Rose adds more defense to his load

DEERFIELD, Ill. -- A day after hitting the game-winning shot, Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose participated fully in practice at the Berto Center, albeit with the same kinesiology tape on his neck he wore in Thursday's victory over the New York Knicks.

Coach Tom Thibodeau said the full roster participated in practice and that everybody is expected to be available when the Bulls play at Philadelphia on Saturday night.

Rose continued to make no excuses for his shooting struggles Thursday when he went 7-of-23 from the field. He did, however, hit a floater over two defenders in the closing seconds that was the difference in the 82-81 victory.

"I was just missing my shots," Rose said. "Explosiveness, I think was there. I was just missing shots."

Rose seemed particularly ineffective in the first half Thursday, especially when it came to his inability to flash his typical speed and athleticism. Thibodeau countered that, though, saying that some phases of his point guard's game were the best he's ever seen.

"You know, to me he missed some shots that he normally makes, but that may have been his best defensive game since he's been here," Thibodeau said. "His defense was terrific. He wasn't shooting well, but he found other areas to get going, and I thought he found a good rhythm to start the third. I thought Luol (Deng) made some good plays to get the ball out to him. Then, of course, he made the big shot at the end. He stayed with it and overall I think he's playing very well."

Rose not only played 34 minutes Thursday, but he also played some full-court defense as he continues to round into playing shape.

"For me, all I do is just try and bring that intensity every night," Rose said. "Picking up full court, that's something I've been getting used to doing, and really getting into the ball. I think as far as me being a leader and being the point guard, seeing just how everybody feeds off my energy."

Nobody was willing to say that the extra energy expended had its effect on the offensive end. Rose sounded as if he preferred the defensive strategy no matter how taxing it might have been.

"It really wakes you up kind of, gets your legs going, lets everyone know that you came to play tonight," Rose said. "They start the offense a little further back, and you getting into the ball kind of avoids screens. (Screens) are probably one of the reasons my neck is sore."

After holding the Knicks to 81 points, though, defense doesn't seem to be the Bulls' biggest concern. Establishing an offensive flow could end up being a priority against the Sixers.

"I wouldn't say we're lost (offensively), but the chemistry part, it can always get better," Rose said. "I think we have a great upside. I think we can be a great team. All of us have been working out individually, like super hard, so when you have that going all it is, it's timing and rhythm. Then everybody will be going together."