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.