Derrick Rose’s comeback has been covered ad nauseum, so this will be kept relatively brief, especially since so many of his teammates’ seasons are affected by his return.
Until he’s actually on the court, nobody can say what he’ll be able to do, and even then, some time to form a sample size, let him regain his rhythm and be put in various scenarios should be allowed before making a firm evaluation, though that message won’t be heeded by many. But what’s known, for sure, is that the Bulls are still built around his talents, he will have the ball in his hands and while his supporting cast is strong on their own individual merits, he will be expected to carry the scoring load and be the team’s primary playmaker.
If or when he’ll get his trademark explosiveness back is yet to be determined, but the work he’s put into his outside shot and adding strength should pay off, even if he has to slightly alter his style of play. Due to his otherworldly athleticism and seemingly instinctive scoring ability, Rose has never been given credit for his understanding of the game, but with his work ethic, ability to adapt — consider that he was more of a pass-first point guard before entering the NBA and becoming a dominant scorer with the Bulls — and getting a chance to watch the game as an observer, that shouldn’t be short-changed.
Nor should his pride, and while he claims outside criticism isn’t a motivating factor, his sense of personal responsibility is, so getting back to his previous level of play, particularly after more than a year away from the game he loves, certainly matters to him. By all accounts, Rose has put in the work and as much as others have discussed his return, nobody is more ready to get to Oct. 5 than the hometown hero himself.
Make sure to check out all the Bulls previews, each spotlighting this season's expectations for individual players and head coach Tom Thibodeau: