Newly signed guard Derrick Rose made his Timberwolves’ debut with 6½ minutes played during Sunday’s first half against Golden State, and the best you can say about it is he should get better.
Signed Thursday and reunited with his former Chicago coach Tom Thibodeau, Rose made one of his five shots, committed two turnovers, had one offensive rebound and two assists and was a minus-17 in plus-minus rating, if you trust such things.
The Wolves led 28-17 when he entered the game late in the first quarter and trailed 44-38 when he left early in the second quarter. He didn’t play again.
Rose hadn’t played a game since he played seven minutes for Cleveland against the Wolves a month ago.
“It felt good, besides all the damn turnovers,” Rose said. “Jittery, anxious, as you could see. Some plays I could have slowed down and figured things out. It just shows you I’m excited to be actually be out there playing. It has been a while since I’ve been in action. Right now, I’m just trying to get the feel and cheer on my teammates when I’m not in the game.
“My wind was good, but if you’re talking about like rust, losing the ball, yeah, I was just not there. But the more I practice, the more I play, it’s going to come.”
Not often one to do so, Thibodeau promised he’d do better himself. He played Rose with point guard Tyus Jones and veteran Jamal Crawford in a three-guard offense.
“Probably what I expected: rust, an aggressiveness,” Thibodeau said. “But that group, I’ve got to give them a better plan. It was the first time we had the three guards out there together. I think it can pose problems, but we can work on it a little more.”
Wolves veteran guard Jeff Teague said he delivered teammate Karl-Anthony Towns a message before he went out and delivered a 14-point fourth quarter and a 31-point, 16-rebound performance that won the game.
“We forced it,” Teague said. “I got him to get on the block. He got on the block and made plays. He’s a talented basketball player, one of the most talented players I’ve ever seen. He can be big down the stretch and he played well. … He’s a tough cover inside-outside. He’s one of the best players in the league for a reason. He made All-Star plays.”
Pulling for Rose
Golden State coach Steve Kerr says he has “no idea” how Rose will fare with the Wolves, but he knows one thing.
“The main thing is I’m pulling for him,” Kerr said. “I always hate when guys get injured and he has been such a dynamic player in this league. I want him to play well after tonight. It seems like a good spot for him with Thibs and Jimmy Butler. Hopefully, this will be a good landing spot for him and he can get things going again.”
• Rose after he received an almost exclusively warm ovation when he checked in as a Timberwolf for the first time: “It’s all love, man, and I appreciate it. I love all the support. Just great fans here and I appreciate all of them.”
• Superstar Stephen Curry wasn’t the only Warrior missing Sunday. Veteran forward Andre Iguodala (sprained wrist), David West (arm cyst), Jordan Bell (ankle sprain) and Patrick McCaw (wrist) also didn’t play.
• Kerr was critical of the Wolves’ Northern Lights-inspired neon green uniforms in January. Lucky for him, the Wolves are done wearing those this season. “I know you’re trying to lure me in here,” he said on a day the Wolves wore their dark blues. “I have tremendous respect for their uniform selection. It’s all about respecting our opponent and their fashion choices.”