Derrick Rose has already played more games this year than he did in the last two years combined. He hasn’t played this many extended minutes since 2011-12, before a torn ACL and a torn meniscus derailed his career.
Rose has missed some time this season with various other leg ailments, but the Bulls have faired pretty well, going 13-8 on the year, good enough for fifth in the Eastern Conference.
After a win over the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday in which Rose scored 23 points on 8-15 shooting, Rose told ESPN that he’s close to being all the way back. Very soon, the NBA world is going to be shocked by how well he’s playing, he said:
“Y’all are the ones that’s going to be surprised by the way that I’m playing. Just give me a little minute. I know where I’m going to be. I know how good I am, and I’m very confident with my craft and how good I am, period. So y’all are the ones that’s going to be surprised with how I’m playing in a little while.”
Rose also added that he’s still trying to get a feel for playing point guard for a team he hasn’t played with in practically two years. Rose is a natural scorer, but has to find the balance between looking to score and setting up teammates.
On one hand, there’s something encouraging about hearing Rose say he’s still not all the way back. He’s still putting up solid numbers — averaging 16 points and 5 assists per game this year, though his shooting percentages are all down. With Rose on the court, the Bulls have a team-best 9.3 net rating, meaning they’re outscoring opponents by nearly double digits when he’s playing. Chicago has a 9-4 record when Rose has played this season.
On the other hand, the Derrick Rose that wowed the league and won MVP in 2010-11 will probably not return. Four years and two major knee injuries later, Rose is simply not as explosive, and probably won’t be able to carry the offence for long periods of time by relying on athleticism alone.
In the meantime, Rose can still do things like this, so we hope he does return to normal.
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