Derrick Rose Comeback Complete? D-Rose: 'Way More Explosive,' Increased Vertical Jump? [VIDEO]
on Oct 17, 2013 02:44 PM EDT
Derrick Rose's 18-month hiatus from game action hasn't been in vain.
Minutes after scoring a preseason-high 22 points in his first game at the United Center since tearing his ACL in April 2012, Rose declared himself "way more explosive" than at any time in his NBA career.
And the 25-year-old former MVP had had the kind of game to prove it, at one point mercilessly crossing over Detroit rookie Peyton Siva on a whirling drive to the basket he capped off with an and-one after being fouled by Pistons big Andre Drummond.
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"Getting to the rim. I think I can take contact a little bit better," Rose told ESPN in the aftermath. "And as far as jumping-wise, I think I can jump even higher. They tested my vertical -- I increased it by 5 inches. I just didn't show it yet because there's no need to."
After management's decision to hold him out of last Saturday's game in Rio de Janeiro caused a tremor throughout much of Chicago, Rose insisted his worries about his knee are a thing of the past.
"The biggest thing is after you have an ACL or any injury, it's the mental part," he told said. "And for me not to think about anything no more and actually be reacting to the defense and the offense, it feels great knowing that I'm safe. I don't have to worry about anything at all, even if I go to the hole and get contact and fall any type of way, that I could easily get up and bounce right back and play the way that I normally know how to play."
Rose added he knows he'll be somewhat of a marked man this season, both from fans who are questioning whether he can perform at a high level and from players who will test his every move. He appears to be ready for the challenge.
"I think every team, every player I play against is coming for me," he said. "Who don't want to make a name off me right now? I always think about that and take that into consideration when I'm going out there and playing."