Chicago Sun-Times

Rose starts, starts slowly

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Rookie Derrick Rose was among the five starters new coach Vinny Del Negro sent out for the Bulls' preseason opener Thursday night against the Dallas Mavericks in the United Center and received a rousing ovation when he was introduced. The rest of the starting lineup was Kirk Hinrich, Luol Deng, Tyrus Thomas and Drew Gooden.

Starting, no doubt, fulfilled one dream for Rose, but I'm sure the No. 1 pick in the June draft wanted to get off to a better start. In just under 10 minutes in the first quarter, he had one point, three assists, one rebound and was 0-for-3 from the field (all jumpers) while matched up against all-star Jason Kidd.

Rose scored his point after he was fouled on the receiving end of a alley-oop pass from Hinrich and made one of two free throws.

Speaking of alley-oops, Rose set up Thomas with a perfect pass on the Bulls' second possession, but the ball slipped through Thomas' hands.

After heading to the bench with 2:22 remaining in the first quarter, Rose returned to the game with 7:25 left in the second quarter and quickly scored his first professional field goal on an impressive drive over 7-footer DeSagana Diop with 6:46 left in the first half. Diop came over to block the shot and the 6-3 Rose seemed to keep floating higher until he could get the shot off.

That ability to finish over bigger people in the lane is one of the things that separates him from most point guards. He finished with four points (1-for-6 shooting), four assists, two rebounds and five turnovers in 17 minutes in the first half.

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Wow! I don't really have any clue how this team will play together yet, but they are really deep at every position.
1. Rose and Heinrich at the point
2. Hughes and Gordon at the 2 guard
3. Deng and Noce at Small Forward
4. Thomas and Gooden at power
5. Grey and Noah at Center

In essence, they replaced Duhon with Rose. What a turn of events since last year.

If Rose can be that missing "no-doubt-about-it" leader of the this team by season's midway point, then this team wins at least 45 games and gets a 4 seed in the East.

But the shear depth of this team will ensure they win 25 games by simply wearing the other team down with relentless pressure.

Go Bulls!

Where you see depth, I see spare parts without an Allstar (yet) to swirl around. This team will be lucky to win 35 games, but in a crapfest that is the eastern conference that still might get them in at the 8th seed with a quick 1st round ouster.

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This page contains a single entry by John Jackson published on October 9, 2008 8:11 PM.

Former Bulls Duhon gaining favor in NY was the previous entry in this blog.

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