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DeMar DeRozan expects to be 100% after the All-Star break — and believes the Chicago Bulls can turn around their season

Even amid all the pomp and circumstance, getting a taste of competition in the All-Star Game fueled DeMar DeRozan’s desire to return to the regular season.

DeRozan missed the Chicago Bulls’ last two games before the All-Star break as he deals with a right quadriceps injury that has bothered him since mid-December.

Sunday’s exhibition was only an echo of a real basketball game — defense is optional during All-Star Weekend, and DeRozan focused on facilitating more than anything — but getting back on the court was a relief nonetheless.

“It’s crazy, I haven’t done nothing basketball-wise since the last game I played,” DeRozan said after totaling eight points, six rebounds and five assists in 16 minutes for Team Giannis, which defeated Team LeBron 184-175. “It felt good just to get out there and just get up and down the court.

“It sucks being hurt. Anybody who gets selected wants to be out there and perform at a high level. So it was big for us to compete and go out there and have fun more than anything.”

DeRozan said he expects to be 100% by the time he returns to Chicago for Friday’s home game against the Brooklyn Nets. He spent the last five days resting, stretching and receiving treatment from the Bulls medical staff.

The next few days will be filled with similar light activities as DeRozan travels to Los Angeles with his family.

“My mentality is to build completely up, feel back to myself and make this incredible run in the last 23 games,” DeRozan said. “To me that’s the most important thing, the only thing that’s on my mind for the next couple days. Just to get treatment, get back into rhythm of things basketball-wise and be ready to go.”

When DeRozan returns, he will face a challenging test as the Bulls attempt to salvage their season after skidding into the break on a six-game losing streak. At 26-33, the Bulls trail the Toronto Raptors by two games for the last Eastern Conference spot in the play-in tournament.

But DeRozan welcomed this uphill battle with enthusiasm, citing “complete confidence” that the Bulls will be able to reinvigorate their offense and begin picking up wins upon their return.

“This is a tall test ahead of us, but I’m all for it,” DeRozan said. “I’m looking forward to the challenge. It’s exciting. I really believe you’re going to see a different Chicago Bulls these last 23 games, just laying it all out on the line.”

DeRozan said his teammates mostly unplugged for the All-Star break, taking this time away from each other to focus on their families and themselves.

The veteran forward said that space will allow the Bulls to reconnect better when they return to Chicago this week.

“Sometimes you just need to decompress, take time to yourself and your family,” DeRozan said. “Then you look forward to getting back with the fellas.

“That’s where we’re at and that’s good sometimes. Sometimes you just need to step away from everything, regroup and once we come back together — spirit-wise, mentality-wise, everything — it’ll be refreshing.”


Source: Berkshire mont

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