In his first game back Derrick Rose scores 13 points in 20:26 minutes. He was 5-12 from the field with 2 rebounds, 3 assist, 2 steals, and 4 turnovers. He looked dominate, strong, quick as ever, and most importantly fearless. His first two points in 18 months came on an off the ball screen as he curled to the foul line, received a pass from Jimmy Butler and reacted the way the former MVP reacted 18 months ago. He attacked the rim, going straight into the body of 7’1″ Roy Hibbert. Threw up a prayer off the backboard that missed badly. But, before the ball had a chance to come off the glass, Rose was right back in the air for his own offensive rebound and put back. He was back.
Derrick did look every bit of rusty and to every realistic fan, that was to be expected. He fumbled a few drives, had several arrant passes, and didn’t seem to fill the lane properly on a few fast breaks. On his first trip to the line he came up short on both attempts but later avenging himself on a 2/3 court drive through all 5 defenders to get an And-1.
He showed flashes of his old self. Taking of after the receiving an outlet pass under the free throw line and turning it into a track meet in just three dribbles he was at the cup catching the defense off guard. He looked as if he was shot out of a cannon. Showing that he hasn’t lost a step in his rehab process and may have actually gotten faster.
Derrick’s jumper was off as well as his floater. He didn’t attempt a 3 point field goal after talks of him improving his range. He didn’t have the ability to finish smoothly in traffic and also lost his dribble a few times. Not to worry though, with 20 minutes of actual basketball now under his belt, one shouldn’t have expected much more from what looks like the old Rose. He had a lot of build up to play off of and should be a little more relaxed when he takes the court on Monday against Memphis in St. Louis.
Stay patient Chicago, our assassin is back, and looks to be better than ever. He has that look in his eye, and that fire burning within to make this season one to remember.