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Coach K on Derrick Rose’s ‘D’: ‘Spectacular’

Updated: August 17, 2014 9:48PM



LAS VEGAS — Derrick Rose insisted Monday that he would be pulling up more to avoid contact in the lane.

Well, that lasted about a day.

‘‘I haven’t seen that,’’ USA Basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski said Tuesday when asked about Rose playing more cautiously. ‘‘He has gone after people. [Passiveness for him] ain’t happening. He has gone after everybody, and he has really gone hard.’’

Not the kind of talk some might want to hear about Rose, considering he has played in only 10 games since the 2012 playoffs, but maybe controlled recklessness is just the way he has to play.

That style won him an MVP and helped get the Bulls to the Eastern Conference finals in 2010-11, and the idea that Rose is back to attack mode this summer should make Bulls brass and fans happy.

‘‘[Rose’s] movement on defense is spectacular,’’ Krzyzewski said. ‘‘When we started practice [Monday], what he did defensively was like, ‘Whoa.’ It picked everybody up. You don’t play that type of defense in the NBA because you have to play 40 minutes and 100 games. But [trying out for Team USA], if you play 20 minutes, that’s a lot, but you don’t have to play consecutively. So you can go to an extreme. And that’s what he’s doing.

‘‘He has great balance and strength. And he’s shooting the ball great. I think he’s been absolutely terrific these first two days.’’

That was nice for Rose to hear after the workout at UNLV’s Mendenhall Center, but Rose seems
focused on the little things.

‘‘Waking up not sore, that’s kind of good,’’ Rose said with a laugh when asked what he was working on this week. ‘‘I feel like a basketball player now.’’

Rose said he has to be smart about the way he plays once the NBA season begins, but knowing that the 2010-11 version of Rose can be called upon when needed is the ultimate security blanket.

‘‘I can be more aggressive out here,’’ Rose said. ‘‘I’m picking and choosing, just trying to see what the game needs, just trying to play my game.’’

Through the first two days, mission accomplished.

‘‘Rose looks explosive,’’ former Bulls teammate Kyle Korver said. ‘‘Explosive and strong. He’s in good shape, and I don’t have a single concern about his knee. I know you guys are all here because you want to see if his knee’s working, but his knee is fine.

‘‘His shot looks good. I assume as the week goes on, he’s just going to keep on getting stronger. But he looks fantastic.’’

The Bulls are doing their part to make sure he stays that way, sending their director of sports performance, Jen Swanson, with Rose. That’s why Rose knows his day doesn’t end when USA Basketball practice is over.

‘‘Jen is here kicking my butt,’’ Rose said. ‘‘I’ve got acupuncture; I’ve got to get a massage. On Wednesday, I’ve got practice, and it starts all over again.’’

It’s a much better scenario than the previous two years.

‘‘I don’t know about surprised,’’ Krzyzewski said when asked about how good Rose has looked. ‘‘Happy. Very pleased. Nothing that he does will ever surprise me.’’

Email: jcowley@suntimes.com

Twitter: @suntimes_hoops



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