CHICAGO -- Kevin Durant has seen enough of Derrick Rose over the past couple of years to know just how good the Bulls point guard can be. Having played with him on Team USA over the summer, and worked out with him over the past few offseasons, he's also seen just how dynamic of a star the 22-year-old has become.
"Unbelievable player," Durant said of Rose before the game. "I got the chance to be around Derrick for a month and a half, two months [this summer] and he's just a phenomenal worker. He's a student of the game. He has God given talent, so quick and athletic. He uses that to his advantage. I'm a big fan of Derrick Rose. Outside of the guys on my team, he's my favorite in the league right now. I always enjoy watching him play."
Durant understands that he and Rose are becoming two of the young faces of the NBA, alongside Oklahoma City teammate Russell Westbrook. It sounds as if he enjoys the torch, and the responsibility, that is being passed down to them.
"That's kind of the same mode the older guys now took," Durant said. "Guys like Kobe Bryant and Tracy McGrady, they kind of like handed it to us. They did the same thing when they were young as well so we got to continue to be good players. We got to continue to grow. And also be great people off the floor."
Boozer louder than Noah?: I asked Rose after the game how much of a relief it was to finally have a consistent back-to-the-basket scorer to be able to dump the ball to down in the paint.
"It's very comfortable knowing that he's on the court," Rose said. "He's a guy that's just going to play hard, do what he do, be a leader for this team, always talking,"
As he continued, he revealed an aspect of Boozer's game that will be hard for some Bulls fans to believe.
"I want to clear this up," Rose said. "He does talk more than Joakim [Noah]. For sure, for sure, for sure. Talks way more than Joakim."
Boozer definitely yells a lot on the floor; defensive sets, encouragement, emotion ... but does he really talk as much as Noah?
"He is very loud," Noah said. "He never stops talking, which is a good thing."
The last word: "I feel fresh right now. Usually I feel really bad after a game. Now, we just got a big win against a solid opponent ... We got a lot of work to do, but I feel pretty good." -- Noah