Rose to take a shot and play Game 5
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Derrick Rose drives past Indiana Pacers' Dahntay Jones during Saturday's Game 4. Rose indicated today he will play on Tuesday.
Bulls guard Derrick Rose wore flip flops on his feet Monday at the Berto Center instead of a walking boot.
That provided a clear view of his sprained left ankle, which was barely swollen at all. He vowed to play in Tuesday's Game 5 at the United Center against the Indiana Pacers.
"It's not broke, so I'm definitely playing," he said.
Rose turned the ankle on a drive through the lane in the first quarter of Saturday's Game 4 in Indianapolis.
"If anything, it hurts more on the inside, but I'm fine," he said. "This one is minor, where it takes a couple days and it's fine. It's coming along pretty well."
Rose predicted he'll get a painkilling shot before the game, something he's done a couple times before in his career to help with a sore wrist and back.
"The only thing I can do is take a shot and see how it feels," he said. "After I take the shot, I shouldn't feel anything. Hopefully I can still go out there and perform."
It didn't sound as though coach Tom Thibodeau has spent much time worrying about Plan B, which would be starting C.J. Watson at point guard.
"He's played through injuries before," Thibodeau said of Rose. "He's played through a lot of stuff. He's mentally and physically tough."
The Bulls hold a 3-1 lead in the first-round playoff series and can finish off the pesky Pacers with one more victory.
There is little doubt Rose will play Tuesday, the question is how effective he'll be on a bad ankle. After suffering the injury on Saturday, Rose hit just 3-of-16 shots for 8 points. He did produce 10 assists in the second half.
After scoring a combined 75 points in the opening two games, Rose went 10-for-40 from the field in the two games at Conseco Fieldhouse, so there's more to it than the injury.
"I just missed shots," Rose said Monday. "All my shots were short. I could say my ankle, but there's no excuses."
Rose's solution is to get his legs into his shot and follow through. He's not the only Bull struggling to put the ball in the hoop. Seven of the 10 players in the rotations are shooting below 40 percent in the series. Luol Deng is at 39 percent and Carlos Boozer 37.5.
"We were definitely mad we didn't win the last game, knowing that we could have had these days to rest and really prepare for the next team," Rose said. "In the playoffs, anything can happen. They came out and played a great game. We've just got to try to finish it here."
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