Chicago Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau says Derrick Rose is ‘there now’

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Tom Thibodeau and Derrick Rose could point the Chicago Bulls to glory for the first time since 1998.

Chicago Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau said Derrick Rose is finally healthy and playing with “confidence.”

The 24-year-old Rose suffered a torn ACL in his left knee in Game 1 of the 2012 Eastern Conference quarterfinals against the Philadelphia 76ers.

Despite being medically cleared on March 8 and participating in full contact practices for almost two months, the youngest man to ever earn the MVP award never performed this season.

“I worked him out about a week ago. It was great,” said Thibodeau, 55, who agreed to direct Chicago in June 2010 and was the Coach of the Year in 2011. “Watching the way he’s moving now, there’s a confidence. He’s there now. He feels great, and that’s the most important thing.”

Thanks to ballsy competitors like Carlos Boozer, Luol Deng, Kirk Hinrich and Joakim Noah, the fifth-seeded Bulls nearly forced the Miami Heat to fly back to Chicago for a Game 6 last month.

Although calls for Rose to resurface were entirely understandable, it’s hard to fathom the native South-Sider wouldn’t have been on the hardwood without a solid reason.

Plus, even with a blooming Rose, Miami was eventually going to scorch this particular version of the Bulls.

Dismissing cries from fans and mounting criticism from onlookers, Rose did “the most important thing” by waiting to fully mend.

Provided general manager Gar Forman does a solid job this summer, Derrick Rose and the Chicago Bulls could be “great” next winter.

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