Rose hits winning shot in homecoming
by Sean Highkin, USA TODAY Sports
CHICAGO — It wasn’t perfect, but Derrick Rose’s Chicago homecoming won’t be forgotten anytime soon. With just over five seconds remaining and the Bulls trailing the New York Knicks by one point, Rose drained a pull-up jumper to seal an 82-81 win and bring the Bulls to 1-1 on the season.
“We just wanted to get a quality shot,” Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said.
Those had been hard to come by for most of the game. Rose and the Bulls struggled to make shots for the second game in a row, shooting 40.8% from the field and an atrocious 3-for-16 from three-point range.
Rose scored 18 points on 7-of-23 shooting in his first regular-season home game since tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in the 2012 playoffs. He looked comfortable spotting up for jump shots but rusty creating off the dribble.
Still, despite the rough patches, the defense of the Bulls, led by Luol Deng and Joakim Noah, was enough to hold the Knicks to 36% shooting.
Thibodeau isn’t worried about Rose’s rust — he understands that Rose hasn’t played at this level in almost 18 months and it will take time for him to get his legs back.
“He’ll be fine,” the coach said. “There are going to be some bumps, but he’ll get there”
During the Bulls’ morning shootaround on Thursday, Rose revealed that he had a sore neck. Thibodeau called him a game-time decision, but Rose insisted he would play, and he did.
“The thing to me that he showed was a lot of toughness,” Thibodeau said. “It was a struggle early on in the game, but he found his way at the start of the third and that got a little rhythm going. But he has a lot of confidence. He had the courage to take and make the shot on the last play of the game.
“I’ve been around him long enough and he’s won enough games for us. The only way he’s going to get there is to let him do it and trust that he’ll make the right play.”