Bulls open Derrick Rose to ‘more contact’ in practice
BY JOE COWLEY firstname.lastname@example.org January 22, 2013 10:37PM
Bulls guard Derrick Rose works out before the Chicago Bulls 95-83 win over the Los Angeles Lakers Monday January 21, 2013 at the United Center. | Tom Cruze~Sun-Times
The facts: 7, CSN, 1000-AM.
Updated: January 22, 2013 10:46PM
It would be nice if the Derrick Rose updates could be wheeled out on one big platter for all to consume. Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau’s style is a morsel here, a crumb there. It’s almost as if he stands back and takes joy in the frenzy it causes.
The latest news was that Rose had taken the next step toward his return Tuesday, moving from ‘‘predictable contact’’ to ‘‘more contact.’’ What does ‘‘more’’ mean? Considering it was a light practice in the first place for the Bulls, it’s tough to judge. But Thibodeau said it was a step forward as Rose continues the road back from surgery last May to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee.
‘‘He did a little bit more,’’ Thibodeau said. ‘‘He was taking on some contact. He’s doing fine. . . . He’s been cleared for more contact, so we went to the next step.’’
Bulls practice details are on the same level as national security secrets as far as Thibodeau is concerned, so a blow-by-blow account of who guarded Rose in practice and who roughed him up wasn’t coming.
‘‘It’s going to be awhile,’’ Thibodeau said. ‘‘It’s the next step in the rehab, so everyone has to be patient. He’s doing fine, he’s playing more, he’s practicing more, so he’s doing well. We want him to concentrate on his rehab and the team to concentrate on improvement and our next opponent. Nothing has changed.’’
The Bulls have the advantage of a lot of home games leading into February, so if there was a time to throw Rose into the fire, it would be now because of how they can control the environment at the Berto Center.
Thibodeau said Rose will be looked at again Wednesday morning. The team will assess where he is physically as he takes on more, and then he’ll either be push forward or slowed down.
‘‘That’s a big part of [it], and you have to remember in practice you’re trying to get it as close to a game-like condition as you can with the understanding that there’s nothing like a game, there’s nothing that matches that intensity,’’ Thibodeau said. ‘‘You strive to get it there, but it’s different. So you have to make sure that he can handle this intensity first, and then we’ll go from there. But he’s doing great, he’s shown great patience, and everyone else has to show great patience.’’
That doesn’t seem to be a problem for Rose’s teammates.
‘‘We know it’s going to take time,’’ veteran guard Rip Hamilton said after Tuesday’s practice. ‘‘We just kind of allowed Derrick to do him. It was good just to see him out on the floor, moving around, getting a little contact and things like that, but with us, we just want him to take his time.’’
Hamilton said Rose has made it known he doesn’t want anyone in practice playing him soft since he’s coming off an injury.
‘‘He wants to challenge himself,’’ Hamilton said. ‘‘Any opportunity he has on the floor, he wants to challenge himself and see where he is. So you want to try and make him play some.’’