Bulls point guard Derrick Rose said in a report from Nick Freidell of ESPN this week that his game is "totally different" than it was a year ago and he won't be rushing everything offensively anymore.
The 25-year-old three-time All-Star is set to play with the U.S. national team on Saturday night vs. Brazil. It will be one of the first times he will be play in a competitive game since going down last year with a second devastating knee injury in as many years.
After more than a year of rehab, he came back last season and said he was focused on getting back into "a groove" as he looked to return to his old MVP self. This time, after a second surgery kept him out for most of last season, he said he will let the play develop and take his time on the pick-and-rolls, suggesting perhaps he won't be the slasher he once was years ago:
"My game is totally different. When I came back last time, I was just trying to get in a groove. I think I felt a nice little groove. My confidence is high right now, and I think even playing in the game [Saturday] you'll be able to see by the way that I attack the players defensively. And by the way I play offensively, just not rushing anything and just taking my time on pick and rolls and just letting the play develop."
His coach on the Bulls, Tom Thibodeau -- an assistant on Team USA -- echoed that sentiment this week, saying Rose is not forcing anything now:
"He's doing a lot of things well. But he's not forcing anything, and I think that's important."
- Marc Weinreich