Teammates encouraged by Rose's progress

Teammates encouraged by Rose's progress
January 9, 2013, 6:17 pm
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DEERFIELD, ILL.When it comes to Derrick Roses ongoing recovery, even his teammates cant contain their excitement.
Everything! exclaimed Jimmy Butler, when asked about pleasant surprises observed during Roses rehabilitation from ACL surgery. I think its all a blessing and its just great to see him out there, jumping and shooting jump shots, and moving the way that he does. Who knows if he comes back and has a start like Adrian Peterson did? Thats crazy.
Yes, if youre curious, Rose has displayed glimpses of his trademark explosiveness. Butler confirmed that the former league MVP is indeed dunking the basketball on occasion these days, something reported by last month.
I see a few flushes here and there. Nothing over the top, Butler said after the Bulls shootaround Wednesday morning at the Berto Center. I think he still has it in him, thats for sure.
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But as enthusiastic as the Bulls might be about Roses eventual return, they know better than to treat him like just another one of the guys on the practice floor. Although the All-Star point guard is now engaging in predictable contact during practice, his teammates are cautious with him.
We definitely dont want to get him hurt again, so if hes going to the cup, let him go. Open J, contest it, but dont let him come down any wrong way. Playing smart basketball, but at the same time, we knowand that goes for anybodydont undercut anybody, Butler explained. Things that basketball players do with their teammates. As far as he goes, hes continuing to go hard, thats for sure.
Roses mere presence has had a positive effect on the squad, as his increased participation in practice, as well as traveling with the team on the road are encouraging signs.
Its great to know that hes there spiritually with us and just seeing him smile, and his cheer, his joyfulness to be around the team, thats big, Butler said. That gets all of us motivated, even when hes not out there with us. Just him being there and talking to us, what to do and what not to do, and coaching us up from the sidelines.
MORE: Rose taking 'predictable contact' in practice
Butler acknowledged that with Roses competitive nature, the Chicago native sometimes struggles to limit himself and is yearning to ramp up the process.
You can tell, but hes a great leader, so he doesnt really let it show too often. But you know that he wants to be out there with us and you know that he wants to be out there competing, and helping us get these wins, said the second-year swingman. You ask him about it, and hes like, Man, Im so ready, but who knows?
I know that I dont.