DeRozan's message to Bulls: Forget feelings and find sense of urgency

DeMar DeRozan said he's feeling healthier after the second practice post all-star break. That's one step toward the Bulls making a late-season push.

He thinks the other ingredient is a sense of urgency, which the Bulls have been waiting to kick in for a few months.

"Every one of these games, got to treat it like a Game 7," DeRozan said Thursday at the Advocate Center. "That's got to be our mentality. We've got to stop talking. We've been talking all year about this, that and the third, we're right there, blah, blah, blah.

"But the reality of it is there's 23 games left and we've go to treat every single game like win or go home. "Because Lord knows I don't want to go home."

If the Bulls need more motivation or maybe a little extra push, DeRozan thinks they have the ideal addition in veteran guard Patrick Beverley.

The Bulls signed Beverley this week, he completed his second practice with the team and will make his hometown debut for the home team Friday at the United Center against Brooklyn.

The game was originally a late start for national television, but is now slated for a normal 7 p.m. tip-off.

"It's hard to find outspoken, in-your-face players these days, that don't care about hurting your feelings," DeRozan said. "When you're able to find a guy like that; you see what he brings to every team. A lot of things he do go a long way. It may not show up on the stat sheet, but he brings a lot to the game that get overlooked."

DeRozan was asked if he felt Beverley's presence these past two days inside the Advocate Center, since the former Marshall High School star took up residence.

"You feel it," he said. "I know for me, it's exciting. I love it. In a sense, it's kind of like a breath of fresh air. He's just a vocal player. He listens, catches onto everything quick. You know what he's going to do defensively out there on the floor and you've got to match him when you're out there with him."

DeRozan said Beverley already pulled second-year guard Ayo Dosunmu aside during practice for some individual advice. Coach Billy Donovan knows Beverley fairly well, but admitted he won't know what it's like on the floor or in the huddle until game time.

"People on the outside can have a perception of him, but his talk is always very positive," Donovan said. "Very good at lifting guys up, trying to get guys going, letting guys know when they do a good job, giving guys confidence. Just trying to inspire and raise the intensity level."

How the rotation plays out remains to be seen. Besides DeRozan, who missed the final two games before the break due to a right quad strain, Alex Caruso (foot), Derrick Jones Jr. (groin) and Goran Dragic (knee) were all participants in Thursday's practice.

While the Bulls lost six in a row before the break, DeRozan struggled while trying to play through his injury. So far in February, he averaged 18.3 points and shot 46.6%. Over the full season, he's at 25.4 points and 50.7%.

"I was playing on it for a while, was very uncomfortable, couldn't get lift on my shots, couldn't move certain directions," DeRozan said. "Couldn't do a lot of things. I didn't really show it, but I felt it.

"This time around today, I didn't feel no limitations doing anything, any moves, the lifts on my shot felt great. I made my first 3 shots in the All-Star Game, so that made me feel good."

Twitter: @McGrawDHSports

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