The Bulls opened training camp with two-a-day sessions scheduled for today and Sunday.
It was the first time that Derrick Rose had joined his teammates in a scrimmage session since the spring of last season. Unlike when he was trying to pace himself while building strength in his surgically repaired left knee, he hit the start of this season’s training like he prepares to hit the season; with his mentality to attack.
“He’s real strong and he’s attacking,” coach Tom Thibodeau assessed of the point guard’s performance. “Today, he attacked the basket a lot more than he did last year. He attacked all day, right from the start.
“The drill part and the working on defense, he’s fine. When we got to the scrimmage part, as it went along, he got better. I think the big thing is he has to get used to the contact, the physicality of everything and then of course, we haven’t put in our double teams. So he hasn’t seen that yet, but we’re going to add that in so he gets comfortable with it. I think the more he does see that and the more he gets through the scrimmage part, he’ll continuously get better each day.”
Rose said there’s no pacing himself and plans to participate in both sessions this weekend, not wanting to sit anything out after being relegated to a spectator role all of last season. The first sessions include scrimmaging and the second will just be a film session, walkthrough, followed by some light shooting. Rose absorbed some hard fouls, but said he thought “nothing of it.” His timing and wind are a work in in progress, but all signs are positive after day one.
“I was moving good. It just felt good being out there with my teammates,” Rose said. “We won a majority of the games that we did scrimmage, so that was a good thing. Everyone is feeling good. I’m just happy to be out there and feeling like part of the team.
“I was attacking a lot, getting to the line – just getting my legs under me and just getting my wind together.”
Thibodeau praised the conditioning of the team but in his typical fashion, let it be known that there’s a long way to go. Despite the intensity that Thibodeau practices are known for, Rose is well prepared.
“Don’t tell Thibs, but I had workouts harder than this,” the point guard said of the two-a-day sessions. “I work out three times a day, so for us to go through practice and have water breaks, that’s something I normally don’t do in my workouts. It’s hard [still] but I’m used to it.”