Derrick Rose isn’t looking for an answer, but he doesn’t know why his role has been so drastically reduced. As Rose admitted on Thursday, “I’m in the unknown.”
After the 34-year-old’s extended absence last season was found to be the main cause of the Knicks downward spiral, it was expected that the quarterback would play a significant role in the second unit.
Despite 11 games in the campaign, Rose has never been this far on the verge of rotation. He averages just 12.7 minutes and six points per game, losing chances as the fourth or fifth guard.
“This is new, strange to me,” he said.
Despite navigating uncharted territory, Rose said he had received no explanation for the degradation. Part of this is obvious as Jalen Brunson has an average of 33.5 minutes. Another aspect is that Rose doesn’t take advantage of her limited chances when shooting 38%.
The former MVP said he did not want to bother Tom Thibodeau with the matter.
“I let everyone be, man,” Rose said. “I don’t want to have this conversation with him just because of the strength he has a lot on his head – the team does. So the last guy you want to hear from is the one who has been in the league for 15 years complaining and b-tching. I just try to give everyone space, stay myself and help the young guys. I think I was doing a good job of helping – talking to people when they are on the dance floor. This is what I can do now. And try not to screw up the game as soon as I get in.
Thibodeau, who coached Rose with three different teams for 10 seasons, indicated that communication was broad.
“I talk to Derrick as much as I talk to everyone,” said Thibodeau. “You sit and talk to your players every day. You ask everyone for sacrifice. Some guys, from start to exit. Some guys can get out of rotation. You have finished minutes. You must have a rotation. Much of it is based on performance – that’s about it. We will continue to look for guys to help us win. We are really there. You want more minutes, you gotta play well.
Thibodeau has rightly earned a reputation for being a strong-minded basketball player with a tireless work ethic, but communication and relationship have been issues at his previous stops, especially in Minnesota. As one former Thibodeau coaching colleague explained, “Learning a movie doesn’t solve everything.”
Some of them are the old-fashioned Thibodeau mentality of treating players as if they didn’t have to keep their hands on the bench.
But things only happened last season with Kemba Walker who apparently had a problem with Thibodeau’s exclusion from rotation without explanation.
Of course, in Rose’s case, Thibodeau has enough history to assume that water will always flow under their bridge. Jumper is not a high maintenance veteran and does not ask for a replacement. At least not yet.
“It’s not difficult. I just need to be ready, find a way to be ready, Rose said. “It’s like everything, forcing me to evolve into nowhere? But I always take it as a challenge. “
However, there is a question of Rose’s game time, which during Wednesday’s defeat with the Nets shortened to 11 ineffective minutes. With Brunson, Immanuel Quickley, Quentin Grimes, Evan Fournier, and Cam Reddish ahead of him in rotation, it’s hard to find your way into the minutes we’ve been expecting from Rose.
“I’m in the unknown,” he repeated.
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