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Bulls guard Derrick Rose back to dunking, shooting jumpers

Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose works out before an NBA basketball game between Bulls IndianPacers Tuesday Dec. 4 2012 Chicago.

Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose works out before an NBA basketball game between the Bulls and the Indiana Pacers on Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2012, in Chicago. Rose is recovering from torn ligaments in his left knee. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

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Updated: January 9, 2013 9:45PM

The practice rules for Derrick Rose are simple these days: If the all-everything point guard wants to drive to the hoop, move out of the way. If he wants to dunk, let him dunk.

It’s look-but-don’t-touch, as Rose continued the “predictable contact’’ portion of his rehab process.

Swingman Jimmy Butler was the latest player to be impressed with what he has seen from Rose in the last week.

“We definitely don’t want to get him hurt again, so if he’s going to the cup, let him go,’’ Butler said of the Rose rules. “Open jumper, contest it, but don’t let him come down any wrong way.’’

Butler is amazed that Rose is back on the court after surgery in May, let alone seeing small signs that the explosiveness is coming back.

“It’s just great to see him out there jumping and shooting jumpers, moving the way he does,’’ Butler said. “If he comes back and has a start like [Vikings running back] Adrian Peterson did, man, that’s crazy.’’

A good sign is Rose has enough explosiveness in the left knee to start dunking again.

“I see a few flushed here and there, nothing over the top,’’ Butler said. “He still has it in him, that’s for sure.’’

The next step for Rose will be all-out contact in a full practice, and he’s getting closer to that.

“You can tell he’s a great player, so he doesn’t really show it too often,’’ Butler said, ‘‘but you know that he wants to be out there with us, be out there competing, helping us get these wins. You ask him about it, and he’s like, ‘Man, I’m so ready.’ But who knows?’’

Defending KG

Coach Tom Thibodeau has always been a huge defender of Kevin Garnett, antics and all, having coached him in Boston.

Garnett was once again in the headlines for a trash-talking incident with Carmelo Anthony that led to the Knicks star being suspended a game.

“[Garnett is] one of those guys that if you’re an opponent, you probably don’t like him, but if he’s on your side, you love him,’’ Thibodeau said. “He led that team to a championship, so I have great respect for him.

“You put fierce competitors in a game together, they’re going to go at each other. That’s what fierce competitors do.’’

Need elbow room

Kirk Hinrich (injured right elbow) missed his fifth game of the season. He’s day-to-day.

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