Derrick Rose is finally back as part of the NBA landscape as a player for the Chicago Bulls, rather than a spectator. It will be interesting to see Rose’s progression throughout the season, as he gets reacclimated to true NBA action. I’ll use the weekly “Derrick Rose Watch” to track how Rose is performing.
10/29 at Miami Heat (L, 107-95)
34 min, 4-15 FG, 1-7 3pt, 12 pts, 4 assists, 5 TO.
There wasn’t much to complain about in Rose’s first game back. He looked spry, slashing to the hoop on a couple of nice moves and finishing explosively in transition a time or two. Rust was always going to be a problem, as well as that somewhat-good Miami defense. The three-point attempts were a bit much, but I can understand him wanting to try out his supposedly-improved long-range shot while picking his spots to attack the basket. Despite the blowout loss, it was a positive just to see him out there.
10/31 vs. New York Knicks (W, 82-81)
33 min, 7-23 FG, 2-5 3pt, 18 pts, 3 assists, 4 TO
Rose was much more aggressive attacking the basket this game, and it got to the point where it seemed like he was forcing the action. The Knicks did a good job contesting at the rim, and most of Rose’s drives into the paint ended in a missed difficult shot,
turnover, or just something ugly. Of course, he pulled out a vintage Rose moment with the game-winning floater over 7-feet-tall Tyson Chandler, providing the league with one of its first signature moments of the young season. Overall though, another rough performance.
11/2 at Philadelphia 76ers (L, 107-104)
33 min, 4-14 FG, 13 pts, 6 assists, 8 TO
Ouch. I wasn’t able to catch this game, so I can only go off of the box score and reaction I saw from Bulls and national writers on Twitter. What I heard throughout, was that this was as poor a performance as Rose has ever had on offense and defense. Four or five of Rose’s turnovers came in the fourth quarter when Philadelphia completed their comeback. Of course, we could just attribute it to the fact that the 76ers are a powerhouse to be reckoned with. (Wait, what?)
In all, there is absolutely nothing in these first three games to sway opinion one way or another regarding Rose. He was always going to encounter struggles to start off (repeat after me: preseason), with some typical Rose moments sprinkled in. The overall struggles of the Bulls may be something to be concerned about, specifically Luol Deng and Joakim Noah’s performances so far (and um, losing to the 76ers). Just as early rust was inevitable, so is the game, soon enough, where Rose brushes off the cobwebs and lights it up.