Thibodeau: Don't blame slide on Rose speculation

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 27, 2013 at 5:29 pm •  Published: February 27, 2013
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Rose has granted few interviews since then, mostly limiting his comments to a shoe company campaign focusing on his recovery, but he raised a few eyebrows two weeks ago when he told USA Today he might not play at all this season. He reiterated that to reporters a few days later after a game in Boston. Then, his older brother and manager Reggie caused another stir when he blasted management for standing pat at the trade deadline in an interview with ESPNChicago.com, saying it would be a "big factor" in Derrick's return.

It's all created a blurry picture. Yet, at the same time, Rose has been participating in five-on-five drills since the All-Star break, and a video of him dunking before the Oklahoma City game on Sunday sparked more enthusiasm among some fans.

"He sees how he's improving," Thibodeau said. "As I've said all along, we all have to understand the intensity of an NBA game is totally different than practice. So he's preparing himself for that and he'll know when he's ready and we'll know he's ready. So we just got to be patient."

Is it more mental or physical for him at this point?

"There's physical, there's mental, there's both," Thibodeau said. "He's handled himself great. And as I said, we'll know when he's ready."

For now, he's searching for solutions, a way to stop this slide. The Bulls are 4-8 in February, just their second losing month in 21/2 seasons under Thibodeau.

"There's a fine line between winning and losing," he said. "Oftentimes, it's the bounce of the ball. It's a loose ball here, a loose ball there. It's one play. We can't get down. When you're facing some adversity, you have to be mentally tough. You have to get through things. I'm confident that we will."