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Derrick Rose says rest days no cause for alarm

Pro BasketballBasketballDerrick RoseTom ThibodeauJames HardenNBAMadison Square Garden
Derrick Rose misses two straight Team USA practices? Relax. He's fine.
James Harden says Derrick Rose is “going to show the world that he's back.”
Derrick Rose taking it easy this week ahead of Team USA exhibition in New York.

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — After the USA Basketball practice Tuesday afternoon, Bulls guard Derrick Rose and coach Tom Thibodeau spent several minutes chatting on the court before Rose shot free throws, took jump shots and performed other offensive moves.

That was the extent of Rose's work as he sat out practice for the second consecutive day.

Still, Rose and Thibodeau said they weren't concerned about Rose's recovery from a torn meniscus in his right knee that sidelined him for the final 72 games last season. Rose said he didn't plan to take the two days off, but he hopes to play Wednesday night at Madison Square Garden in an exhibition against the Dominican Republic.

"There's nothing wrong with rest," Rose said. "It ain't like it's the season. I'm not worried about it."

At the United Center on Saturday night, Rose scored seven points with four rebounds, two assists and three turnovers against Brazil in his first game since Nov. 18, 2013. He played 24 minutes and 11 seconds and started alongside Stephen Curry, Anthony Davis, Kenneth Faried and James Harden.

"Saturday night was the first time for all the players to play again, so we were anticipating soreness the next day," said Thibodeau, an assistant on USA Basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski's staff. "For Derrick, he had not played since November. We knew there'd be more for him. We just gave him a day or two (off), let him get his legs under him and we'll see where he is tomorrow."

Rose was a starter on the 2010 U.S. squad that went undefeated en route to winning the FIBA world championship, a performance and experience Thibodeau credits for helping Rose win the NBA's Most Valuable Player Award in 2011. He missed the 2012 Summer Olympics after tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee that April. Now, with LeBron James, Kevin Durant and others opting not to play this summer, Rose's role has expanded. He's taking the long view and focusing on the FIBA World Cup games that start Aug. 30 instead of pushing himself in practices.

"I'm really, really happy with where I'm at right now health-wise (and) recovering very quickly," Rose said. "I'm just trying to take my time and get rest because we have a long schedule ahead of us — just try to get as much rest as possible."

Said Thibodeau: "I think he has a much better understanding of the comeback now. He's showing a lot more patience. I think he's finding the rhythm of the game, picking and choosing when he's attacking. He's shooting when he should shoot. He's passing when he should pass. He's playing solid defense. Those are the things that we want him to do — run the team. I think he'll find his rhythm that way a lot faster."

So far, Rose has impressed his teammates. Harden called Rose "phenomenal" and "probably better than ever."

"He's so athletic," Harden said. "I think these last couple of years, we kind of missed him and forgot about what he could do. This summer he's going to show the world that he's back."

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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Pro BasketballBasketballDerrick RoseTom ThibodeauJames HardenNBAMadison Square Garden
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