After a year-long absence, Derrick Rose finally made his debut at the United Center for a rousing ovation on Wednesday against the Detroit Pistons.
The point guard did not disappoint, scoring 22 points in 22 minutes and doing acrobatic stuff like this. There were questions heading into the preseason about whether Rose would be as explosive as he was prior to his knee surgery, but with each passing game, he has put those questions to rest.
His college coach John Calipari saw the action and had this to say:
Happy for @drose. He scored 22 points in 22 minutes tonight, and he looked fast! HE’S BACK!!!
— John Calipari (@UKCoachCalipari) October 17, 2013
There is certainly reason for excitement. Rose looks like he hasn’t skipped a beat, and he continues to believe and say that he has actually become even more explosive than what he used to be. Nick Friedell of ESPN Chicago has details:
“I think I’m way more explosive now,” Rose said after scoring 22 points in 22 minutes. “Like getting to the rim. I think I can take contact a little bit better. And as far as jumping-wise, I think I can jump even higher. They tested my vertical — I increased it by 5 inches. I just didn’t show it yet because there’s no need to.”
“The biggest thing is after you have an ACL or any injury, it’s the mental part,” Rose said. “And for me not to think about anything no more and actually be reacting to the defense and the offense, it feels great knowing that I’m safe. I don’t have to worry about anything at all, even if I go to the hole and get contact and fall any type of way, that I could easily get up and bounce right back and play the way that I normally know how to play.”