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“I think we can,” Rose said before Monday’s shootaround. “I don’t want to jinx ourselves, but I think we can really make a run for this [championship] this year. But it just takes focus, discipline, and we got to sacrifice a little bit.”
Rose, who has been singing the praises of this group since it was put together over the summer, said that it is nice not to have to carry so much weight offensively. Fourth-year swingman Jimmy Butler and veteran big man Pau Gasol are playing at an All-Star level, taking a lot of pressure off Rose’s shoulders as he continues making his way back from two serious knee injuries.
“It’s a good feeling,” Rose said. “First time I’ve ever had that while I’ve been in the league. It takes a lot of pressure off everyone, where someone can easily go off for 15 or 20 points within a couple of quarters and put the [opposing] team away pretty quick. It’s fun. We don’t take it for granted, and we just know that we could always improve every day.”