Derrick Rose's injury-induced hiatus from the game of basketball is finally over. Rose competed in an NBA game for the first time since tearing his ACL in the 2011 playoffs and looked relatively impressive doing so in the Bulls' 82-76 preseason win against the Pacers on Saturday night. Rose finished with 13 points, three assists, two steals and four turnovers on 5-of-12 shooting in 20 minutes.
Drawing conclusions from preseason action is usually a dangerous game, but it was comforting to see Rose look fully back, at least physically. He moved well and showed off a few patented speed bursts in getting to the hoop. His first bucket came when he rebounded his own miss and finished over three Pacers defenders. His best play of the night came in the second quarter when he took the ball into the teeth of the Indiana defense in transition and finished with contract to draw the and-one:
Rose sat the entire fourth quarter while his teammates finished up the victory. Taj Gibson was the most impressive player on the court, finishing with 19 points and 12 rebounds on 9-of-12 shooting. Luol Deng was also active but couldn't hit a shot for most of the night, going 4-of-16 from the field to finish with 15 points and eight rebounds in 25 minutes. Jimmy Butler drew 12 (!) free throws in 30 minutes and finished with 11 points, six rebounds and four turnovers.
Of course, it's all about Rose. There were signs of rust throughout the night, but he seemed to bounce back well whenever he had a turnover or missed shot. It was great to watch him play again.