Chicago Sun-Times

Rose starts slow, finishes strong

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Although it might not have been the smashing success he and the United Center crowd was hoping for, I have to assess Derrick Rose's first game in a Bulls uniform a moderate success.

Rose rebounded from a somewhat shaky start to finish with 10 points (4-for-9 shooting), five assists, three rebounds and six turnovers in nearly 27 minutes of playing time in the Bulls' 110-102 loss to the Dallas Mavericks Thursday night.

His performance wasn't great, but it wasn't bad considering the 20-year-old was playing in his first professional game and was matched up against all-star Jason Kidd in the first quarter.

Rose, though, didn't see things that way.

"Terrible, if you ask me," he said when asked to assess his game. "Turnovers as a point guard, you don't want that many. I had five in the first half."

Rose, though, rebounded from the shaky first half with a solid second half. In nearly 10 minutes of playing time in the third quarter -- he didn't play in the fourth -- he had six points (3-for-3 shooting) and one assist and one turnover.

But despite the obvious struggles, he showed flashes of the athletic ability that makes him such a coveted point guard. He had an impressive drive and finish against Dallas 7-footer DeSagana Diop for his first basket and hit a nice pull-up jumper in the second half. His pass-first philosophy was obvious and he should start racking up the assists when his teammates become more comfortable with him.

"It's a huge learning curve," Bulls coach Vinny Del Negro said. "It's the hardest position to learn and it's going to take time. He's only going to get better. It's a matter of time and putting in the work to improve, and I know he's going to do that."

Rose doesn't have to wait long for another shot. The Bulls play the Indiana Pacers Friday night in Fort Wayne, Ind.

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This page contains a single entry by John Jackson published on October 9, 2008 10:00 PM.

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