- Mike Mazzeo, ESPN Staff Writer
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WEST POINT, N.Y. -- Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose, who played his first game Saturday since tearing the medial meniscus in his right knee back in November 2013, was given a rest day Monday as Team USA practiced at West Point.
"I feel great actually. My body is good. I'm not aching, so that's a good sign, and I'm just trying to take it day by day," Rose said during an interview on ESPN's "Hoops for Troops" special.
"Today I'm not practicing because I'm just getting a little bit of rest, just getting my legs under me a little bit more. Today is more like a recovery day for me."
Team USA coach Mike Krzyzewski said the time off was just a precaution.
"Derrick, we have to watch him as he is coming back," Krzyzewski said. "We played really hard and a lot of minutes on Saturday. He’s played well and you don’t want to overdo it."
Rose, who scored seven points in 24 minutes in Team USA's 95-78 exhibition victory over Brazil on Saturday night at the United Center in Chicago, reflected on playing his first game back in his home arena.
"When it was going on I was too caught up in the moment. I had to go out there, perform and do my job," he said. "Just looking back at it, it was kinda amazing having everyone come out and really show love. The whole city really had a buzz going on, and I just feel blessed that so many people came out and showed so much love and so many fans came out to show support to the Team USA."
While he was recovering from his injury, Rose worked on the mental aspects of the game, such as understanding tendencies of players and coaches. He says his basketball acumen is way better than it used to be.
"This is the most I've ever watched basketball in my entire life," Rose said.
Rose says he enjoys playing for Team USA because he doesn't have to take that many shots and be a scorer. Instead, he can focus on facilitating for his teammates and playing tough defense, which helps him "gain that groove as a point guard."
Rose believes he is free of any restrictions such as playing in back-to-backs when the season starts but said he hasn't spoken to Thibodeau or the Bulls yet about it.
Asked whether he will be ready to go full throttle at the start of the season, Rose said: "It depends on how I am feeling. I think having these two years off really made me really learn about my body and I know how much work I need to put in the offseason, and need to put in every day into preparing myself for a game. So I wouldn’t say that right now that I would do the same thing like I did today (resting). If I am feeling good, I am going to practice. Today I felt like I needed to rest a little bit."
11dMatt Walks, ESPN.com