Print and Go Back ESPN.com: Chicago Bulls [Print without images]

Monday, October 7, 2013
Thibs: Rose has ability to be elite defender

By Nick Friedell

ST. LOUIS -- Chicago Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau believes an important aspect of Derrick Rose's game has been forgotten in his return: the former MVP's defense.

Thibodeau said Monday he believes Rose has the ability to make the NBA All-Defensive team one day.

"His defense was a point of emphasis for him in training camp," Thibodeau said. "He's responded well to that challenge. We want him to be a complete player. I think he understands how important that is. I think he's grown in that area significantly in the last three years."

Rose said last week he doesn't believe he gets enough credit for his defensive ability, which is overshadowed by his scoring. Appreciative of Thibodeau's remarks, Rose wants to improve in all areas.

"I hope so," he said of possibly making the All-Defensive team one day. "But it's nothing that I want that bad. I just want people to look at (my defense). I think guys really won't have like huge nights really against me, so for me I'm just trying to play team defense and stay within our team and just play as hard as I can."

The key for Rose, according to Thibodeau, is to continue focusing on the same defensive principles.

"It's great balance, speed, quickness, strength, anticipation, knowledge," Thibodeau said. "Knowledge is quickness. Knowing how to play people, knowing what their strengths are, what their weaknesses are. A lot goes into it."

As for Monday night's second preseason game against the Memphis Grizzlies, expect Rose's workload to be the same as Saturday's preseason opener against the Indiana Pacers: three six- to eight-minute segments.