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Derrick Rose once again strong as injury-laden Bulls blast Bucks 105-84

Chicago Bulls' Derrick Rose (1) goes up for shot against  Milwaukee Bucks during first half an NBA preseasbasketball game

Chicago Bulls' Derrick Rose (1), goes up for a shot against the Milwaukee Bucks during the first half of an NBA preseason basketball game in Chicago, Monday, Oct. 21, 2013. (AP Photo/Paul Beaty)

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Updated: October 22, 2013 1:39PM



Facing a Bulls team minus starters Joakim Noah and Jimmy Butler and key reserve Kirk Hinrich, Milwaukee Bucks coach Larry Drew figured it was time to pull out the measuring stick.

Drew knew all too well that Derrick Rose could be handful enough. It was Rose who sent Drew’s Atlanta Hawks out of the playoffs three seasons ago during Rose’s last extended stretch of full health.

Behind 24 points from Rose in his 27 minutes of play, the Bulls dismantled the Bucks 105-84 on Monday to improve to 6-0 in the preseason.

And Rose?

‘‘He’s back,’’ Drew said. ‘‘That’s what I think. He’s just taking it where he left off. He’s a phenomenal player.’’

And he’s one Drew will see a lot more this season now that he’s coaching in the same division as the 2011 MVP point guard.

‘‘I will say I know the league is glad to see him back. Me personally?’’ Drew said with a laugh. ‘‘No, I’m for every kid that goes through any type of injury like that, have a healthy recovery and come back. He’s a tremendous talent in our league, and I know the league is real excited to have him back.’’

Playing in his fifth game since sitting out all of last season while rehabbing his surgically repaired anterior cruciate ligament, Rose was again in attack mode, shooting 6-for-10 from the field, including two three-pointers.

Over his last three games, Rose has scored 78 points.

“For me, I think I’m not getting enough,’’ Rose said, laughing after the latest win.

The concern continued to be who wasn’t playing next to Rose.

Noah was still sidelined with a strained groin and has only played in one preseason game, clocking 19 minutes. Butler had a setback with his bruised left knee and has missed three straight games. Hinrich was still working through a concussion suffered in Friday’s win over the Indiana Pacers.

With the season opener at Miami less than a week away, time is not on the Bulls’ side.

Rose wasn’t worried.

‘‘We should be fine,’’ he said of the pending showdown with the back-to-back NBA champion Heat. ‘‘The guys, they know their jobs. When they came in — Jimmy, when he did play — his defense is what we need out of him. Joakim is energy. And Kirk is going to bring a solid game with running the team and knocking down open shots.

So I think all the guys on the team know their roles. It’s just that we have to get them out there.’’

EMAIL: jcowley@suntimes.com



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