Derrick Rose enjoyed his third straight impactful game Saturday with the Knicks since he was acquired last weekend from Detroit.
Before scoring 16 points in 23 minutes off the bench in Saturday’s win over Houston, Rose stayed up late the previous night studying videos with assistant coach Andy Greer at the team’s Westchester training facility after the Knicks returned from Washington late Friday night.
“He’s a great student of the game,” coach Tom Thibodeau said of Rose. “He’s always had that. I think that is what has allowed him to adapt, grow and change. I think you see that with a lot of players that are dominant players. They are constantly adding to their game.
“So it doesn’t surprise me. I think he’s put a lot of time into trying to understand his new teammates and what their strengths are and how he can better effectively use them.”
Rose, who has been wearing No. 4 in his first three games since the Knicks acquired him last weekend from Detroit, also is nearly down to his rookie playing weight after enduring multiple knee injuries during his career.
“Yeah, that’s something I can brag about,” Rose said after scoring 14 points in 20 minutes in Friday’s win in Washington. “I don’t brag about too much. But I’m close to 200 pounds, I’m probably at 202 right now. When I came into the league, I was 198. And my body fat is 5.9 [percent].
“So I made a big effort this summer making sure I had to trim down, especially when you had so many operations on your knees.”
The 32-year-old Rose, who missed the entire 2012-13 season following ACL surgery among other knee injuries, believes the slimmer frame has helped his speed and agility in his 13th NBA campaign. He scored 14 points in each of his first two games since the trade, teaming with rookie Immanuel Quickley to form a versatile second-team backcourt tandem.
RJ Barrett shot 2-for-8 from the floor in just 22 minutes, finishing with fewer than 10 points (seven) for the third time in four games. He is shooting 26.8 percent (11-for-41) in that stretch.