This night was supposed to belong to Derrick Rose. It was his first real game action in a very long time. After only playing ten games in the last two years, it was must see TV to watch him play.
Derrick Rose did not disappoint.
After getting the loudest ovation when his name was called during the player introductions, Rose went out and put on a show…in the first THREE MINUTES of the game!
First Rose blew past the entire white team particularly DeMarcus Cousins for a layup. What was great to see was how Rose made the adjustment in the air to avoid Cousins’ swipe at the ball in the air. The power in his legs were very evident in the move because of the hang time.
Derrick Rose wasn’t done Pippen Peoples.
Rose cut to the basket after a Kenneth Faried offensive rebound and threw down a vicious two hand dunk off two feet. Derrick Rose was going to send a message that his knees were going to be all right. This dunk was all vertical and all power. What I liked about the play was that he cut to the basket and was aggressive. A lot of times in a game like this, players will take the easy way out and shoot jumpers. Rose looked to get to the rim and get there strong.
As impressive as these two plays were, my favorite one is the one coming up.
Derrick Rose allowed himself to get backdoored for a layup by Kyrie Irving. Instead of reacting to the mistake, Rose got the inbounds pass and took the ball coast to coast blowing by DeMarcus Cousins…again, for a left hand layup.
Some important things stood out on this play to me.
When Kyrie Irving hit the layup, he relaxed. Derrick Rose did not. He kept right on playing and beat Irving down the floor.
The speed of this guy is off the charts. Understand he beat Irving down the floor with a live dribble. Does anyone know many players that can accomplish this feat? There’s a comment section at the bottom, I’ll wait.
The change of pace. Derrick Rose FROZE DeMarcus Cousins when he blew past him to get in the lane for the layup. When Rose finished with the left hand, it was an easy glide. This shows us that he is becoming more efficient as a ball player and can pick his spots to score. This is going to be paramount this season for Rose and Chicago to build offensive team chemistry to make a run in the playoffs.
Understand that all of these things were done in the first three minutes of the game.
When Paul George had his injury in the fourth quarter, Derrick Rose squatted down and covered his face in his hands. I can only imagine the flashbacks he was having seeing his comrade not get up from the floor after fracturing his leg.
You know sometimes after watching a terrible event like what happened to Paul George last night or even Derrick Rose for the last two years, we as fans take these injuries for granted sometimes. We see the injury, then start speculating on what’s going to happen next.
We try to figure out when and if a player should come back.
We have no clue on the agony these players go through in rehab. There is only one way these players can do rehab to make it back on the floor. The right way. There is no other way unless they want to risk another injury.
We take for granted the sacrifice and commitment these players give just to try out for the team. Understand a lot of their NBA peers are on beaches somewhere enjoying their summer. These guys are in intense training camp. I saw the tryouts on NBATV on Tuesday. These people don’t play. They are playing very hard.
On behalf of Pippen Ain’t Easy, I would like to extend well wishes and prayers out to Paul George, his family and friends. The staff wants you back on the court analyzing you and your Indiana Pacers. Your team is why this job is fun. The Pacers are a division foe and it’s not going to be the same without you on the floor next season. All of us, the Pacers, your brothers on the USA team, the NBA family and the fans need to see you back on a NBA floor when you are ready. Get healthy. We’ll be here when you get back.
I would like to give a special shout out to Coach Mike Krzyzewski and Chairman Jerry Colangelo who showed a lot of class stopping the game immediately and calling it a night.
To watch the concern of all of the players on Friday should teach us that this is just a game. The brotherhood that was shown when they all circled up in prayer was very enlightening and inspiring.
This article will not speculate what the next move will be for Team USA. This is not about that. This article is about Paul George who will partake on a rough journey that I’m personally saying he will get through and come back better than ever.
This article is also about Derrick Rose, who has shown us for at least Friday night that Paul George can do it. Better and stronger than ever.