Derrick Rose is uncharted territory while dealing with an unexpectedly diminished role this season. The reduced role has left Rose feeling he’s in “the unknown.”
The Knicks are 11 games into the 2022-23 campaign, and Rose is essentially on the fringes of head coach Tom Thibodeau’s rotation. This season, the former MVP is averaging 6.0 points, 2.1 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game while playing just 12.7 minutes per contest as the fourth or fifth guard.
“This is new, foreign for me,” he said, per The New York Post.
After the 34-year-old’s extended injury absence last season was labeled a major reason for the Knicks’ downward spiral, the point guard was expected to feature prominently with the second unit.
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Rose says he hasn’t received an explanation for the demotion, but the three-time All-Star is doing the best he can to navigate uncharted territory. The former Rookie of the Year doesn’t want to bother Thibodeau with the issue either.
“I’m letting everybody be, man,” Rose said. “I don’t want to have that conversation with him just off the strength that he has a lot on his plate – the team does. So the last guy he wants to hear from is the guy who has been in the league for 15 years going in and complaining and b–tching. Just trying to give everybody the space, remain myself, and help the young guys. I think I’ve been doing a good job helping — talking to people when they’re on the floor. That’s what I can do right now. And try not to f–k up the game whenever I get in.”
Been him. Still HIM 🌹 pic.twitter.com/wjDyF9kI2L
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Thibs, who’s coached D-Rose to great heights over their 10 seasons together, made it clear that his door is open and that he’s willing to talk to his long-time point guard about his role on the team.
The rapport that the two built over their decade together will surely help them navigate this situation. It also helps that Rose is a low-maintenance veteran who’s gone through a lot as a player.
“I talk to Derrick as much as anyone,” Thibodeau said. “You sit down, you talk to your players every day. You’re asking everyone to sacrifice. Some guys, it might be going from starting to coming off the bench. Some guys might be going out of the rotation. You have a finite amount of minutes. You have to have a rotation. A lot of it’s based on performance — all of it is. We’re going to keep searching for guys that can help us win. That’s really where we are. You want more minutes, you’ve got to play well.”
Part of it is self-explanatory with Jalen Brunson averaging 33.5 minutes. Another aspect is Rose not taking advantage of his limited chances while shooting 38%.
DROSE FOR 3 ✅
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In the meantime, Rose will have to make the most of the opportunities he gets. Specifically making sure that he uses his crafty veteran skillset as a scorer and playmaker to create more chances off the bench. One weapon he must take advantage of more often is his three-point shot, this season Rose is shooting beyond the arc at a 35.5 percent rate.
With guards like Brunson, Immanuel Quickley, Quentin Grimes, Evan Fournier, and Cam Reddish ahead of him in the rotation, it’ll be tough road for Rose but the Windy City Assassin is built tough and ready to get though anything.
“It’s not tough. Just got to stay ready, find a way to stay ready,” Rose said. “It’s like everything, forcing me to evolve into who knows what now? But I always take it as a challenge.”