane. He still had some bobbles, but I thought his pick-and-roll offense was unbelievable. Changing direction was great and I thought he was getting to the rim, and he didnt get the calls, but he was getting hit, so hes got to keep going, he said.

Every time hes come back, its never more than a game with him. The other night, he struggled a little bit, but he had eight or nine assists and hes into the game, and hes a great leader, great leadership. The next day, hes in the gym, in a full lather from just working on his game and you just knew the next game, he was going to be ready to go and to me, you cant ask for more leadership than that. Thats the best type of leadership. Its not somebody just saying things and doing none of them, but somebody whos doing things and setting a great example, and setting the tone for the team. To me, thats the best type of leadership you can have and thats what hes doing.

Added teammate Joakim Noah: Its just great to have him out there. He puts so much pressure on the defense and that just makes easy opportunitiesDerricks a tough guy, so he knows that we need him and it was a good win for us.

As questions about his future remain, David Accam is in his best run with the Fire

As questions about his future remain, David Accam is in his best run with the Fire

For the past two seasons, David Accam was a bright spot on bad Chicago Fire teams.

This season, with more talent on the roster, Accam has blossomed into one of the most dangerous players in the league.

He had a hat trick and an assist in Saturday’s 4-0 win against Orlando. That gives him 10 goals and six assists on the season. Only two other players in Major League Soccer have 16 combined goals and assists, New York City FC's David Villa and teammate Nemanja Nikolic (the leading goal-scorer in the league).

“I thought I could do anything on the pitch today,” Accam said. “I just wanted to enjoy myself and entertain the fans and also help the team win. That’s what we did today, especially after my first goal. I just thought I could get more goals and also help the team win.”

Accam’s big game comes after he sat out the previous two games, which were both played on turf. He wasn’t listed on the injury report, but coach Veljko Paunovic said, “he didn’t recover from the physical issues that he had in the previous game.”

The rest seemed to do Accam some good, but his success in the game (as well as his recent run of eight goals and four assists in his last eight matches) coincides with questions about his future. He was recently rumored to be the target of a Turkish club.

In the past, Accam has spoken about his ambition to play at the highest levels. Typically, that means Europe. General manager Nelson Rodriguez said last month that he expects offers to come in for the 26-year-old because he is a good player in his prime ages.

So is Accam playing like someone trying to earn a new contract? That could be either impressing potential suitors in Europe or boosting his negotiation position with the Fire. Rodriguez has talked about contract negotiations with Accam before, and said those will not resume again until after the season.

“I wanted to be in a team where I would develop as a person and also win trophies, whether here or somewhere (else) I don’t know,” Accam said. “For me, I’m doing really well here and every year if I keep playing well there will be always interest. I know there is a lot of interest because I’m doing well. For me it’s always extra motivation to keep doing well. You don’t know where I will end up, whether here or somewhere else. I’ll just keep playing.”

Accam’s play earned him another call-up to the Ghanaian national team. He will join the team on Sunday for a pair of friendlies in the U.S. The Black Stars will take on Mexico in Houston on June 28 and the U.S. in East Hartford, Conn., on July 1 as the two North American countries prepare for the Gold Cup.

“That’s where I want to be,” Accam said. “I want to be playing for the national team so it’s extra motivation for me to perform well and also to go to the national team.”

Accam has been one of the most productive players in MLS this year, based on goals and assists, and is young enough to draw the attention of plenty of teams. For now, the Fire have him as a key part of the best season the club has had in years.

“I think that he understands very well how to play with the team that we have now and with the teammates that he is surrounded with,” coach Veljko Paunovic said. “We just have to work to give David opportunities… Then we expect that performances like that will come even more.”

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