Wed, Oct 8th 2008, 09:24
Remember all the talk from last June about bringing Derrick Rose along slowly and not burdening a rookie owning one season of college experience with too many expectations?
Well, forget about all that.
In conversations with several people who have witnessed or participated in Bulls practices, the praise for Rose is glowing and unanimous. Two people—one with ties to the Bulls’ organization, one without—said Rose is having the best training camp of anybody on the team.
And while nothing is official and coach Vinny Del Negro has said to read nothing into his lineup for Thursday’s exhibition opener against Dallas, Rose has worked mostly with Kirk Hinrich in practice. Hinrich has started 376 of 389 career games.
Rose, who turned 20 Saturday, did pair with Thabo Sefolosha for Tuesday’s practice and was matched against Hinrich. Still, most observers now consider Rose a lock to be a starter on opening night against the Bucks on Oct. 28.
So much for bringing Rose along slowly. To which Rose, as is his style, replies with a big aw-shucks.
“Whoever deserves to start will start,” Rose said. “It isn’t like anybody hating on another person. We just want to win.
“It’s up to the coach if I need to learn stuff. Everybody thinks they deserve to play. But if sitting on the bench helps us win, I’ll do it.”
This genuine lack of an agenda is partly why Rose has been so impressive. Well, that and blinding speed, a professional practice approach that has him arriving hours early and his quick grasp of an offense that’s heavy on the screen-and-roll.
“He has been very good, really, really impressive,” Sefolosha said. “He’s quick. He makes good decisions on the court. I’m impressed with the way he prepares himself and how he knows when to pass, when to attack. He’s already playing at a very high level.”