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Out-of-sync MVP hopes to play better


PhilBoxing.com




CHICAGO -- The rust was expected. After all, he had missed 12 straight games this seaosn and 23 overall after dealing with issues concerning his toe, ankle and groin.

But not even Derrick Rose, the league's reigning MVP, could have imagined how bad his performance would be following his return Thursday night at the United Center against bitter rivals the Miami Heat.

Well, as they say, stuff happens.

And that's exactly what happened in the Bulls's improbable 96-86 overtime victory over the Heat. Rose had a forgettable 2-point performance. He made just 1-of-13 field goals and missed all three of his 3s. And he did not shoot a single free throw.

Rose did have eight assists in nearly 26 minutes of play, but he was also mired by three turnovers and the Bulls were outscored by 27 points when he was on the floor.

Bulls fans need not worry, though. The shy franchise player vowed to do better late in the regular season and into the postseason, where Chicago appears as the very likely No.1 seed overall.

"I'm just trying to get my rhythm back," he told the Chicago Tribune. "I've had worse games than this. These games right here will make me a better player, a stronger player. I'm just happy we got the win. That's the only thing that matters to me. C.J. (Watson) and the other bench guys played great. They're the reason we won."

Indeed, the Bulls bench are amazingly spectacular this season, giving the Bulls a 16-7 record without Rose and a 7-2 mark without Luol Deng, who is nursing broken ligaments in his left wrist.

But make no mistake, the Bulls need Rose to play better to sustain a deep playoffs run. (Scott Au)


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Scott Au.


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