Derrick Rose wore a walking boot Sunday at the Berto Center to protect a sprained left ankle. The Bulls expect him to play Tuesday when they get another chance to finish their first-round series against Indiana.
Rose turned his left ankle when he planted his foot in the lane late in the first quarter of Game 4. He returned to the court a few minutes later but struggled the rest of the day, hitting 3-of-16 shots for 8 points after the injury.
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"He's fine," coach Tom Thibodeau said Sunday at the Berto Center. "He's going to have his ankle checked. Hopefully, he'll be ready."
Rose and Thibodeau watched video together Sunday, then Rose left to get an MRI exam. The recovery time on a sprained ankle is difficult to predict. It will just depend on how he feels Tuesday, but his teammates expect him to play.
"Knowing Derrick, he's going to be able to play," Taj Gibson said. "I know he's not going to sit out a big-time game like this."
Noah steps forward:
Center Joakim Noah led the Bulls in Game 4 with 21 points and 14 rebounds. The Pacers trapped Derrick Rose at midcourt more often than usual Saturday, and Noah has been left open in the high post.
Noah has proved himself capable of driving to the basket and finishing with his left hand. But he's been less aggressive offensively since returning from a thumb injury in February.
Coach Tom Thibodeau doesn't want Noah to hesitate if the lane is open.
"I thought he was real confident in the way he attacked," Thibodeau said. "I just want him to make the right play. If they don't rotate to him, I want him to continue to just drive it to the basket, lay it in. If they swarm him, I want him to hit the open man, which we know he will. He's an excellent passer."
Late game reset:
Coach Tom Thibodeau said he tried to call timeout on the Bulls' final offensive possession on Game 4. With the Bulls down 3, Joakim Noah caught the inbounds pass, but couldn't get the ball to Derrick Rose as planned.
"Derrick tripped, but we should have called time out," Thibodeau said. "Once we were in trouble, we should have called the time out. Hopefully, we can learn from that.
"I can call the time out from the bench, but I couldn't get the referee's attention. I knew we were in trouble. That's part of the game. We've got to handle it better."
Carlos Boozer ended up attempting the tying 3-pointer and left it short.
Now that Game 5 is set for Tuesday at the United Center, it might be an opportunity to give the coach of the year award to Tom Thibodeau. The first-year Bulls coach is a heavy favorite to win the honor, and the league likes to hand out the trophy at a home game, so an official announcement could come Monday.
Derrick Rose will likely accept the MVP trophy before Game 1 or 2 in the second round
The huge number of Bulls fans at Game 4 in Conseco Fieldhouse was a big story in Indiana. Most estimates put the ratio of Bulls fans in the building at somewhere between 60 and 70 percent.
"We'll live with this," Pacers owner Herb Simon said in the Indianapolis Star. "At least they paid full price for the tickets."