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Derrick Rose in attack mode on first day of camp

Chicago Bulls Vs WashingtWizards. Derrick Rose warms up court Wednesday April 17 2013 I Phoby Scott Stewart~Sun-Times

Chicago Bulls Vs Washington Wizards. Derrick Rose, warms up on the court Wednesday April 17, 2013 I Photo by Scott Stewart~Sun-Times

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Updated: October 30, 2013 6:55AM



There were glimpses last season.

‘‘A ‘Matrix’ moment,’’ as Bulls forward Carlos Boozer called it. A certain play on which Derrick Rose would look like the player who would attack the rim with a viciousness not seen in most point guards. The same Rose the Bulls remembered before he tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in April 2012.

But those moments were few and far between once Rose started practicing with his teammates last December.

It was a different story in the Bulls’ first practice of training camp Saturday at the Berto Center.

‘‘He attacked all day — in fact, from the start,’’ coach Tom Thibodeau said of the aggressiveness Rose showed in going to the basket. ‘‘He made that clear.’’

So much for easing back into it.

‘‘I came into this league a driver, and I’m going to continue to drive,’’ Rose said of his 2013-14 practice debut. ‘‘I can shoot. My shot has gotten better, but I know I’m
labeled as a driver.’’

And with that comes contact. That was another part of the practice Rose almost welcomed.

‘‘Yeah, there were some hard fouls,’’ he said. ‘‘I just have to get used to it. I didn’t think nothing of it. I just got up and shot the free throws.’’

It wasn’t all perfect for Rose, though. Thibodeau said his timing was off a bit. Then there’s getting used to playing with his teammates after missing a full season.

‘‘The big thing is, he’s got to get used to the contact, the physicality of everything,’’ Thibodeau said. ‘‘And then, of course, we haven’t put in our double teams yet. But we’re going to add that in, so he gets comfortable with that. I think the more he does see that, the more he does with the scrimmage part, he’ll continually get better and better each day. A big part of that is the timing of the offense, the spacing. And it’s not just him; it’s the entire team.’’

That Thibodeau soon will be
using double teams on Rose is crucial because that was the part of the game that kept him from returning during the playoffs last season. Rose admitted he didn’t think the knee would hold up to it.

‘‘I never felt like I could take on a double team,’’ Rose said. ‘‘I knew that I could get past one person. But in the playoffs, you really have to think the game, and people are going to throw different defenses and strategies at you every game. I knew I wasn’t ready to take on a double team in the playoffs, so I had to make the decision not to come back.’’

On Saturday, that decision was feeling even more right for Rose.

‘‘I couldn’t care less,’’ Rose said of his critics from last season. ‘‘People are always going to say something. . . . I could take it. I made it this far.’’

Email: jcowley@suntimes.com



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