MIAMI -- Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose is pleased with the progress he is making after missing almost six weeks because of a meniscectomy, and he is hopeful to extend his minutes over the last three regular-season games.
Rose played 20 minutes and scored 12 points in an 89-78 victory over the Miami Heat on Thursday.
"It's good, but every game I'm just trying to get better," Rose said. "Try to push myself every game. My last couple minutes in the game I had a couple of turnovers, but it comes from just going hard. I think pushing myself as far as conditioning and I think I'm getting better."
Rose is hopeful that he'll be able to exceed his 20-minute restriction soon, but he said he would continue to listen to Bulls director of sports performance Jen Swanson for guidance.
"I would want to increase it, but who knows?" he said. "Of course if you think about the playoffs and everything you would want to increase my minutes just so I could get used to playing them type of minutes. But like I said, it's out of my hands. I would love to play them, but if not I'm going to wait and take my time."
Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said before the game that he was hopeful Rose would be more aggressive going to the rim and Rose seemed to take those words to heart.
"I was more calm, more patient," Rose said. "Miss a lot of shots that I normally hit, but it comes with just playing. If anything I feel like I'm pushing myself, so that's the only thing that I'm concerned about. ... I think that I attacked the basket a little bit more. I think I pushed myself to attack the rim a little bit more. Just learning how to fall, little things like that. Learning how to fall, learning how to land and learning how to play through contact."
Thibodeau was pleased with Rose's performance, despite the fact that his star guard was just 5-for-15 from the field and 0-for-3 from 3-point range.
"I thought he had a much better mix tonight of shots," Thibodeau said. "The drives and the in-between game. He's still finding his rhythm. It's not going to happen overnight. But it was an improvement from last night and that's all we want him to concentrate on."
Rose's appearance on the floor continues to lift his team's spirit. They know that with Rose on the floor they are a more dangerous team.
"Overall I think there was progress," Bulls center Joakim Noah said of Rose's performance. "I think he was very aggressive tonight. And I think every minute that he's out there it just definitely is good for us. We know that we need Derrick to get to where we want to get to. And overall, I think it's pretty positive just the way he's moving out there. He's just trying to shake the rust off and overall I think it's all very encouraging."