Given his lofty production for this preseason, Derrick Rose's Wednesday night was merely so-so: starting the game 3-11 from the field, though he was getting to the line so damned much he still made for solid efficiency.
But when he came in for his final stint, Rose turned it up and brought his team with him: hitting 3 three-pointers and assisting a Deng one (ok, Deng was on the line...a lot of the dreaded 'long twos' from Luol in that game) as they quickly erased a deficit against the Thunder bench.
Thibs could not stop praising the guy afterwards, and with good reason:
It’s reflective of all the work he has put in. You can’t imagine how much shooting this guy has done. Last year, he wasn’t playing in the games but he was shooting. He shot every day before practice, then in practice, then after practice. Then he’d go to the game and shoot some more. Then on off days, he gets to the gym and shoots for hours. He’s really worked at it. That old saying that the magic is in the work, there’s a lot of truth to it.
(let's just skip over the part in this otherwise-awesome piece that Boozer said Rose is playing with a sore elbow...)
Indeed, not only did Rose say some aspects of his game (including shooting) could improve in his time off, it goes with this article from last season that suggested those who come back from ACL tears usually improve their shooting form.
It's been amazing so far, even with a clanky performance in his debut he's overall in these 6 games been 12-23 (52%) from deep.
It's scarier he can still improve yet. For instance, Rose himself said he's still looking to hit a couple floaters...he's been insanely aggressive instead, which meant lots of FT trips but also some turnovers(not a bad thing?). This cool post on Hoopspeak talks about the next step of getting back his split-second decision-making that only the top guards can even contemplate in the first place. Rose has, quite quickly, shown he's capable of that level again. An added 3-point range could take him to the very top.