If you find a Chicago Bulls fan, there’s no way they aren’t beaming from all of the positive news that has emerged from Team USA practices this week in regards to Derrick Rose. According to a handful of key USA members, including Rose’s rookie teammate Doug McDermott and head coach Tom Thibodeau, the 2011 NBA MVP’s explosiveness has stood out, resembling what existed prior to the chronic knee injuries.
“Better than four years ago,” raved coach Mike Krzyzewski.
“Looked real explosive, I thought he was one of the best players here,” said Bulls rookie Doug McDermott, a member of the USA Select Team scrimmaging against the USA National Team hopefuls and with his own foot injury basically past.
“The same (speed and explosiveness). The strength in his leg is great. His explosion is back. That’s all there,” enthused Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau, a USA assistant to Krzyzewski.
“If today was any indication he is going to be just fine. I think it’s a glowing report for a great player. I’m excited for him. You are talking about a former MVP in the league. I did not see any loss of explosiveness. I saw him turn, go to the hoop with reckless abandon a little bit, hit some outside shots, excellent defense,” agreed USA chairman Jerry Colangelo.
With many co-signing Rose’s health and current play, the pressure for Rose to return to the NBA healthy and dominating may be higher than it ever has been. Once you factor in the Eastern Conference being wide open thanks to LeBron James’ return to Cleveland, the pressure, again, increases.
Unless the Cavaliers obtain Kevin Love in a blockbuster trade, the Chicago Bulls are likely the proverbial favorites in the Eastern Conference next season. The front office has made several moves with offense, the teams biggest weakness, on their mind. They’ve brought in Pau Gasol, drafted Doug McDermott, and have finally brought Nikola Mitotic stateside. If Rose can be, at least, 80 percent of what he was in 2011, and the Thibs can create an offensive system in which all parties thrive in, the Chicago Bulls’ championship odds increase ten fold.
Rose’s return is almost as big as LeBron in Cleveland as so many things hinge on his return. But like last year, all we can do at this point is wait until Rose can do this for a full 82 games–or something similar. Until then, we’ll continue eating up what is being sold to the public.