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Rose learns lesson: protect his body against Howard
By Mike McGraw | Daily Herald Staff
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Published: 3/10/2010 10:09 PM | Updated: 3/10/2010 10:10 PM

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Derrick Rose blames himself for the hard foul by Orlando's Dwight Howard that knocked him out of the skills challenge during all-star weekend.

According to Rose, he left his body vulnerable and was knocked off balance when struck in midair.

Even during an athletic drive to the basket, Rose's goal is to lead with his shoulder and protect his body like a running back carrying the ball off tackle.

"Yeah, I opened up too much," Rose said. "Dwight, he's a big guy. So when I go to the hole next time, I've got to shield myself a little better."

Howard's foul caused Rose to fall hard onto his back early in the Feb. 10 game at the United Center. Rose had to leave with a hip injury and the Magic rolled to an easy 107-87 win.

The teams meet again tonight in Central Florida.

Rose and Howard became close friends last summer during a promotional tour of China. So it's not like Rose would be seeking revenge. And what could he do, anyway, against the 6-foot-11, 265-pound Howard?

"Just get the ball up as high as I can," Rose said. "He's going to jump at every shot."

Johnson takes boards: Rookie forward James Johnson, who is likely to start the next two games in place of an injured Luol Deng, can jump with the best of them, but he ranks eighth on the Bulls in rebounds per 48 minutes.

In his first start of the season March 1 against Atlanta, Johnson collected 2 boards in 24 minutes.

"I'm still transitioning from running the four at Wake Forest where I crash all the time, to here when Derrick Rose or Kirk Hinrich get into the lane, I have to get back on defense," Johnson said. "It's a little difficult.

"Sometimes I question myself, whether I should go crash the board or get back. I'm getting a little better understanding of what I need to do.

"Defensive rebounds, I'm crashing all out. Offensive rebounds, I've just got to read what my guard's going to do."

Running man: The Bulls might be interested in Utah power forward Carlos Boozer when he becomes a free agent this summer.

Following Tuesday's game at the United Center, Boozer proclaimed himself a fan of electrifying point-guard play. Deron Williams finished with 28 points and 17 assists for the Jazz, while Derrick Rose produced 25 points and 13 assists.

"You've got two incredible point guards who kept pushing the ball," Boozer said. "I mean, that was one (great) matchup we just watched out there. A great game to watch. They kept getting the ball, so everybody kept running."