We missed you, Derrick Rose, but we’re glad you sat out until you felt comfortable enough to return to the court. Something tells me we wouldn’t have seen this if Rose’s first game back had been against the Heat in the second round last season. This play came just before halftime in Rose’s return to the United Center:
The usual caveats apply: This is preseason, that was Peyton Siva, etc. But Rose added to his highlight reel with this quote after the game, from ESPN:
“I think I’m way more explosive now,” Rose said after scoring 22 points in 22 minutes. “Like getting to the rim. I think I can take contact a little bit better. And as far as jumping-wise, I think I can jump even higher. They tested my vertical — I increased it by 5 inches. I just didn’t show it yet because there’s no need to.”
The NBA is more competitive than ever, and the Eastern Conference is especially stacked with good teams featuring elite players. But the Bulls made it to the second round without this guy: the 2011 MVP, who looks like the old Rose and sounds like an even more supremely confident one.
The Bulls aren’t sneaking up on anybody, but based on what we’re seeing and hearing so far, they’re going to be even better than we first thought.