By Charlie Roumeliotis
After two preseason games so far, the Bulls are off to a quick 2-0 start. But the most encouraging sign might have been Derrick Rose and how he looks like he hasn't skipped a beat.
Rose measured a 37-inch vertical entering pre-draft camp, and now he's up to 42 which is "pretty amazing coming off ACL surgery," said CSN's Mark Schanowski on The McNeil and Spiegel Show on 670 The Score Wednesday.
But what stuck out to Schanowski the most about Rose is that he looks mentally ready just as he does physically.
[MORE: Bulls off to encouraging start]
"The thing that really impressed me the most about Derrick was that he was totally fearless out there," Schanowski said. "A lot of times when a guy is coming off [a] major [knee] injury, he's looking for where the collision is coming, who's going to run into my leg, and we didn't see any of that. He was going full-speed, end-to-end, darting into defenders, jumping into Roy Hibbert, not worried about anything.
"... The nice thing is that with all the talk last year about, 'I'm not going to play until I'm 110 percent ready,' a lot of people wondered would he come back the same Derrick Rose and I think those concerns we can kind of forget about now."
Rose spent the majority of his rehab in the weight room and his strength has been very noticeable in the first two preseason games.
"There's no question about it," Schanowski said. "He did a lot of weightlifting during the time he was waiting to get the green light to do some basketball stuff ... He's put a lot of weight on his upper body and he just looks like he's going to come out with a really big season. I think he's determined to show everyone he's still the same guy. He put the work in outside of the basketball court and I think that's going to pay off this season."
There was chatter late last season that some teammates may have had hard feelings about Rose not returning to help them in the playoffs. But Schanowski says those feelings have certainly gone away.
"I think that's a pretty safe statement," Schanowski said. "Even for a preseason game, [guys on the bench] were standing up every time he drove to the basket and everyone wanted to see him succeed and make sure he was the same Derrick Rose because players realize they're only going as far as he takes them. To see him come back and play with that kind of energy brought a lot of life to the whole team."
You can listen to the entire segment of Schanowski's appearance on 670 The Score as he talks more Bulls and possible threats in the Eastern Conference.