Derrick Rose confident he’ll be back strong
BY JOE COWLEY Staff Reporter September 23, 2013 9:37PM
Updated: October 25, 2013 6:19AM
There will be a finished product.
Bulls star Derrick Rose has no idea how long it will take or what it will look like, but creating art on the hardwood is inevitable in his eyes. That’s what he does, surgically repaired anterior cruciate ligament be damned.
‘‘The thing that changed in my game the most, I would have to say, is my confidence level and knowing that I put so much into my craft,’’ Rose said at a promotional event Sunday at the United Center. ‘‘I’m working hard. I think I’m one of the hardest workers in the NBA, if not the hardest worker, and I think you should see it in my game when I step on the court.’’
While Rose didn’t offer details about what people can expect from his game when camp starts Friday, the muscle he added to his upper body during his rehab has him thinking defenders will have an even bigger chore slowing him down.
‘‘I’m usually good at getting and-ones and just finishing strong, but with the strength that I just got, I think my jump shot is going to be a lot smoother,’’ he said. ‘‘I think it’s going to help me in the long run. When you start thinking about the playoffs and how hard those games are . . . with me continuing to train the same way that I’ve been training — like, twice a week on my legs and, really, my overall body — I think it’s going to help me out a lot.’’
That’s where coach Tom Thibodeau comes in. In
July, Thibodeau said the Bulls will put a plan in place for Rose once they see where he is at the start of camp. And having a healthy Kirk Hinrich and a more mature Marquis Teague backing him up will give Thibodeau some options.
‘‘We’ll see how it unfolds,’’ Thibodeau said. ‘‘We feel good that we have Kirk backing him up. That’s a big plus. The quality of our depth is going to be very big. We’ll see how those minutes unfold. Then we’ll get started in the regular season. [Rose will] be fine.’’
Thibodeau, though, has to make sure Rose isn’t the only one who’s fine come mid-April. Forward Luol Deng missed more than half of the Bulls’ playoff games last
season because of complications from a spinal tap, and center Joakim Noah played most of the second half of the season with plantar fasciitis in his right foot.
According to STATS and its SportVU technology, Noah ranked fourth in the NBA last season in distance run per game (2.63 miles) and Deng fifth (2.62 miles). The only players ahead of them were guards. So it will be up to Thibodeau to control their minutes, something that always has been a sticky topic with him.
‘‘There’s a lot more scrutiny today of everything,’’ Thibodeau said in April. ‘‘ ‘This guy doesn’t play enough; this guy plays too much.’ That goes with the territory. You do what you think is right. It’s easy to work backwards, but pacing a team is important.’’
And nothing will be more important than pacing Rose.