Derrick Rose ‘dream’ becoming a nightmare for him and teammates

SHARE Derrick Rose ‘dream’ becoming a nightmare for him and teammates
SHARE Derrick Rose ‘dream’ becoming a nightmare for him and teammates

CLEVELAND — Derrick Rose is still pursuing what LeBron James already has achieved.

But if this game was any indication, the gulf between the two keeps widening.

Thanks to a game-high 26 points from James, the Cleveland Cavaliers beat the reeling Bulls 108-94 on Monday at Quicken Loans Arena. The Bulls have lost four of their last five games.

Earlier in the day, Rose, who had 18 points, made some interesting comments when asked about how their paths have diverged since the two collided in the 2011 Eastern Conference finals.

James reached four consecutive NBA Finals and won two rings with the Miami Heat before returning to Cleveland in free agency, while Rose had two season-ending knee surgeries and a whole lot of rehab time.

“Of course, I wish I was just playing [the last two seasons],’’ Rose said. “Who knows what would’ve happened if I was playing? I wasn’t playing. .   He won two championships. You can’t get mad at that. I can’t get mad at that. He went out and got what he wanted. Now that I’m back, I’m just trying to chase my dream now.’’

Rose also pulled no punches after the latest loss.

“Everybody has to be on the same page; until then, we’re going to continue to get our butts kicked,’’ Rose said.

When asked who wasn’t on the same page, he said, “The whole team. [We’re] not communicating while we’re on the floor to one another. Everybody is quiet, and until then, we’re going to get the same results.’’

Rose seems to have reached a boiling point.

“Trust plays a part, but communicating on defense in a team sport, I think communication is huge,’’ Rose said. “We’re quiet while we’re out there, and it’s leading to them getting easy baskets. We gotta give a better effort. It seems like we’re not even competing. It’s [bleeping] irritating.’’

Coach Tom Thibodeau was threatening to change personnel if it doesn’t improve.

“We have to decide when enough is enough,’’ Thibodeau said. “We’re going to continue to look at it. A lot of moving parts. Hard to build continuity. We have to find some continuity.

‘‘Maybe we look at different people. I’m going to think about it. Study the film and try to come up with some answers.’’

But Thibodeau also sent several warnings to his players.

“I hope so,’’ Thibodeau said when asked if he had enough in the locker room or if they needed to look to add more. “They’re here. This is what we have. It’s on us to figure it out. No one is coming in to save the day. We have to find the answer. And when we’ve had enough, we’ll take care of it.’’

The Bulls looked like they’d had enough by the end of the first half, down 54-39 and shooting 29 percent to the Cavs’ 42.6 percent from the field. They never really threatened the Cavs the rest of the night.

“Nobody is going to feel sorry for us,’’ power forward Taj Gibson said. “The games are going to keep coming.’’

Email: jcowley@suntimes.com

Twitter: @suntimes_hoops

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