The Bulls opened training camp today, and that meant a return to the practice court with a 100 percent healthy Derrick Rose. The Chicago Tribune's K.C. Johnson relayed quotes from coach Tom Thibodeau, Bulls starters Carlos Boozer and others proclaiming the old Rose's return.
Rose was attacking the basket during scrimmages with a ferocity not seen when he was cleared to play in the spring.
“I got confidence in my (surgically repaired left) knee,” Rose told the Tribune. “There’s no testing anymore. It’s going out there and playing hard and attacking.”
“He attacked all day, in fact from the start,” Thibodeau revealed. “He made that clear.” Boozer added that "Pooh" – Rose's nickname – "had it going. It was like old times."
Rose is doing one thing differently from before tearing his ACL at the start of the 2012 Playoffs.
“I’m really taking stretching serious before and after — when I wake up, before I go to sleep. I just try to get my body as loose as possible because when you have ACL tears, your hamstrings will be the first things that go especially when you’re fatigued. Me building that tolerance up on my leg, I think that will help me in the long run.”
Here's more on Rose's return to practice, Jimmy Butler's excellent showing and divisional rivals, the Bucks…
- The sentiments expressed by the players and coach in the Tribune's piece on the first practice of the 2013/14 season were echoed by Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun Times. Derrick Rose is back attacking the rim, and despite some hard fouls was fine with the contact.
- Rose also offered some insight into his decision not to come back for the playoffs last season after being cleared to play. "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," Rose said.
- Another player who impressed coach Tom Thibodeau at the first day of practice, was 6'7" swingman Jimmy Butler. Thibs told the Tribune's Johnson "[Butler is] an excellent athlete, very explosive, very quick to the ball. That tells you how he sees the game. His reaction to the ball is special. He's very quick, strong, can think ahead, very strong."
- The former Marquette player won the starting shooting guard spot last season with Chicago after some blanket defense on the wing, and improved 3-point shooting.
- The Sun-Times' Cowley also paid deference to Butler saying that – other than Rose – he got the most attention after the first day of practice.
- After the Bucks were again eliminated in the first round of the playoffs last season, GM John Hammond started the offseason ready to make big changes, writes the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel's Charles F. Gardner.
- After hiring a new coach – Larry Drew, formerly of the Hawks – the Bucks traded their point guard Brandon Jennings to the Pistons and let their other guard Monta Ellis leave for the Mavs. Hammond will see what a fresh start can do after the largest roster overhaul in his five years as GM.