So much for just another game.
In his first time playing at home since tearing his ACL, Derrick Rose had the best game of his return as the Bulls had no trouble with the Detroit Pistons, defeating their depleted Central Division foes 96-81.
Rose finished with a game-high 22 points in as many minutes. He went 9-of-10 from the free throw line and converted 6-of-9 from the field.
“It felt good, playing out there, being in front of my home crowd again,” he said. “Almost every one of these games at home is going to feel like a pro-am game, where every time I touch the ball, it’s going to be some excitement. So I’ve just got to get used to it and just try to keep the game plan on my mind, and play the way I normally know how to play.”
The point guard said he’s past all the emotions and jitters of playing and was able to get into a more of a rhythm offensively -- which he talked about pregame – which was evident in 18 of his total coming in the first half.
“Derrick has to get used to playing at his game speed,” coach Tom Thibodeau said. “And his teammates have to get used to him playing at that speed. You’re concerned about that and to find that balance of him being ready for the regular season and to continue to go step by step and not skip any steps. He has to continue to build.
“He’s very difficult when he gets a head of steam. We were concerned about the rebounding entering the game. But we made them miss and got out quickly so he could attack. He was aggressive throughout. Basically, we’ve been seeing that in practice all along. That’s the good part. You’re starting to see him find some rhythm too, which is good. The moves, the power, the explosion, the change of direction, that’s been there all along. Now he’s got better balance to what he’s doing. So I think he’s finding a rhythm.”
Joakim Noah made his preseason debut, contributing eight rebounds, three blocks but displayed the rust expected in missing all three of his field goal attempts. Mike Dunleavy started in place of Jimmy Butler who sat out with a bruised left knee. Carlos Boozer and Taj Gibson both contributed double doubles and Tony Snell had the best game of his career thus far, finishing with 12 points, four assists and three steals.
The Pistons were without Brandon Jennings and Rodney Stuckey and were held to 32 percent shooting.