Derrick Rose ‘felt great’ after 13-point performance in Bulls’ 106-87 win
BY JOE COWLEY Staff Reporter October 7, 2013 10:25PM
Chicago Bulls' Carlos Boozer shoots over Memphis Grizzlies' Ed Davis during the second half of an NBA preseason basketball game Monday, Oct. 7, 2013, in St. Louis. Boozer led all scorers with 16 points in the Bulls' 106-87 victory. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
ST. LOUIS – No complaints from Derrick Rose on minutes played Monday night.
More importantly, no problems with his surgically-repaired left knee or his conditioning, as the point guard scored 13 points in the 106-87 win over Memphis.
“I felt great with the minutes I played,’’ Rose said. “I can always play more minutes because I’ve conditioned myself to play more, but I trust the coaching staff to have my best interest in mind.’’
What mattered more to coach Tom Thibodeau was with the minutes Rose did play he was once again in attack mode, not shying away from going at the rim, bodies in his way or not.
“Again, aggressive in attacking the basket,’’ Thibodeau said of Rose’s performance. “He was good. You can see the explosiveness.’’
Playing in his second preseason game in three nights, Rose watched his minutes go up from 20:26 in the opener against Indiana to 23:01 against the Grizzlies. And while he once again showed flashes of the MVP-brilliance he displayed much of the 2010-11 season, breaking through the rust of 526 days off is still a work in progress.
That was evident early on, and Rose wasn’t alone, as the Bulls (2-0) gave up 28 points to the Grizzlies. Way too many points for a defensive-minded coach like Thibodeau.
Rose wasn’t the only one to blame for the defensive lapses, but considering the high expectations Thibodeau has for what Rose can be defensively, it didn’t go unnoticed.
“His defense was a point of emphasis for him in training camp,’’ Thibodeau said of Rose.
And Rose wasn’t shying away from being an elite defender at some point.
“I think guys don’t really have like, huge nights really, against me, so for me, I’m just trying to play team defense and stay within our team, and just play as hard as I can,’’ Rose said.
Rose hit his first three-pointer of exhibition play in the third, but the play that was vintage Rose came with 7:51 left in the first, when he exploded toward the rim, ducked contact and laid the ball in with his right hand, still drawing the foul.