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No place like home for the Bulls
by Adam Fluck
Posted on Oct 18
In a departure from the normal routine, Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau conducted the team’s game day shootaround on Friday at the United Center rather the Berto Center.
“It’s great; it’s different,” said Thibodeau. “We’ve got some new guys who want to get some more work down here so I think it makes a lot of sense.”
When asked if he’ll consider doing it more often, Thibodeau cracked, “All of next year.”
This past summer, the team broke ground on a new 60,000-square-feet practice facility which will be located directly east of the United Center.
The state-of-the-art facility will include amenities such as therapeutic pools, two full-size basketball courts, outdoor courtyards, a second-level green roof terrace, updated locker rooms and a video room. Until it is ready, trips like Friday’s will help the team work towards maintaining its home court advantage.
“I like it,” said Thibodeau of spending additional time at the United Center. “The Berto is good, but sometimes a change of scenery is good. So I like it for those reasons too.”
Many players are looking forward to the day the new venue’s doors open, which is planned for the fall of 2014. Derrick Rose said having shootaround at the United Center gives them a small taste of what’s to come, including a short commute.
“It’s great, man, I can get here in like five minutes,” said Rose. “So I can’t complain about that and I hope that we continue to do it throughout the year.
“I can’t wait,” added Rose. “I’ve been coming over here and getting into the gym whenever I want. It’s kind of like having an indoor court at my house.”
ROSE FEELING FINE WITH PACERS IN TOWN
With Wednesday’s win over Detroit, Rose made his long-awaited return to his home court where he played for the first time in a year and a half. And he didn’t disappoint, scoring 22 points in 22 minutes and fearlessly attacking the basket with his trademark speed and athleticism.
On Friday morning, he said he continues to feels fine. When asked if he thinks he’s getting closer to playing at the level he was before the injury, he answered affirmatively.
“I feel like I’m there now,” said Rose. “I haven’t had any setbacks.”
Appearing in three of Chicago’s four preseason games, Rose has averaged a team-leading 16.0 points while adding 2.7 assists, 2.7 rebounds and 1.7 steals in 21.8 minutes.
As for facing the Pacers on Friday, while many already call it a rivalry, Rose doesn’t quite feel the same way, at least not at the moment.
“People say it’s a rivalry, but I don’t really see it,” said Rose. “I say the team that was more like a rivalry is when Darren Collison was on the team. That one, it was more like a rivalry, but this team is a great team. They’ve already proven themselves last year by making it to the Eastern Conference finals. If anything, by probably in a year or two it could become a rival. But right now, people say it’s a rival, I just don’t see it right now.”
In 2011, Chicago defeated Indiana 4-1 in the opening round of the NBA Playoffs. Rose explained the difference in his mind between then and now.
“I think it was more like that rivalry feeling where we knew, we thought that they were going to have that same team for a long period of time,” said Rose. “Then they end up going different ways, picking up different guys and I think this team, I think in the next year or two, if both teams have the same teams then that’s when it would become a rivalry.”
Rivalry or not, Thibodeau acknowledged that as the Bulls pursue the ultimate goal, the Pacers are one of the teams they’ll have to overcome.
“We’re all battling for the same thing,” he stated. “They’re very good and they’re very deep. They’re talented and we know how good they are. They have size, quickness, toughness; they play together and they play smart. They’re well coached. They’re one of the elite teams in the East for sure.”
Audio—Derrick Rose meets the media following shootaround at the United Center (10.18.2013):
Audio—Tom Thibodeau meets the media following shootaround at the United Center (10.18.2013):