Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose has had enough. After a lackluster performance on Monday night as the Bulls lost to the Cleveland Cavaliers 108-94, Rose called out his team and said that they have to learn how to be on “the same page.”
“Everybody has to be on the same page,” a quiet and dejected Rose said in the locker room after the game. “Until then, we’re going to continue to get our ass kicked.”
It was the Bulls’ sixth loss in eight games as their schedule does not get any easier with their next four games against San Antonio, Dallas, Miami and Golden State.
When asked about which players are not on the same page, Rose quickly responded by saying, “It’s just the whole team.”
Rose talked about how the Bulls defense is not communicating well enough which is allowing opponents to score easy baskets.
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“I think communication is huge,” Rose said. “We’re quiet when we’re out there, and it’s leading to them getting easy baskets. We got to give a better effort. It seems like we’re not even competing, and it’s f—ing irritating.”
It doesn’t help that the Bulls are missing their best defensive player, Joakim Noah, who is out with a knee and ankle injury.
Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau is not happy with his team’s execution or energy level either.
“We got to decide when enough’s enough,” Thibodeau said. “The way we’re playing is not acceptable, so we have to change it.”
When it was suggested that part of the issue might be related to team chemistry due to the new players on the team such as Pau Gasol, Nikola Mirotic or Aaron Brooks, Derrick Rose quickly dismissed that notion.
“We’re midway through the season,” Rose said. “That should be a part of [the discussion]. There’s no excuses. My biggest thing is competing. Playing this game for so long, when you don’t have that edge, we’re going to keep getting our ass whupped.”
Thibodeau firmly believes that his team can reverse their recent skid by doing three things: playing solid defense, pounding the boards and protecting the basketball.
“We’re not playing well in any aspect of the game, so we’re not giving ourselves a chance to win,” Thibodeau said. “Usually if you’re playing great defense and you’re rebounding the ball and keeping your turnovers down, you’re going to be in position to win no matter who you’re playing against, no matter where you’re playing. No matter who’s playing.
“But if you don’t do those three things, then you’re not going to be in position to win. We’ve been able to overcome injuries because we’ve been able to do that. Right now we’re not a multiple-effort team, we’re not concentrating, we’re not doing our job. We got to change that. We got to change it.”