Rose up for challenge of facing Williams

February, 9, 2011
2/09/11
3:17
PM CT
Friedell By Nick Friedell
ESPNChicago.com
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Deron Williams
Melissa Majchrzak/NBAE/Getty ImagesDeron Williams' physical play appeals to the Bulls' Derrick Rose, who is learning to play more physical himself.
SALT LAKE CITY -- Derrick Rose is always motivated to prove himself, but he knows the challenge of facing off against Utah Jazz point guard Deron Williams means a little something extra.

"It's a fun challenge," Rose said before the Bulls' Wednesday morning shootaround. "Their offense is very hard. They've been running it for numerous years, and they're very used to it. And he's the one that gets everybody going. So just making sure that he's under control, I think we should have a good chance to win this game."

While the pair's game's may not look the same, there is one part of Williams' game that Rose enjoys.

"He plays physical throughout the whole game," he said recently. "If anything, that's what I'm learning to do."

Jazz coach Jerry Sloan is impressed by Rose's physical play.

"He just improved on what he had," Sloan said. "He's a terrific, explosive guy. He's so strong, and it looks to me like he's gotten stronger. I never thought he lacked of strength to begin with, but [it] looks like he's worked tremendously hard to make himself good and that doesn't come by accident."

Sloan knows that Rose's improved range around the perimeter has made him even more dangerous.

"All that puts a lot of pressure on you trying to guard him," Sloan said. "Because he's very good in blowing by people and putting a lot of pressure on your defense because he can pick and roll and he just makes plays, simple plays. He makes them look simple."

While both players have the ability to take over games, Rose doesn't want to get caught up in a one-on-one rivalry with Williams on Wednesday.

"We're just trying to win, man. Where we lost two in a row, we're just trying to get these wins together. Get to playing good basketball again, where I think our defense has been slipping a little bit. We're going to get back playing good and get our confidence back."

Nick Friedell | email

Chicago Bulls beat reporter
Nick Friedell is the Chicago Bulls beat reporter for ESPN Chicago. Friedell is a graduate of the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University and joined ESPNChicago.com for its launch in April 2009.

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Derrick Rose
PTS AST STL MIN
15.9 4.3 0.5 31.1
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsJ. Noah 11.3
AssistsJ. Noah 5.4
StealsJ. Butler 1.9
BlocksJ. Noah 1.5