Fun­da­men­tal health key to Rose’s 3-birth

Chicago Sun-Times (Sunday) - - SPORTS - BY JOE COW­LEY, STAFF RE­PORTER jcow­[email protected]­ @sun­times_hoops

MIN­NE­AP­O­LIS — Tim­ber­wolves point guard Der­rick Rose cred­its good health for his ca­reer-best out­side shoot­ing these days.

Rose might have a point, but there’s more to it than fi­nally feel­ing healthy.

He has had nu­mer­ous healthy mo­ments since his knees be­trayed him in Chicago. Still, the three-pointer re­mained a weak­ness.

A big rea­son for Rose’s ‘‘re­birth’’ — as long­time team­mate Taj Gib­son put it — is he fi­nally un­der­stands the fun­da­men­tals of the three-point shot. And he’s tak­ing care of his body on a daily ba­sis.

“The big thing with Der­rick, what we try to work on with all of our guys, is hav­ing a con­sis­tent re­lease point,’’ Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg said Satur­day, com­par­ing Rose’s three-point form now to when he was coach­ing him.

“Der­rick is a guy that is a very ath­letic player, has a lot of ex­plo­sive­ness, and he gets up high on his jump shot, so try to re­lease it at the top of his jump. Re­leas­ing it high and hold­ing the fol­low-through are the things that we worked on with Der­rick and all of our guys.

“It’s been fun to watch him. Der­rick is a guy that I will al­ways root for. He’s a great per­son to coach, and I loved the op­por­tu­nity to be around him. To see the suc­cess he’s hav­ing now, the 50-point game, it’s great to see him play­ing with the con­fi­dence.’’

Shoot­ing with con­fi­dence is the key.

Be­fore this sea­son, Rose’s best three-point shoot­ing came in the 2013-14 sea­son with the Bulls when he shot 34 per­cent. But he only played 10 games that sea­son.

In 17 games be­fore the game against the Bulls, he was shoot­ing 47.6 per­cent from three­p­oint range.

“Of­ten­times, you see that as a player gets older, his shoot­ing im­proves,’’ Tim­ber­wolves coach Tom Thi­bodeau said.

“He has great rhythm on it. I think as he has got­ten older, he has maybe added to his game. It sets up his other strengths with his abil­ity to get down­hill.’’

Along with the im­proved out­side shoot­ing, Gib­son says Rose has en­hanced other facets.

He’s tak­ing care of his body and un­der­stands what it takes to be a pro­fes­sional.

“It’s great be­cause be­ing around each other for so long, he’s just calm,’’ Gib­son said. ‘‘He’s com­fort­able be­ing around peo­ple that are fa­mil­iar with him, peo­ple that are go­ing to let him play his game, un­der­stand when he’s feel­ing right, when he’s not feel­ing right.

“The way he’s get­ting ready for the game as far as work­ing out, mon­i­tor­ing his body, tak­ing care of him­self, he’s a to­tally dif­fer­ent per­son.

‘‘Ev­ery game is like he’s in a new form, he’s born again, and it shows.’’

Markka­nen up­date

Lauri Markka­nen (right el­bow) con­tin­ued his re­cov­ery, play­ing two-on-two with Bulls coaches.

If he comes out of the ses­sion with no set­backs Sun­day morn­ing, Hoiberg said the plan is to have him play two-on-two with team­mates.

“The big thing is to see how he re­sponds to it af­ter each time he goes out there and does a lit­tle bit more,’’ Hoiberg said. “The im­por­tant next step will be how he re­sponds to daily ac­tiv­ity.’’


T-wolves point guard Der­rick Rose, shoot­ing over An­to­nio Blak­eney, has be­come a pro­fi­cient three-point shooter this sea­son.

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