Ok, maybe not the “old” Derrick Rose just yet, but it was about as promising a first look any Bulls fan could’ve prayed for.
After a year and change of a narrative that somewhat held the league hostage and countless adidas promo videos, Derrick Rose played in a NBA game for the first time in 525 days. And from his limited action, turns out D-Rose may have made the right decision by wearing street clothes for a season.
Playing division rival Indiana,* Rose’s explosiveness was apparent from jump street and while he didn’t Goran Dragic anybody, so was the spring in his bounce. Rose in the open court is still frightening and his teammates looked thrilled their floor leader was back as he found them for open looks. To be fair, there’s still a decent amount of rust and timing needing work, but that was to be expected. It’s no secret fluidity arrives with repetition.
Rose played 20 minutes in his return finishing with 13 points, three assists and four turnovers (Taj Gibson led the way with a healthy 18 and 12) as the Bulls used a 24-12 fourth quarter to pull off a 82-76 preseason victory. Paul George and David West both dropped 14 for the Pacers.
* – Everyone’s so concerned about what they’re going to do against Miami, but Bulls/Pacers games will be must see TV all year. Bet that. Oh, and that Jimmy Butler is a player. Despite making a name for himself on the national scene in the playoffs last spring, expect him to definitely be in the running for Most Improved Player come April.