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Rose surprised by knee’s strength

RIO DE JANEIRO — Not that Derrick Rose is a glass-half-empty type of guy, but he admitted Thursday that even he’s shocked with how well his left knee has been feeling and holding up in training camp.

“I’m very surprised,’’ Rose said, “having the opportunity to go out and see how it is. I’m just trying to knock the rust off. Of course, I’m going to be a little rusty because I missed so many days, missed so many games, but I’m happy we have this many preseason games because it gives me the opportunity to go out there and really try things along the way.’’

The plan for the preseason game Saturday against the Washington Wizards is to increase Rose’s minutes to the 25-minute mark but, more important, make sure that the starters are getting used to Rose’s speed.

“Derrick’s speed is special, and we think Joakim [ Noah’s] speed at his position is special,’’ coach Tom Thibodeau said. “So we need everyone going at their max speed, so that they can get used to playing with each other at that speed. If they’re only doing it at certain times, you’re not going to get anywhere. You get your intensity from giving max effort and concentrating all the time, and when you put those two together, you’ll get a rare intensity.’’

Around the rim

Noah (groin) went through the entire practice.

“I really haven’t taken contact yet, but each day it’s been getting better,’’ Noah said. “Hopefully, I can play on Saturday, but it will be a game-time decision.’’

† The Bulls participated in the NBA Cares program for 60 local Special Olympics athletes.

“Our guys are heavily involved in the community in Chicago, and this is a chance for us to get out in the community here and do the same thing, and we’re really excited about it,’’ Thibodeau said.

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