MIAMI — In true MVP fashion, Derrick Rose jumped in front of the bullet for his teammates on Sunday after a four point loss to the Heat, taking sole blame for the loss.
“I’ve been in that situation before. This is so unreal right now.” he said, biting his lip and holding back tears after the 97-93 loss on Sunday, Chicago’s second loss in three games. But Rose’s shouldering of the blame isn’t unwarranted. The reigning MVP of the league missed two crucial free throws in the last minute of the game which didn’t cripple the Bulls chances but it also didn’t make winning an easier objective.
“I had a chance to change the game and it didn’t work out.” he said. “To miss both, I let my team down. The only thing I can do is learn from it.”
However, the ever competitive Rose vowed that the next time around, he’ll be thinking about those missed free throws and they will be used to fuel the fire in his belly to beat the Heat.
“I guarantee that next time those shots are going down.”
But Rose did more then just address his missed free throws, he took the bullet for Carlos Boozer, a guy many are blaming for the loss more so then Rose for his play, or lack there of, down the stretch.
“It was me,” Rose said. “All the plays at the end. If I would have hit them free throws, it never would have gotten that far. I know I can live with it. It’s just going to make me a stronger player and it’s onto the next game.”
Rose is doing exactly that, not only because that’s what’s best to do in a regular season situation like this, but because he has to. The Bulls have a quick turnaround as they play in Washington on Monday. But the loss is going to stick with Rose regardless of whether the Bulls play the Wizards on Monday or not. Much like the Milwaukee Bucks were on Friday, the Wizards will be unwilling third party recipients of Derrick Rose’s rage and angst.
Chicago still has eight more games on this nine game road trip, and despite the loss on Sunday still own the best record in basketball.
“Thank God we play tomorrow.” Rose said. “Right now all I can think about is them.”