Derrick Rose vies for loose ball against the New York Knicks' Tim Hardaway… (Scott Strazzante / Chicago…)
THAT's what Chicago has been waiting for.
After 18 months recovering from a torn knee ligament, Rose was finally playing in Chicago in games that count Thursday. And in typical D-Rose fashion, he buried the winning bucket to lift the Bulls to an 82-81 victory over the N.Y. Knicks in their regular-season home opener. Most of the city is still catching its breath.
Though the numbers for Rose were modest--18 points, six rebounds, three assists—the magnitude of his impact was anything but. RedEye highlights what worked for the Bulls' superstar in his long-awaited return, rating each body part's performance on a scale of 0 to 5.
Arms: Airballed his first 3-point try. Missed 16 of 23 shots in the game. Uh, not the accuracy he's looking for. Later: Knocked down back-to-back 3s early in the third quarter. Points for sticking with it.
Knees: Swooped in for a rebound near the free-throw line. Later: Drove hard to the rim, drew two defenders and dropped it to Joakim Noah for the jam. Later: Accelerated through the lane, double-clutched and softly laid it in. Very impressive.
Neck: Attempted one of his signature circuslike, switching hands reverse layups. It didn't go in, but you need a healthy neck to do that. Same goes for the hanging, hesitation layup he did make in the fourth quarter.
Feet: Exploded through two Knicks defenders on a fast break to put Bulls up 12-7, then took a feed from Luol Deng on fast break to put them up 14-7.
Eyes: First quarter: Bad pass led to a slam by Carmelo Anthony. Oops. Later: Ridiculous bounce pass from near half court led to an easy basket for Luol Deng. Much better.
Heart: 5.7 seconds left. Game on the line. Fades to the baseline. One-handed floater over two defenders. Boom. Bulls win. In the words of the UC crowd: "MVP! MVP! MVP!"
Want more? Discuss this article and others on RedEye Sports' Facebook page.