Bill Smith/Chicago Bulls
Rose settling in for what he hopes will be a long haul
There’s a debate going on currently about which team in the NBA has the best backcourt. It was even discussed by Sam Smith right here on Bulls.com.
It has not been discussed, however, between Derrick Rose and Jimmy Butler.
“There are a lot of great backcourts, but our thing is team basketball,” Rose said after Tuesday’s practice. “We couldn’t care less about backcourts or frontcourts and all that. As long as we win the game and do what we’re supposed to do, that’s all we care about.
“I love it, because on this team, everybody seems like they’re taking everything seriously and being professional about it, and that’s all you can ask for,” added Rose.
In a preseason which Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau has worked with a larger rotation than he plans to use in the regular season, themes have included the integration of Pau Gasol into the starting lineup and getting rookies Nikola Mirotic and Doug McDermott some early looks.
For Rose, it’s been about getting back into the rhythm of the NBA game.
“I feel good. I feel the same every night,” said Rose who has averaged 12.0 points, 3.8 rebounds and 2.8 assists in 17.7 minutes through four games. “Just trying to get all the rust off and continue to play well.”
Rose played two seven-minute segments in Chicago’s first two games. In the last two, he’s played three. Thibodeau hasn’t indicated when that will increase, but he did say that he’s been pleased with how Rose has attacked the basket in transition.
“That’s one of the things he’s done very, very well,” noted Thibodeau. “Off of blocked shots, when we’re pressuring the ball properly, when we’re forcing turnovers and getting into the open floor, we’re getting easy baskets. That’s when he’s impossible to guard.”
At the same time, Rose wants to be more patient with his game, whether that means waiting for the right moment to take a shot, drive the lane, or find an open teammate.
“I’m trying to take whatever they give me,” said Rose. “They’re giving me the lane some and I’m just trying to mix it up. I’m shooting some jump shots and just trying to get the nerves out and continue to play aggressive.”
Rose acknowledges expectations are high for the Bulls and he understands why when he looks at his teammates.
“We know how talented we are and how good we could be. But we’ve still got to take it one step at a time,” said Rose. “We can’t surpass these games and go right to the regular season. We’ve got to take advantage of these games and all these practice days, lifting days, and do everything to prepare ourselves for this long season.”