Derrick Rose on the Playoffs: ‘My Body Wore Down’

Derrick Rose has begun to get over the disappointment of the Chicago Bulls’ Playoff flameout against the Miami Heat, and he’s working to make sure that whenever the next season begins, he’ll be physically and mentally ready from the start to the finish. From Yahoo! Sports: “Rose validated his MVP credentials during the playoffs, playing as well as anyone in the first two rounds. Quietly, however, he was dealing with troublesome wrist and back injuries, in addition to the left ankle sprain he suffered in the first round against the Indiana Pacers. Rose had become used to simply putting on an ankle brace and playing whenever he had previously sprained an ankle. This time, he required an hour worth of treatment before each game. After averaging 29.8 points and nine assists in the second round of the playoffs against the Atlanta Hawks, Rose’s scoring dipped to 23.4 points per game on 35 percent shooting in the East finals as the Bulls lost to the Heat in five games. Rose now says he should have been in better shape to handle the strain of the postseason. ‘I just learned from last season where my conditioning wasn’t up to par at the end of the season,’ Rose said. ‘That’s what I’m working on this summer, getting my conditioning right. There was just fatigue. My body wore down. Just going through the rounds, the first time being there past the first round, it was hard. I’m just learning from it.’ The rest after the season has restored Rose’s health. Teammate Luol Deng also has taught him about the importance of stretching. And Rose knows he’ll face a tougher challenge next season. Because of the success LeBron James had guarding Rose in the conference finals, the MVP expects more teams to use bigger defenders against him. While it was clear Rose lacked much offensive help in the East finals, he refused to blame his struggles on teammates. He says he needs to improve his shooting, lower his turnovers, finish stronger at the rim and draw more fouls. In his first workout since the season ended, he joined Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook and trainer Rob McClanaghan on Monday for an hour of intense shooting drills. Despite the layoff, he shot well, appeared to be in good shape and didn’t have any injury worries.”