WICHITA, Kan. — Accelerating past defenders in the open court. Contorting through the lane. Blasting toward the rim. Ripping through contact. Finishing end-to-end in a flurry.
It didn't take much more than a fast break or two during the Bulls' 104-95 preseason win over the Thunder on Wednesday to tell Derrick Rose is back. And some would argue the Chicago guard is better than ever.
“From what I've seen so far,” Thunder coach Scott Brooks said, “he's obviously (back to being) one of the best players and the MVP candidates.”
Great news for Bulls fans. Good news for Thunder fans, too.
Because when comparing NBA star to NBA star, Russell Westbrook's high-octane game has always resembled Rose's more than anyone.
And with what looks like a full recovery from his serious knee injury, Rose's return should provide Westbrook backers with tangible evidence that the Thunder star can do the same.
“Years ago, you have major surgery, it's hard to come back,” Brooks said. “But now you can come back. All the medical (advancement), great training and staff allows that to happen.”
But of course, Rose was cautious in his rehab, sitting out an entire season to make sure he was full strength, even when doctors had cleared him to play.