CLEVELAND: Derrick Rose said he’s played on a lot of dysfunctional teams.

So with the Cavaliers in third place in the Eastern Conference going into Sunday’s game against the Detroit Pistons at Quicken Loans Arena, Rose said he doesn’t believe this qualifies.

“I’ve been on a team that it took the last game or two to make the playoffs and it took somebody losing their game for us to creep into the playoffs,” Wade said Saturday. “We’re in third place right now, man. C’mon, man. I get it, the expectations, with ’Bron and this team and the franchise, I get it.”

Rose admitted he uses his teams’ past struggles to help him calm his nerves playing on a team full of stars as he tries to resurrect his career. But he insisted he didn’t need a performance like Friday’s 14-point effort in a seven-point victory over the Indiana Pacers to boost his confidence.

“Nah, I know how good I am. It’s all about opportunity right now. Ever since I left Chicago, toward the end of Chicago, it’s just been opportunity and being prepared for those opportunities. I think I’m there,” said Rose, traded by the Bulls to the New York Knicks in June 2016. He signed a one-year, veterans minimum contract with the Cavs in July.

Rose played his fifth game Sunday since returning from a sprained left ankle complicated by a bone spur. He got his opportunity with Dwyane Wade missing his second consecutive game against the Pistons following the death of his agent and mentor Henry “Hank” Thomas, 64, on Saturday morning.

Rose hit 6-of -8 field goals against the Pacers and said he’s finding a new rhythm after dealing with a rash of knee injuries since he was voted league MVP in 2011.

“I told somebody here that you’re used to a 1-2 rhythm, like a shooting rhythm, your entire life ever since you were a kid. Elementary school, high school, college, you’re used to a certain rhythm. And you have one knee injury, you stop everything and you reset everything. I’ve had four,” he said.

“So learning what’s going to be my rhythm, learning what’s going to be my shot, learning how I’m going to get into those shots when people are on me, learning how to shoot them when I’m wide open. All those things that I took for granted when I was younger, I’m learning all over again. I think this ankle could be a blessing in disguise because it helped me along with my base. My base is very strong for my shots right now.”

As for his ankle, Rose said the spur is still there, but said he can deal with it.

“It’s just usage. Ten years in, the work that I’ve put in is just something that is just going to be there,” he said. “I don’t have any pain or anything like that. Just throw that out there so people don’t think there’s a problem or something. There’s no pain at all, it’s just stiffness.”

Cavs coach Tyronn Lue said pace has been key in Rose’s recent improvement.

“Defensively he’s giving a maximum effort, and I just think playing with pace,” Lue said Sunday. “Playing with the speed he’s playing with, teams are not set, they’re not getting back defensively, getting matched up. He’s able to get into the paint and is able to get to his little 15-foot jump shot.”

Hold that thought

Lue was going to send Rose back into the Pacers game in the fourth quarter, but couldn’t locate him.

Rose said it was a miscommunication, not knowing he would be getting more than 15 minutes, and he said was taking a bathroom break.

“I’m holding that. If I’m playing that good, I’m going to hold it,” Lue said, laughing. “Get a couple more shots up.”

Wade still excused

Lue said Wade might join the Cavs in Detroit for Tuesday’s game against the Pistons. Wade was excused by General Manager Koby Altman to go to Chicago to be with Thomas, who battled neuromuscular disease. The Heat’s Udonis Haslem was also at the bedside of Thomas, who was in the business for 30 years.

Wade paid tribute to Thomas in an Instagram post, saying he met Thomas when he was 21 and about to leave Marquette coach Tom Crean, with whom he’s also close. Wade posted with it a photo of himself and Thomas the night he was drafted in 2003.

“My dad and I had things to work out and I was leaving my father figure Coach Crean — so you stepped in right away and became that MAN I desperately needed,” Wade wrote of Thomas. “I cry these tears because selfishly I wanted you to be there when I got my jersey retired or when I gave my hall of fame speech or when I had a daughter. I got so many questions on how to raise a strong, confident, intelligent, independent black woman. I hope you don’t mind but I will still be calling on you for guidance. I love you.” Wade signed it, “Your son Dwyane.”

Thomas represented several members of the Miami Heat, including Chris Bosh, Haslem and Tim Hardaway.

Marla Ridenour can be reached at mridenour@thebeaconjournal.com. Read the Cavs blog at www.ohio.com/cavs. Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/MRidenourABJ.