Moving forward in the playoffs without Derrick Rose, Bulls players addressed their challenging circumstances among themselves Sunday at the Berto Center before a brief walk-through.
Naturally, no one was ready to concede anything when it comes to the playoff run.
“I've been dreaming about these playoffs for a whole year now,” Joakim Noah said. “Yeah, it's a tough break, but we're not going to start backing down now. There's no way. We're just going to keep fighting and see where it takes us.”
Guard John Lucas III will step into the spotlight. He didn't play at all in Game 1 but will return to a significant role off the bench while C.J. Watson takes over as the starter.
“It's kind of unreal,” Lucas said. “But at the end of the day, it's part of the game, injuries happen. We've just got to step up as a team and step up for him. I know he wouldn't want us to have our heads down. He'd want us to go out there and play hard, and that's what we're going to do.
“Now we have more to play for. Not just the city of Chicago, but we're playing for our captain, who put everything he had into this game and this organization and this team. For him not to be able to play, we have to go out there and play for him.”
Korver sends message:
Kyle Korver didn't speak to reporters at the Berto Center but sent a positive message to Bulls fans on his Facebook page.
“We send (Derrick Rose) our prayers, our love, our good wishes that he heals and comes back stronger, better, healthier than ever before,” Korver wrote. “Bulls fans: Now is not the time to ask why or to get bitter. Now is the time to refocus and ask ‘How are we going to win this Championship?'
“We have the best Team in the league. This season has proven, we are a TEAM and it has taken us ALL to have the best record. Let's focus on what's ahead. This is an incredible opportunity for All of Us to step up and make it happen. We're all gonna have to work harder and smarter. We are all gonna have to believe in ourselves. That we are more than the sum of our parts.
“We need YOU to believe with Us. We need You to believe for Us. We are going to keep going strong. One quarter, one game, one round at a time. Until it's over. That's how we're gonna do it.”
Sixers ready for anything:
The shock of Derrick Rose's season-ending injury extended to the Philadelphia 76ers, who practiced Sunday at the United Center.
“One of the things I shared with our guys is (Rose) missed 26 or 27 games this year,” Sixers coach Doug Collins told reporters. “They have played without him. It's not going to be that he's not missed any games, and all of a sudden now, ‘What are they going to do?' They've won some games without him. They've won some big games without him.
“We'll see what (coach Tom Thibodeau) is going to want to do tomorrow with the change. Is it going to be more (Carlos) Boozer post-ups? Is it going to be more to Luol Deng? They probably ran their one set with Rip (Hamilton) and Kyle Korver more than we've seen it (in Game 1), and why not? It was working.”
Nike designer takes shot:
LeBron James can't be blamed for Derrick Rose's injury, but the designer of his Nike sneakers chimed in Saturday with a social-media cheap shot.
Shoe designer Jason Petrie used the injury as proof that Rose should have signed with Nike instead of signing a long-term deal with rival Adidas.
“You got one guy only getting stronger, and one guy breaking down before our very eyes. You chose poorly Pooh ... #shouldasignedwithNIKE #GWS,” Petrie wrote.
Pooh is Rose's nickname, and Petrie also was referring to James as getting stronger. Petrie backtracked later in the day, tweeting, “Y'all take (stuff) too serious! Never want to see anyone get hurt — I hope DRose comes back stronger than ever, he's too good …”Copyright © 2013 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.