The New York Knicks will roll into town Thursday for the home opener at the United Center, meaning the Bulls will have to get right back at it with another marquee matchup. On tap next week is a showdown at Indiana with the highly-regarded Pacers.
Rose was out of sorts offensively at Miami in his first NBA regular-season game in 18 months, while Noah was dealing with the effects of a healing groin, not to mention a poor fitness level that stemmed from the inactivity as he recovered.
Coach Tom Thibodeau, however, was in no mood to single out any individual performances after the 107-95 season-opening defeat to the Miami Heat.
"I assess [Rose] by how our team played," Thibodeau said. "I think we can all do a lot better."
As for how Rose handled the Heat's trapping defense, Thibodeau brought it back to the fact the Heat scored 107 points. As always, Thibodeau was looking at things from the defensive side of the ball.
"We got spread out pretty good," Thibodeau said. "We didn't challenge the 3 well so they knocked down some 3s. I think it was 24-20 at the eight-minute mark of the second quarter. We let them get on a roll."
Kirk Hinrich was also slowed in the preseason by concussion and shoulder issues, but he seemed to offer more than a hobbled Noah.
"There was good and bad," Thibodeau said. "Kirk did a really good job for us. Jo rebounded the ball well. His timing isn't there yet on offense. He has to continue to work on that. Jo obviously missed a lot more time than Kirk did. He has to put the work in and hopefully it will come back soon."
Both Hinrich and Noah came out of Tuesday's game feeling just fine and are expected to play Thursday. But it was obvious after one game that Noah clearly didn't have his legs under him on either side of the court.
"No excuses," Noah said. "I just feel like I've got to play better. I'm going to keep working and I'll be fine."
Noah plans on using the defeat as a baseline to move forward from.
"It's definitely motivation," Noah said. "As disappointing as it is to lose to those guys, you've got to give credit where credit is due. They're very good defensively, they're very good offensively and we can't make mistakes. We made a lot of mistakes, I missed a lot of easy baskets around the rim and I'm just going to keep working, and I'm going to be better next time we play them."
The on-court chemistry, with Rose as the facilitator, also figures to be better the next time the Bulls and Heat meet Dec. 5 in Chicago.
"I think everything is a work in progress," said guard Jimmy Butler, who wasn't able to get into an early flow with his teammates because of foul trouble. "We try and take everything one day at a time and learn from one another. Obviously, I have a lot to learn about [Rose] and from him, along with everyone else on the floor with me. But I feel like as we go through these practices and these games, hopefully winning these games, we continue to pick up on each other."