Friday night there wasn’t any jersey-popping or snarky remarks to the crowd to reassure them that this was his house. Unlike Paul George feels the need to do in Indiana. Derrick Rose let the Pacers know whose house it was by simply out playing his opponent and wowing the crowd with dazzling layups and silky smooth jumpers in a 103-98 victory.
Rose rose to the occasion (no pun intended) against their pesky central division rival scoring 32 points, going 9 for 15 from the field and 4 for 7 from beyond the arc. Not to mention 9 assist and 4 rebounds in 31 minutes.
He played with the same recklessness abandonment for his body that has made him a global icon. It was truly an impressive outing by the former MVP of the league.
“Same old Derrick Rose I remember before the injury. He’s special.” said Pacer head coach Frank Vogal.
“Special” is an understatement. He is remarkable. Rose displayed his full repertoire, including his will to lock down the opposing team’s point guard. And again he showed the ability to fight through screens and challenge shots just like Thibs expects from his leader. He held George Hill to 2 for 6 shooting in 33 minutes.
Even through this meaningless preseason game, the Bulls and the Pacers showed their dislike for each other. It was physical and hard fought just like every other meeting between the two.
With a close game in the fourth quarter Coach Thibs, as well as Vogal, put in their starters.
Here is where Rose impressed me most. He showed why he is both respected and feared throughout the league by displaying his killer instinct. Rose scored 10 points in the final 4 minutes.
“It felt good being out there. I’m just happy [Thibodeau] gave me the opportunity and that we won the game. I would’ve been hurt if we would’ve lost this game tonight with us having to fight back,” Rose explained. “That’s the way I’ve been playing in practice. I’m not holding back, whatever shot you give me, I’m taking, no matter if I miss it three or four times. With our offense, you have to take the open shots that you get or we’re going to be very stagnant. For me, I think I work hard. So the shots that I’m taking, I’m not going to miss them all game.”
While Rose was pleased Thibodeau gave him the opportunity to close out this game, I guarantee Indiana was not.
The Pacers and their fans have had their already-big ego stroked because of ESPN’s silly preseason rankings in which they were ranked the second best team in the league. Hopefully these early outings will shut them up and bring them back down to reality.
The Bulls have Rose, and the Pacers don’t have anyone close. Good luck with that Indiana Pacers, good luck!