Guard Derrick Rose has finally found a three-point shot with the Timberwolves
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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 three-point 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.’’
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.’’