Eastern Links: Rose, Sanders, Anderson

Derrick Rose was asked to comment on the idea that the Bulls should look to move on without him after his latest injury, and he had this to say: “What do you mean?…You can be a fool if you want to…I know I’m going to be alright…I know I am (going to be the same player). A better player…If anything, this should even me out. When I think about it, the injury, I just turned and this happened, kind of like a freak accident. I put all I had into coming back and if this was to happen 10 more times I’d be able to deal with it” (Sam Smith of Bulls.com).

Here’s more out of the Eastern Conference tonight:

  • Earlier today, we made note that Rose wouldn’t rule out a return to the court if he managed to get healthy in time for the postseason. On the other hand, head coach Tom Thibodeau didn’t seem willing to entertain the thought of looking that far ahead: “To me, he’s out for the season…If something changes along the way…We want him to be completely healthy before he moves forward…We can’t worry about whether he may come back. Right now, it’s been determined that he’s out for the season, so that’s the way we’re going to approach it” (Sean Highkin of USA Today).
  • In responding to one of his Twitter followers, Steve Kyler of Hoopsworld said that the notion of dealing Larry Sanders for a lottery pick next year would not even be a consideration (Twitter link).
  • Keith Pompey of Philly.com talks about how James Anderson has excelled in his reserve role as of late after beginning the season as a starter for the 76ers.
  • We’ve relayed quite a bit from the Knicks and Nets this evening, and five ESPN writers decided to chime in on why both teams have been playing poorly, who has the hotter seat between Mike Woodson and Jason Kidd, which team will be worse in April, and which has a rougher future ahead.
  • Hawks GM Danny Ferry voiced his support for Cavaliers coach Mike Brown, telling FOX Sports Ohio’s Sam Amico: “(Brown’s) a relentless worker and a quality, high character person. He is a good teacher and holds players accountable. His will and passion for defense will always give any team a strong chance to be successful. This will have such a strong impact for a team establishing a foundation for years to come.”
  • There may have been a chorus of boos for Kidd tonight at the Barclays Center during the pre-game introductions, but the Nets coach gets a vote of confidence from his former teammate J.R. Smith: “Criticism is going to come…He’s a first-year coach and he’s a great basketball mind. Just unfortunately, he’s going through it early. Some coaches have success early, some struggle early. He just happens to be struggling right now…I think he’s the best fit for that job and he knows how to get out of it. He’s got a great core of vets, so he’ll be fine” (Roderick Boone of Newsday).
  • The Celtics sit atop the Atlantic Division, but the team isn’t letting their early success get to their head and remains focused on continuing to work hard (Marc D’Amico of Celtics.com).

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