With preseason nearly underway, the talk around the NBA has been the return of former MVP Derrick Rose, arguably one of the best point guards in the league. But is the hype overrated?
Rose will be making his triumphant return Saturday, Oct. 5, when the Chicago Bulls take on the Indiana Pacers at Bankers Life Fieldhouse – a match up that will feature two of the hottest teams in the league. The game is going to be less about these two division rivals and more about Rose’s first game back.
Rose was expected to make his return last season, but decided he wasn’t ready and he took a lot of heat for that. Fans went as far as to call him selfish and afraid.
He’s back now and wants everyone to know he’s stronger than ever and willing to take on whomever.
As reported by The Chicago Tribune, Rose is taking on an “anyone can get it” mentality.
“I’m a guy where whoever is on the court, I’m going to go at them,” Derrick said. “If it’s my teammates … it could be my mom on the court. She’s going to get killed. I couldn’t care less. For me, I’m just trying to build that mentality that I don’t care who is out there. I’m going to play the same way.”
In Rose’s absence, the Bulls averaged 93.2 PPG during the regular season (tied for last) —11 spots down from the previous season in which they averaged 96.3 PPG. There was also a small decline on the defensive side. Chicago ranked No. 1 in points-allowed before Rose was sidelined with an ACL injury. They ended last season ranked No. 3.
Consequently, Chicago is a better team with Rose.
On top of the team getting their leading scorer back, the team is healthy. They’ve also added lethal outside threat Mike Dunleavy Jr., not to mention third-year player Jimmy Butler emerged into a rising star last season and is now a starter.
It’s safe to say the hype is real and it’s reasonable.
This team has high expectations. They have great scoring, amazing defense, veteran leaders, huge size and they play very good team basketball. If everyone can remain healthy, watch out Miami, your reign may be over.