With Karl-Anthony Towns out for overtime of the Wolves’ 135-130 victory over the Wizards, interim coach Ryan Saunders has Derrick Rose if he felt comfortable finishing the game. Rose had already reached his minutes limit of around 25 per game.
“You’re in the heat of the game, you have to try to find a way to scratch one out,” Saunders said.
He and Rose talked about Rose exceeding his limit, and Rose said he didn’t hesitate to agree.
“In the heat of the game, you have to try to find a way to scratch one out,” Rose said.
And it was Rose (29 points) who helped provide the dagger for the Wolves, hitting a step-back jumper with 22.6 seconds remaining to put the Wolves ahead 131-27. He then made a steal on the Wizards ensuing possession, setting up free throws for Jeff Teague.
Rose is going to make an attempt to play Sunday against the Knicks. His body has not responded well at times this season when he has exceeded 30 minutes. But after the game, Rose said he was feeling OK.
“But right now I just got to do as much recovery as possible,” Rose said. “I’m trying to catch a rhythm too and I feel like everything is coming back at the right time.”
Bates-Diop gets some serious run
Keita Bates-Diop made his first NBA start in place of the injured Andrew Wiggins, and it was more than a token appearance for Bates-Diop. He ended up playing 37 minutes and drew the assignment to guard the Wizards top scorer, Bradley Beal, down the stretch.
“I’m a pretty calm guy in general, so I didn’t have to keep it in check as much as some guys,” Bates-Diop said of making the start. “But I think I did better than most guys keeping my emotions in check.”
You might be surprised that Saunders stuck with a player who has never played crunch time minutes, but Saunders had faith in Bates-Diop, especially given Bates-Diop’s maturity.
“He’s mature probably beyond his age,” Saunders said. “And it’s just his daily approach. He’s got a good sense of humor when you’re around him, but he has a very workmanlike approach when he comes into the gym.”