Derrick Rose’s reintroduction was particularly premature.
He was traded on Sunday and reportedly sat outside the shootaround on Tuesday because he had to pass a physical pass. He was immediately transferred to the second unit against the heat that night and got to know the backyard comrade Immanuel Quickley very well. . . Good . . . fast.
And it worked out fine.
Rose’s gritty, physical attack went well with rookie Quickley’s shooting skills, and Rose finished with 14 points and three assists in 20 minutes. In addition, he has proven that he can adapt to his new environment – something coach Tom Thibodeau believes will only improve once the Knicks have two days off between games.
“We were able to do some quality exercises and have to carry them over into the games,” said Thibodeau when the Knicks faced the Wizards on Friday. “I think it’s important for us when you have a young team to acclimatize someone who has a job. The more time you have together on the pitch – and of course there are a lot of things we have to work on – but I think it’s helpful and of course we want to develop the right habits. “
Thibodeau, who also coached Rose with the Bulls and Timberwolves, said familiarity helps, but Rose’s 14-year career probably helps a lot more.
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“I think the upside is he’s a veteran and he’s been through things so he has to get used to the terminology, that’s the greatest,” Thibodeau said. “Chicago was a long time ago, Minnesota was a long time ago, so there are things to pick up on, but conceptually a lot of things are the same, especially defensive. And then offensively, see the actions – your pick and roll stuff, yours Side pick and roll, your angle pick and roll, your catch and shoot, your transition, the things you do outside of the river, and I think he is very good at taking that up quickly. “
And Julius Randle said that Rose’s experience is more than just another fringe attacker off the bench. The team is young and if Rose’s tag team with Quickley showed any signs of it on Tuesday, the added stability on the pitch will strengthen the roster. While Quickley had doubled up, Rose was partying.
“He will be very helpful,” said Randle after the shootaround. “It’s not just giving us a veteran presence, but a man who can go out there and create plays, just a consistency with him, just a trust in him, so I’m extremely excited. I think he’s going to help us a lot to win.” Obviously he’s familiar with Thibs and everything that’s going on, so it will likely be a quick adjustment for him. When the news got out, I was very excited to have him here. “
And while Thibodeau previously said he was more comfortable sitting Rose on the track because the Knicks used him in an earlier package, that is likely to change, especially given the early return.
“Every day he will be more comfortable with everything,” said Thibodeau. “We can of course combine with a lot of different combinations. Usually we have a fixed rotation at the beginning of the game, but the end of the game depends on what we need and who is playing well.”
Laura Albanese is a general-purpose sports reporter. She started as an intern on Newsday 2007.