Print and Go Back ESPN.com: NBA [Print without images]

Monday, February 7, 2011
Derrick Rose looks to bounce back

By Nick Friedell
ESPNChicago.com

PORTLAND, Ore. -- Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose has a simple strategy as it pertains to Monday night's game against the Portland Trail Blazers.

"Just do opposite of what I [did] in the last game," he said before Monday morning's shootaround.

That sounds like a solid plan considering Rose had one of his worst games of the season during the Bulls' 101-90 loss to the Golden State Warriors on Saturday night. The 22 year-old point guard turned the ball over a career high nine times and couldn't find any kind of rhythm to his game.

"That's the biggest thing," Rose continued. "Turnovers, definitely [stay away from] that, and just staying aggressive. I think our defense is going to have to lead us tonight if anything, because offensively I think that we're all right. But our defense wasn't there that game, where it seemed that we were trying to outscore them at some points instead of stopping them, and that was hurting us."

Rose believes the Warriors gave him a different look than he had seen all season.

"That was my first time ever seeing three people [come at me]," he said. "Usually, it's two, but last time they brought a third person over. Made it seem like I was Carmelo [Anthony] or something, or Kobe [Bryant] or something. It was weird.

"I think I found the open person looking at film, and I think that we went over what we're going to do about it and we will see how they play us tonight. If they play us that way, I think we've got an answer for it."

After reviewing Rose's play on tape, Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau is confident his All-Star guard will have a better night against Portland. Unlike Rose, he didn't think that Golden State was giving the Bulls unique looks.

"Really nothing that we haven't seen before," Thibodeau said. "When you study what happened, most of his turnovers came in transition and on isolation plays. The double team or the trap, he's seen that all year. In the third quarter, when they're up 12, nobody's talking about, 'What are they doing to Derrick?'

"Most of his turnovers were mishandles in transition when you study the tape. In the fourth quarter, that's when we struggled. When Derrick went out of the game, we had a hard time. That's where they got their cushion."

Thibodeau realizes that everybody is prone to having a bad game once in a while.

"Derrick's not going to play great in 82 straight games," he said. "That's the reality of it. He wasn't at his best, but the guy is still ... he scored, he had 10 assists, and that happened.

"The thing that concerned me more than anything else was we went into the game and our defense wasn't what it should have been. So when we had the 12-point lead and then we missed some open shots ... we couldn't count on our defense when we needed it the most. So if we have our normal defense from the start of the game, that should carry us through, which we didn't have. So I'm more concerned about how we approached [Saturday's] game from a defensive standpoint, than from an offensive standpoint."

Nick Friedell covers the Bulls for ESPNChicago.com and ESPN 1000.