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Derrick Rose can't stop raving about the Bulls' new offense under Fred Hoiberg

D. Rose scored eight points in 10 minutes in his preseason debut on Saturday.

It was only preseason. It was against what could be one of the worst defensive teams in the NBA this year. He only did it for 10 minutes. With those essential caveats out of the way, let's take a moment to acknowledge that Derrick Rose looked good as hell in the professional debut of his new haircut on Friday night, and that potentially changes everything for the Bulls.

Rose made his first four shots from the field, choosing to drive to the rim rather than settling for the pull-ups that so often sabotaged him last season. He looked fast and strong and confident. The Bulls offense just hits a different gear with him at point guard.

The thing that jumped out about Rose's time on the floor was just how much this season's improved spacing can help him. On his first basket, there wasn't another teammate inside of the three-point line as he darted around a pick from Pau Gasol to get to the rim for a layup:

As you can see at the :38-second mark of the video above, Rose has the ability to push the tempo in a way that no other player on the roster can. Given that pace is going to be such a huge emphasis under Hoiberg, it's crucial that Rose a) plays, and b) plays well for the Bulls to reach their ceiling.

This is a big change for Rose. Here's how the Bulls finished in pace during Thibodeau's tenure: 20th (2015), 28th (2014), 26th (2013), 25th (2012), 22nd (2011). That's within an offense that always played two post players in the front court and never had the shooting depth the Bulls have now. (I still worry the Bulls are only an average three-point shooting team, but there's value simply in taking a lot of them!)

People always criticize Rose when he talks to reporters because he's typically honest (the horror!), but he can be pretty engaging with his comments at times. Try to contain your enthusiasm reading this:

"There are a lot more (driving) lanes," enthused Rose. "It's so many opportunities to drive or so many opportunities to shoot my mid range even in transition; it's open. I've just got to get used to playing this way. I know that might sound crazy, but playing in a (deliberate) system for three or four years kind of got me out of my rhythm.

"Whenever I see lanes I'm driving," said Rose. "As soon as I step up, I'm hitting whoever is open and just trying to play basketball. I love the way the offense is. Coming down we're not thinking about what we are running. Coming down, start with a pick and roll and then that pick and roll opens up everything else.

"I thought I was just going to come out and facilitate the game," said Rose. "But I saw openings and I got all the way to the basket. So I can take this and put it in the bank. It's very encouraging. It's scary for my confidence right now. The last thing I need is any more confidence.

I'm going to take this and run with it."

I've mentioned this a few times before, but I have been optimistic about Rose this season just because I think he's still talented enough to be one of the better point guards in the NBA. He wasn't last year, but the issue was more that he didn't play very intelligently. The hope is that a different voice (Hoiberg) can get through to him and make the entire game easier for him. That means playing to his strengths (driving and kicking) rather than his weaknesses (settling for threes because there's no space to do anything else).

Tuesday night against the Cavs will be here before you know it. Let's get this thing started.