Derrick Rose enjoys successful return for Bulls in preseason

Now do you believe him? Now that you’ve seen Derrick Rose challenge 7-2 Roy Hibbert at the rim, get knocked down and bounce up to shoot his free throws in Saturday’s 82-76 Bulls win over the Indiana Pacers.

Now that you’ve seen him crossover George Hill, leaving Hill reaching and the entire Pacers’ defense coming at Rose and Rose pounded at the rim. Now that you’ve seen him go full court and dunk, though two handed? Nothing fancy yet, Rose said. And now that you’ve seen him run the wing with Kirk Hinrich and finish, double pump on a drive and put in the layup and a finger roll, score 13 points in just over 20 minutes and complain to Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau he didn’t want to leave the game.

Now will you believe Derrick Rose when he says he’s back? And maybe even, as incredulous as it may seem, as good or better than he was some 18 months ago before he suffered the ugliest of basketball injuries, a torn anterior cruciate ligament?

“He got mad at me,” Thibodeau said about removing Rose from the game for good with 7:07 remaining in the third quarter and the Bulls ahead 50-49. “That’s when I knew we were good. Now I know things are normal.

“Like we’ve been seeing in practice,” said Thibodeau. “Hit the floor, aggressive. That’s the way he played before the injury and he’s back playing like that. For him, that’s his game, the speed, the quickness, but the power to go along with it. That’s what makes him so special and unique. There’s no one like him.”

Reported by Sam Smith of the Bulls.com Blog