From the time the Bulls miraculously landed the No. 1 overall pick in the 2008 NBA Draft, there has been optimism about the Bulls at a level not seen since Scott Skiles and his young Bulls team made a surprise playoff push in the spring of 2007. A year later, the Bulls regressed horribly, Skiles was fired, and the team slipped into the lottery, where they landed Mr. Derrick Rose. That's when things got fun again.
Rose is as advertised: a lightning-quick, versatile point guard who sees the floor well, whose best skill is his passing, and whose even-keeled demeanor never allows him to get riled up or out of whack. All those qualities, evident in his college year at Memphis, shone in his first full NBA season. His reward is the 2008-09 NBA Rookie of the Year award, as deserved as that award gets in a field with several worthy contenders, including O.J. Mayo and Kevin Love.
Here's the best part about Rose, though: He still has so much room to improve.
For example, his shooting. In his 36-point explosion in the first round of the playoffs Saturday, Rose showed what Bulls fans have to look forward to once he gets his jump shot to be more consistent. Rose can already get to the basket and finish with the best players in the game. Extending his range is the next step, and one that could make him unstoppable.
There are plenty of other little improvements to be made, too, things that will come in time, but for the most part, Derrick Rose has arrived. He's as good as advertised. And he's only going to get better.
Eamonn Brennan is a Chicago-based writer, editor and blogger. You can also read him at Yahoo! Sports, Mouthpiece Sports Blog, and Inside The Hall, or at his personal site, eamonnbrennan.com. Follow him on Twitter.