NBA AM: Don’t Blame Tom Thibodeau
Don’t Blame Thibodeau: The general consensus among fans regarding Derrick Rose’s tragic ACL tear on Saturday is why was he on the floor with the game almost over?
The truth of the matter is that’s how Tom Thibodeau coaches. He rarely pulls his starters unless it’s a landslide game and his guys know they will likely be on the floor until the final buzzer.
That’s how he coaches.
Blaming Thibodeau for Rose’s ACL tear is downright silly. Rose could have torn the ligament in practice, getting into his car or stepping out of the shower.
Blaming the coach is a bit of a cop out, which is something the Bulls are not going to allow to dominate their postseason run.
“I think we all feel awful for him,” Thibodeau said to Nick Friedell of ESPNChicago.com. “Derrick’s not only a great player, he’s a great teammate, he’s a great person, but it’s not a death sentence. It’s not a death sentence for him; it’s not a death sentence for our team. He’s going to come back. He’ll come back better than ever. It’s just the way it is and we’ve got to deal with.”
Bulls’ general manager Gar Forman mirrored his coach’s thoughts and said he saw nothing wrong with Rose being on the floor and was surprised to hear anyone questioning the decision.
“There’s absolutely no issue there,” Forman said. “It’s a playoff game. They had cut a lead down to 12 and we’re going to have our guys on the floor making sure that we win the basketball game, especially in that situation.”
“It never entered my mind,” Forman said of a potential controversy. “I was actually surprised when I heard it. But it’s absolutely no issue with us and I don’t see where it would be with anybody. Again, you’re in a playoff game where a lead has been cut by eight or 10 points. It’s a key time of the year and you’re trying to win the game, finish strong and win the game.”
There is no doubting that the Bulls will miss Rose, but given how many games the team has had to play without Rose this season – 18-9 in their 27 games – no team is more prepared than Chicago to play without their star.
“Any time any of our players get hurt, obviously you’re disappointed,” Forman said. “Our goal was to be 100 percent going into the playoffs which we felt we were. It’s obviously disappointing for Derrick, it’s disappointing for the organization … I think the players feel that we’ve got enough to get it done and have success and certainly as a coaching staff and a front office, we’ve feel we’ve got enough to get it done and have success and we think we’ve proven that throughout the year. Our bench has been real key and when guys have gone down, other guys have stepped up. We’ll continue to move forward.
“It’s really a freak type injury. This injury could happen in the first minute of the game, it could happen midway through the game. It can happen at the end of the game. I can happen in practice. When it happens, it happens. But it really is a freak type injury as far as that’s concerned. It could happen to anybody at any time and unfortunately it happened to Derrick (Saturday).”
There is no timetable set for Rose’s surgery. There is typically a waiting period involved to allow for swelling to subside.
“I think they’re still going through it all right now so nothing’s been finalized,” Thibodeau said. “He still has to talk to the doctors, Fred (Tedeschi) and then lay out the plan. Normally there’s a waiting out period and then they’ll do the surgery down the road.”
The typical recovery window for an ACL tear is six to eight months, meaning if Rose has surgery in May, he is looking at October in a best case, with a more likely window being late November to early December if there are no complications.
Rondo’s Status Unclear: By now, you have likely seen the play. Boston’s Rajon Rondo and his teammates were trying to dig out a loose ball with 43 seconds remaining in a 74-78 game, when referee Marc Davis called Boston forward Brandon Bass with a foul for tackling Hawks forward Josh Smith, who was scrambling on the floor for possession.
Rondo took exception to the call and got in the face of Davis, landing him a technical foul just as Rondo appeared to have stumbled into Davis with a puffed out chest landing him an ejection.
“Obviously, I was upset about the call and I said some words to Marc,” Rondo said to reporters after the game. “I deserved the first tech, and as I was walking. I thought he stopped, my momentum carried me into him — I even think I tripped on his foot — I didn’t intentionally chest-bump him. But that’s what it appears to be.”
“Doc just told me to keep my composure, which I know,” Rondo said. “I was out there competing, I wanted to win and it just took a hold of me.”
The NBA reviews all plays that result in a technical foul or an ejection and it is likely that Rondo will be suspended for Game 2 in Atlanta on Tuesday for making physical conduct with a game official.
“It’s out of my control,” Rondo said of his Game 2 status. “Obviously, I want to be there for my teammates, but other than that, I have no control right now.”
Here is the sequence if you missed it:
You Call It – Most Valuable Player:
The post-season awards continue to roll on: Cleveland’s Kyrie Irving was your vote for Rookie of the Year, Oklahoma City’s James Harden ran away with the Sixth Man of the year vote, Milwaukee’s Ersan Ilyasova continues to receive votes for Most Improved, winning that vote in a walk. LA Clippers executive Neil Olshey got the nod for Executive of the year.The Defensive Player of the Year award was a little tighter than some of the others with New York’s Tyson Chandler winning the vote. The Coach of the Year award was not nearly as competitive with San Antonio’s Gregg Popovich winning the vote.
Here is how it played out:
Gregg Popovich – San Antonio (46%, 621 Votes), Tom Thibodeau – Chicago (24%, 327 Votes), Frank Vogel – Indiana (16%, 214 Votes), Doc Rivers – Boston (6%, 83 Votes), Lionel Hollins – Memphis (4%, 57 Votes), Scott Brooks – Oklahoma City (4%, 33 Votes)
Which leaves us with the final vote…
Mega New Jersey Workout Planned: For the past few years, the New Jersey Nets have hosted a monster workout for would-be draft picks. This year the Nets are said to be hosting some 44 would-be draft prospects who will workout in a three-on-three setting in front of scouts, general managers and decision makers from most of the teams in the NBA.
The mega workout is set for May 19th and 20th, and while all workouts are voluntary, these types of events typically feature the second and third tier of the NBA draft and is generally the gateway to the coveted NBA Draft Combine invite most players are seeking.
Why is the combine invite so important?
In 2011, 81.4% of the 54 players that were invited were drafted. Nineplayers went undrafted, with Lucas Nogueira having been invited but pulled out before the draft.
In 2010, 86.7% of the 53 players that were invited were drafted. Seven players went undrafted, including Mikhail Torrance, who was invited, but red-flagged medically for a heart condition.
In 2009, 84.6% of the 52 players that were invited were drafted. Eight players went undrafted, including Damion James and Gani Lawal, who pulled out of the draft after the combine.
The 2012 NBA Draft Combine is scheduled for June 7th through the 10th in Chicago.
HOOPSWORLD will start our draft tour in the coming days, so look for exclusive video and interviews with would-be draft prospects as we march towards the 2012 NBA Draft on June 28th, which is in just 59 days.
More Twitter: Make sure you are following all of our guys on Twitter to insure you are getting the very latest from our team: @stevekylerNBA, @AlexKennedyNBA, @jfleminghoops, @TheRocketGuy, @EricPincus, @joelbrigham, @alexraskinNYC, @SusanBible, @DPageHoopsWorld , @stephenlitel , @stevesraptors, @TommyBeer and @YannisHW.
NBA Chats: There are three NBA Chats scheduled for today starting with HOOPSWORLD’s Bill Ingram at 11am. Bill’s chats do fill up fast so getting in early is always wise. HOOPSWORLD’s Stephen Brotherston returns to hold down his weekly chat at 3pm EST. While HOOPSWORLD editor Jason Fleming rounds out the day with his weekly NBA chat at 8pm EST. You can always find the next NBA Chat here: http://www.hoopsworld.com/upcoming-chats and if you are looking for Previous Chats try here: http://www.hoopsworld.com/previous-chats