No nerves on Rose’s part as he returns vs. Pacers


Oct 5

With the long-awaited return of Derrick Rose finally here, one might expect the star point guard to have a case of the butterflies.

But Rose reported no such emotions as he prepared for the team’s morning shootaround at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis on Saturday.

“I’m good,” said Rose, whose Bulls will face the Pacers at 6 p.m. CT on WGN-TV and NBA TV. “The only time you should get nervous is when you’re not prepared. For me, I’ve been preparing for this moment for a long time. It’s been on my mind for a long time and it’s going to feel good being out there on the court feeling comfortable.”

Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said he plans to play Rose in two or three six to eight minute spurts.

“We’ll see where he is,” said Thibodeau of Rose. “A game is different. If he needs rest, we’re going to give him rest. If he’s OK, we’ll play him a little bit more.”

While Rose being back on the court is significant, the importance of achieving team chemistry is not lost on him.

“I’m excited, but at the same time, you’ve got to look at it [being] the preseason,” said Rose. “It’s for everyone to get their wrinkles out. We’re playing with new guys and I haven’t played with these guys in a long time. So it’s me adjusting to how they play and adjusting to the NBA game period.

“It should be fun,” added Rose. “The experience should be something new, like a new beginning for me. It’s about time.”

Saturday’s contest marks the first of eight exhibition games for Chicago. The team will face Memphis on Monday in St. Louis before traveling to Rio De Janeiro to take on Washington on Oct. 12. The Bulls will play their first preseason game at the United Center on Oct. 16 against Detroit.

Rose and the Bulls acknowledge that facing the Pacers, who fell to the eventual champion Miami Heat in the seventh game of last season’s Eastern Conference finals, will present a welcome challenge right off the bat.

“They’ve proved their point to the league,” said Rose. “They’ve made a difference and they made it far last year in the conference finals. They have young players and we’re going to grow old playing against each other in this league, especially with the team that they have.”

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