Bulls have their final tune-up at Berto Center
By Joseph Phillips Managing Editor SC Media
After a grueling off-season of hard work, controversies and changes, Derrick Rose and the Chicago Bulls will finally get a chance to exercise their demons from last year's game 7 loss to the Boston Celtics. They will kick-off their 2009-2010 NBA season home opener against (drum roll please!), the veteran savvy San Antonio Spurs on Thursday night at the United Center.
"This will be a good test for our team." said coach Vinny Del Negro after practice at the Berto Center.
"The Spurs are a veteran club who have a championship core group of guys who can star on any team." said Del Negro.
Del Negro was impressed with his former team's two new acquisitions of forward Richard Jefferson, who was acquired via trade from the Milwaukee Bucks and former Piston Antonio Mc Dyess who was signed through free-agency.
"With the additions of R.J. and Antonio, it surely adds more depth to their ball club." said Del Negro. "Although they have added two good players in RJ and Antonio, it's just another game on the schedule."
Del Negro spoke confidently, after receiving news this week that his prized point guard was ready to go.
"(Rose) will be available tomorrow." said Del Negro. "He just need's to continue his running until he get's his legs under him." Del Negro said.
Rose is returning from a severe ankle sprain he received three weeks ago in his first pre-season action against the Indiana Pacers. The injury kept Rose sidelined for the final seven games of the pre-season.
"Right now, I'm at about 80-percent." said Rose. "I'm just so happy to get back out there on the court. I know if I continue to put my self through conditioning, I should be back to my old self by the end of the month."
Rose, who is looking to avoid a sophomore slump, has plans to add more hardware to his trophy case after coveting the 2009 Rookie of the Year Award and has added another dimension to his already potent game…. a jump shot.
"Last year, teams would lay-off of me and forced me into settling for a jump-shot out of my range. Sometimes it led to a lot of mistakes on the offensive end on the floor when I hurried shot's " Rose said.
"But this year, I'm more comfortable running the offense and if they lay off of me this time...I will make them pay!" said Rose.
"You'll see tomorrow."