The story of Derrick Rose's comeback swiftly is becoming a tale of tape.

The Bulls guard insisted Friday that the black strands of kinesio tape that first appeared Thursday night in a win over the Knicks help his sore neck, which he said is improving by the day.

“This is the first time I've used it on my neck, but it helped out a lot,” Rose said. “(It) keeps it stable. When you have a crick in your neck, it keeps it in place.”

Rose and every other Bull practiced Friday, according to coach Tom Thibodeau, so there doesn't appear to be any major setback with the former MVP.

“He has a little bit of soreness, but he’s fine,” Thibodeau said.

Rose remained keen on picking up his defense over the length of the court, which might not be in the plan if he felt substantial discomfort in his neck.

“It really wakes you up,” Rose said of full-court pressure. “Gets your legs going. Lets everybody know you came to play tonight. They start the offense a little farther back, and you getting into the ball kind of avoids screens. That's probably one of the reasons my neck is sore.”

Slow start: Free-agent import Mike Dunleavy Jr. is shooting 27.3 percent in 19 minutes per night over the first two games, but Thibodeau shrugged that off, especially given the small sample size.