Derrick Rose did not start Wednesday night for the Knicks. If you want to decipher any meaning out of that, knock yourself out. You will not get anywhere.
To say that Rose came off the bench in Game 2 of the Knicks-Hawks playoff series is factually accurate and spiritually irrelevant. He is the point guard, pure and simple, as it appears as if coach Tom Thibodeau is going to ride Rose’s 32-year-old legs as long as the Knicks have the basketballs out in the postseason.
Rose played 39 minutes, scored a team-high 26 points and is turning back the clock just as the Knicks need him to regain his youthful stamina. Without him, the Knicks do not mount a comeback to beat the Hawks 101-92 to even their playoff series.
“I’m good, man,’’ Rose said of his extended workload. “I prep myself for this. I’ve been working my butt off for a couple of years now, get my body right, take care of myself pretty good. I don’t want to say too much about that. Don’t want to jinx myself. I’m good.’’
Not bad for a guy who does not start. Not technically, that is.