Rose adjusting to playing with Boozer

December, 2, 2010
12/02/10
9:57
PM CT
Friedell By Nick Friedell
ESPNChicago.com
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DEERFIELD, Ill. -- Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose said he is still adjusting, and in some cases, deferring to new teammate Carlos Boozer.

[+] EnlargeCarlos Boozer
Dennis Wierzbicki/US PresswireCarlos Boozer scored five points in 22 minutes in his season debut on Wednesday against the Magic.
"When you’ve got a great player like that on the court, you tend to go to him," Rose said Thursday, a day after Boozer's debut in a Bulls uniform, a 107-78 loss to the Orlando Magic. "You got to, because that’s what he do -- score the ball and rebound for us. [And] on the offensive end, try to put him in, but I guess it was a little bit too soon to try and work him in that early. But he’s been great. We know that when he gets it going, we’re going to be all right."

After dominating offensively at times during the first month of the season without Boozer, Rose looked hesitant at times during Wednesday night's blowout loss to the Magic with Boozer on the floor.

Despite the lackluster debut, Boozer is convinced that the pair will develop chemistry very quickly.

"I just tell Derrick, you got to do what you do," he said. "You’re the point guard, you’re the quarterback. No matter who’s out there with you, we play off you. So if you have a lane, if you have the ability to score go do it."

Boozer struggled in his first game back scoring just five points and grabbing two rebounds in 22 minutes. He knows the Bulls must continue to lean on Rose until the team gets used to playing with their big free-agent acquisition.

"There hasn’t been a team in the league that’s stopped him since I’ve been watching him play," said Boozer, who will no longer wear the protective sleeve he had been wearing to protect his broken pinkie. "So I just told him to stay aggressive. I think he knows that, though. It’s tough when you’re integrating a new player like myself back in the lineup. Everybody was kind of waiting to see what happened, but that’s over. Now we move forward as a group."

How long will it take to learn each other's game? Rose is not sure.

"Only time will tell," Rose said. "Because when you come back from an injury it’s hard to get in a groove. And right now you can see his timing’s off a little bit, but we know what type of player he is, and who knows what he can become on this team?"

Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau knows the only thing that will help the players get familiar with Boozer is to continue to work with him in practice.

"The challenge right now is how quickly we can all get onto the same page," Thibodeau said. "But I’m not going to put it on Carlos that we played that way. I think collectively we played poorly."

Rose is hoping the cohesiveness develops quickly. He noted that the team put in a couple plays for Boozer before leaving for Boston on Thursday afternoon.

"I know right when he has a good game, he’ll feel good about himself," Rose said. "And it will click very soon. But we will just have to wait and see. He’s been going hard in practice, been working with him in pick-and-rolls, just getting used to playing with him."

The Bulls take on the Boston Celtics at TD Garden Friday night.

Nick Friedell | email

Chicago Bulls beat reporter
Nick Friedell is the Chicago Bulls beat reporter for ESPN Chicago. Friedell is a graduate of the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University and joined ESPNChicago.com for its launch in April 2009.

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Derrick Rose
PTS AST STL MIN
15.9 4.3 0.5 31.1
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsJ. Noah 11.3
AssistsJ. Noah 5.4
StealsJ. Butler 1.9
BlocksJ. Noah 1.5