Derrick Rose re-introduced himself to the United Center crowd in a big way during the Bulls' 96-81 preseason victory over the Pistons on Wednesday night. Rose finished with 22 points in 22 minutes, shooting 6-of-9 from the floor. The full offensive was on display: that nitrous oxide burst to get separation in transition, the in-air acrobatics to finish at the rim, the inside-out crossover to beat his man off the dribble whenever he deemed necessary. It an incredible sight, really, and the perfect prelude to the meaningful basketball that looms in Miami only two weeks from now.
Rose's effort overshadowed everything, as tends to happen, but he was far from the only contributor tonight. Noah made his preseason debut and did some good things even though he didn't score, finishing with three assists and eight rebounds and generally moving pretty well, all things considered. Mike Dunleavy looked fantastic. The Bulls' lone veteran addition looks like an ideal fit: he hit a three-pointer, made an incredible dish on a three-man fastbreak and looked like a pro defensively. The Bulls spacing was there all night, with Rose acting as the magnet force capable of drawing Detroit defenders into the paint before kicking out to the open man. The Bulls finished with seven made three-pointers on the night and shot at a 41 percent clip from downtown.
The other star of the night was rookie Tony Snell, who looked really great. Snell hit two three-pointers and memorably stole an inbounds pass and dished it to D. Rose for a three. Snell finished with 10 points (all in the first half), four assists and three steals in the win.
And because this the 2013 preseason, Taj Gibson shined as well. He had a tip-in dunk in the fourth quarter and finished with 11 points and 12 rebounds. He has looked great all preseason.