76ers expect healthy Derrick Rose

Updated: April 28, 2012, 7:18 PM ET
By Scott Powers | ESPNChicago.com

CHICAGO -- The Philadelphia 76ers are preparing for Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose to be healthy and at his best when they open their first-round playoff series on Saturday.

Rose played in just 39 of the Bulls' 66 games this season because of an assortment of injuries. He hasn't played more than two games in a row since injuring his foot on March 12.

"First of all, Derrick Rose to me is going to be 100 percent (as) we view him out there," Collins said. "He causes all kinds of problems."

Rose was not made available at Bulls practice on Friday, but coach Tom Thibodeau said he is not overly concerned about the health of the reigning MVP.

"I like the progress that he's made," Thibodeau said. "In the past, he's always shown that he comes back very quickly, so we're hopeful that will be the case this time, too."

Rose played in two of the three games the 76ers and the Bulls played this season. He was part of a win and a loss against the 76ers. The Bulls were 2-1 against the 76ers this season.

Joakim Noah, who missed just one game because of injury this season after sitting out 34 games last year with injuries, said he believes Rose is ready.

"We know that to get to where we want to get to we know that we need Derrick playing at a high level, but injuries are a part of the game," Noah said. "I think we've dealt with his absence pretty well, but it's always good to have your ace on the court."

Even if Rose wasn't healthy, Collins doesn't believe the 76ers are the type of team where he could have one individual attack Rose and put pressure on him.

"If you look at our scoring, we need eight or nine guys to score," Collins said. "I think we may have set a record this year for the last time a team was in the playoffs without having a guy average 15 points, so we have to do it by committee. We're not one of these teams who says go throw the ball and go after this guy. We can't play this way. We got to move the ball. We got to share the ball. We got to keep our turnovers down."

The 76ers plan to not only attack Rose by committee, but also defend him that way. Jrue Holiday and Evan Turner likely will guard Rose.

Turner, who played Rose in high school, talked Friday about the responsibility of guarding the Bulls star.

"The best thing to try is to slow him down," Turner said. "He's able to be assertive in everything, so you try to push him left. Even though he's good going left, it's better than him going right.

"You try to keep him out of the paint. He's a magician when he gets in the paint. He does all those flip shots. One thing you don't want a guy like that do is get confidence or get excited about the next trip down on offense. That's what you do. You try to limit what he does."

76ers forward Andre Iguodala shared similar thoughts.

"You just got to try to keep him from killing you," Iguodala said. "He's so quick with the ball. You want to keep him out of the paint -- easier said than done -- and hopefully he just isn't having a good shooting night. The game he beat us in Philly he shot the ball really well. He hurt us from the 3.

"He was the MVP obviously because he's a very talented player, and he can do a lot of things on the court. We're going to try to build some schemes to keep him from killing us too much."

ESPNChicago.com's Nick Friedell contributed to this report.

Scott Powers is a general reporter for ESPNChicago.com. He is an award-winning journalist and has been reporting on preps, colleges and pros for publications throughout the Midwest since 1997.

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