Circumstances (and when I say circumstances, I mean a basketball rec league at the Windy City Fieldhouse) prevented me from seeing more than a few minutes of Derrick Rose's preseason debut for the Chicago Bulls. What I saw, in the limited time available to me, was a few ugly Drew Gooden shots, Andres' Nocioni's quasi-mullet, and a handful of Rose possessions -- including a slashing jump stop in the third quarter -- that made me feel good about being a Bulls fan again. Also, Darius Washington played pretty well. That was fun.
But of course much more than that happened, and for that, as always, we go to the robust Bulls blogging community, the progenitor of which is the excellent Blogabull.
Blogabull: I'm sure everyone is on edge to hear this declaration: Derrick Rose is going to be OK at basketball. I see a future in the league for this kid.
He missed his first few jumpers (and was a bit more trigger-happy than I thought he'd be) but he showed what he could do early in the game: not only did he initiate a lob to Tyrus (who whiffed, more on that later) but on a subsequent play he was the recipient of a lob. The point guard! Made some mistakes but also created space for shooters with his penetration. Looked for the ball when initiating the possession, and looked to run once he got it. Was not timid in attacking the basket, moved sharply off-the-ball, and showed off a nice jump-stop in the lane during the 3rd quarter. But what stood out right away is that this is a guard that can play above the rim. That hasn't been a part of this team for a while.
That's a pretty solid description of what I saw, too, but far less vague. I think the most pertinent concern about Rose, at least for me, was how well he could command a team. Would he be passive? Afraid to shoot? Deferential to the veterans on his team, even if calling guys like Kirk Heinrich and Ben Gordon and Luol Deng "veterans" is a generous use of the term?
If you can take one thing out of Rose's performance last night, it's that confidence -- the way he treats his new teammates just like his Memphis mates -- that was best to see. Also, um, he can jump really high. That was nice too.