MIAMI -- What Derrick Rose has replayed consistently over the past day and a half is game film, the Chicago Bulls guard dissecting what the Miami Heat has done and mining for answers.
What the MVP hasn't replayed are the off-court controversies, large and small, dogging his club for the past few days.
First it was the confusing hubbub over Rose's alleged comments to ESPN the Magazine over performance-enhancing drugs in the NBA. Next game the detonation over Joakim Noah's anti-gay slur in Game 3 and the accompanying $50,000 fine.
These are complications the Bulls do not need entering Game 4 on Tuesday with a 2-1 series deficit to overcome. So coach Tom Thibodeau has offered his solution: Don't think about it.
"That's been the whole year -– he always wants us to stay focused on our job and our job is to come in here and try to get better every day," Rose said. "Off-court distractions, I know I couldn't care less about what's going on, especially now when we're down in the series. Our biggest deal is to come out here and play hard tonight."
That may well be easier said than done, as Noah, for one, maintained immediately that he did not want to be a distraction after the brouhaha he waded through for the last 36 hours. But the Bulls essentially have no choice to try.
"(Thibodeau) just tells us don't listen to that, don't feed into that," Taj Gibson said. "Don't feed into all the stuff that's being said. He said just remember when you won Game 1, how everyone was saying you're the best, you're going to do good. And now what they're saying. So just stay focused on the task at hand, stay focused on yourself and your teammates. Just walk through fire.
"You hear it all the time, but you have to shut everything out, turn your phone off and stay away from the negativity."
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