Derrick Rose said that when he decided to leave the Detroit Pistons, the only option on his mind was to meet former coach Tom Thibodeau and executive William Wesley with the New York Knicks.
“Of course,” Rose said after scoring 14 points in 20 minutes in his debut Tuesday night, a 98-96 loss in Miami to the Heat. “Even though I couldn’t say that at the time, I just wanted to be comfortable. Like I said, I’ve been meeting these guys since middle school, eighth grade, middle school, so coming here, like I said, it’s family. I never really thought about something other than arriving here and understanding that they wanted me to help grow the young people they already have here. “
Rose, whom the Knicks officially acquired Monday in exchange for point guard Dennis Smith Jr. and Charlotte’s second-round pick in 2021, played well in his first game with the franchise since leaving as a free agent at the end of the season. 2015-16. Rose made 5 of 9 shots from the field, including 2 of 3 from 3-point range, to go with three assists and two turnovers in his 20:20 on-court time.
Those minutes came exclusively with the Knicks’ rookie point guard Immanuel Quickley, with whom Thibodeau teamed up with Rose on the floor. Thibodeau said after the game that he liked the look the pair put together together and indicated that this would be New York’s second backcourt unit in the future. He added that the player Rose replaced in the rotation, Austin Rivers, would now be a “situational” player.
“I think you see it a lot when you have multiple point guards on the court, it gives you another ball handler, a secondary ball handler, and you can probably include Alec. [Burks] there too, “Thibodeau said.” So he gives us three guys who can dribble, and all three of them are very efficient pick and roll. Their versatility allows them to blend in with both groups. So I think we’ll see some of that as well as we go along. “
For Rose, this is the third time in her career that she has played with Thibodeau, her coach in Chicago from 2010 to 2015, and then again as part of the Minnesota Timberwolves in the 2017-18 and 2018-19 seasons. When asked what makes them connect with each other, Rose laughed and said that he and his coach are an “odd couple” before talking about their shared love for the game.
“The synergy that we have, I can’t explain it,” Rose said. “We are a strange couple, but for some reason, we understand the game. And the closest I can say is that we are students of the game. We watch the game. We try to understand the game more and try to improve if not every day, every week, every month, every two months, every year. There is always room for improvement, and it is for the improvement of the team. Wherever I go, wherever I go, we are always trying to win. “
After the trade was made, there was some concern among Knicks fans that Rose would eat up the minutes that Quickley, the 25th pick in the November NBA Draft, could play.
Quickley, who entered Tuesday’s game averaging 12 points as a rookie and shooting 36.3% from 3-point range, has been impressive in his rookie season. He has shown glimpses of the game of one of his idols, veteran guard Lou Williams, in terms of being a solid three-point shooter who is also adept at fouling and hitting floaters in lane.
However, if Tuesday’s game was any indication, Quickley’s rotation spot is sure to move forward. And for her part, Rose was effusive in her praise of the rookie. Since the trade, he has said multiple times that he is excited to play alongside Quickley.
“It shouldn’t be too difficult [playing] with him, “Rose said.” We are similar. He’s making a double team in his rookie year. There aren’t too many newbies getting that kind of attention. For him, seeing that kind of thing early will only make his game better. The game will slow down more. And listen. That’s the best of him, listen. With that, you always have room for improvement.
“It’s a dog. It’s a dog. I can’t explain it. You have to be a gamer to understand it.” [If] we are in a fight, I know he is fighting. “
Ultimately, however, Rose’s debut was marred by a late comeback from the Heat, who swept this series at home and at home with the Knicks doing the same trick: escaping with a win thanks to better execution down the straight. finale, both Sunday in New York and Tuesday night in Orlando.
After Jimmy Butler, who led Miami with 26 points, 8 rebounds and 10 assists, missed one of two free throws with 6.2 seconds to go, the Knicks saw how to tie the score when second-year guard RJ Barrett he caught the ball at the top of the lock with Butler defending it and attacked the basket with his dominant left hand.
But Barrett’s layup attempt rolled down the front of the rim and the Knicks fell for the seventh time in 10 games after a promising start to the season. They are tied with the Heat for ninth in the East and are just one game ahead of the Orlando Magic for 13th.
“He looked really good,” said Barrett, who had 13 points and six rebounds, but shot just 5 of 14 shots from the field. “Layup going to my strong hand … I have to finish those.”