Wednesday won’t be the first time Derrick Rose returns to his hometown of Chicago to face his former team, the Bulls. You might suspect, though, that Rose would feel some sentimentality heading home.
That’s not the case.
“I look at it as a regular game,” Rose said. “By nature, I’m just a hooper.”
There’s still a question over Rose’s status for Wednesday — he missed Sunday’s game because of an injured left ankle. Coach Tom Thibodeau said Rose “did a little” at Monday’s practice in advance of Wednesday’s game.
If Rose does play, there’s likely to be some extra emotion, at least on the part of Bulls fans who watched Rose become an MVP and then suffer injuries that sidetracked his career.
Rose has undergone a career resurgence this season in averaging 18.5 points per game, his highest total since he left Chicago. He’s also shooting three-pointers better than he ever has, making 47 percent.
“I think I’m a different player,” Rose said. “I changed my game a little bit. I think that just my mind-set of where I’m at in my life, where I’m at in my career right now is totally different.”
That includes a different perspective of the only game he played as an opponent in the United Center, a 117-104 victory for the Knicks on Nov. 4, 2016.
“I’m not looking for revenge no more,” Rose said. “When I was injured, when I was trying to get back, I was playing revenge basketball. and I think that mind-set left right when I got more comfortable with knowing who I am as a person and what I wanted out of my career and life.”
In that game, as a starter for the Knicks, Rose scored 15 points on 6-for-16 shooting.
“I didn’t have a crazy game,” he said. “My biggest point was just winning the game. I wanted to win, I wanted to get a feel for the building again, and it was a bunch of love there. I just appreciated that night and was just happy that I played well towards the end and we got the ‘W.’ ”
If Rose can’t play, the Wolves likely will turn to Tyus Jones to start at point guard because Jeff Teague is still on the mend from his own injured left ankle. Teague is still “a few days away,” Thibodeau said Monday. On Friday, Thibodeau said Teague would need at least seven days to recover from his injury.
A Rose absence also would mean Jerryd Bayless would get minutes off the bench. Bayless got his first action with the Wolves went Rose missed the second half of Friday’s loss to San Antonio, and he played 16 minutes in Sunday’s win over Oklahoma City. Bayless, who worked his way back from a knee injury suffered in training camp, scored seven points, including making two of three from three-point range, to go with three assists.
“It was great to see him out there,” Thibodeau said. “He’s put a lot into the rehab. It’s not easy. When you’re away from the team, you’re not playing, and so he’s done a good job with that. And he’s worked really hard. … For him to overcome it, I thought he played well.”
Staff writer Kent Youngblood contributed to this article.