Derrick Rose has scored 13 points in his first two preseason games, but the point guard made noticeable improvements from the exhibition opener on Saturday night to Monday night when the Bulls took on the Memphis Grizzlies in St. Louis.
The point guard seems to have no ill effects from his surgically repaired left knee and his biggest issue right now appears to be nerves. Yes, you read that right, nerves.
"The first half I felt kind of jittery, but the second half I came out aggressive, getting those butterflies out and playing comfortable. But I’m just happy we got the win," Rose said in a postgame interview with CSN Chicago.
D. Rose still seems to be working on regaining his feel for the game. After appearing to play only one speed – super fast – against the Indiana Pacers on Saturday night, he appeared to pace himself much better against Memphis and is clearly working the kinks out of his game.
"He calmed himself down a little bit," Tom Thibodeau told the Chicago Tribune after the win. "You could tell he had a good rhythm going in the third quarter. He's feeling great and you're seeing those explosions to the basket, the burst of speed, attacking. He's finding his rhythm, and it's also the rest of the team getting used to the speed he's playing at."
One of the things gone somewhat overlooked in the return of Derrick Rose is the adjustment his teammates have had to make having him back in the fold. Sure, many of the guys on the team have played with him before, but last season as he sat out with the injury, roles were different for many guys, the team’s offensive strategy was different, and overall, Rose being back represents a change for everyone.
"We’re just trying to shake the rust off as a team," Rose said. "We’re just trying to come together and get that chemistry -- we have two rookies that’s on our team and other guys trying to make the team -- but our biggest goal is to win these games and that’s what we did the last two games."