Derrick Rose is making his Chicago return – albeit in a Team USA jersey – and that means Bulls fans will have a chance to witness their former MVP’s apparent improvement in person. With almost 23,000 people watching on W. Madison St. and another couple hundred thousand tuning in at home (on ESPN), here’s what you should expect from Derrick Rose when he hits the United Center court tonight.
Don’t be surprised if you see very little of Derrick tonight. Compared to the 35 minutes he’s used to playing in a Bulls uniform, the Chicago native will hover right around 20 tonight at the UC. Head coach Mike Krzyzewski has more than enough talent on his squad where he doesn’t need to push Derrick, or anyone else, for an insane amount of time. This will be better for Bulls fans though because you’ll get to see both Derrick’s offensive and defensive abilities. Unlike a regular season game, Rose wont need to pace himself tonight and should be playing the ball handler with some intensity.
Points/Style of Play
Rose had 8 points when the US scrimmaged in Las Vegas a few weeks ago. Expect something right around there again tonight. Derrick will be on the attack early in front of his home crowd and Krzyzewski will draw up some plays to get him in the game right from the tip. Once the second and third quarters role around, expect D Rose to be more of an assist man.
Also expect Derrick to continue attacking the hoop like he did in Vegas. He has said in recent interviews he’s changing his style of play from attacking the basket to taking what the defense gives him. In his first game action, Rose ended up doing a lot of attacking the paint. Look for him to show off his reported improved long range shot tonight as well.
We saw it in the USA scrimmage, now let’s see if it’s back tonight. It doesn’t matter what any players says, everyone will have the Paul George incident on their minds. This will especially be something to look for with Derrick, who’s missed basically all of the past two years with knee injuries.
Rose has looked great in practice up till this point and we’ve heard a lot from all the Team USA coaches about how he’s improved from what he was a few years ago. If Rose is cutting to the rim early, that’s your sign everything is okay upstairs with him and he really does have all the confidence he’s been talking about.
Rose was getting ‘MVP’ chants when he was shooting free throws in Vegas, so just imagine what it’s going to be like tonight at the UC. The biggest thing for Derrick is just staying in his game and playing the way he knows how to play. Once he tries forcing the issue, bad things can happy. If this is the case, don’t be surprised if Krzyzewski sits him down and lets him relax a little too.
Also, if you aren’t yet fired up to watch R Rose play, here’s a little video reminding you just how good No.1 was before getting injured: