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Rose, Howard coming back strong
Posted By HOOPSWORLD On October 8, 2013 @ 9:26 pm In Wirenews | Comments Disabled
by Sam Amick, USA TODAY Sports
When TNT analyst Steve Kerr said recently that the Chicago Bulls would unseat the Miami Heat for the title this season, it was much more than the typical preaseason prediction from a pundit.
Kerr knows of what he speaks: this was a former member of the back-to-back champion Chicago Bulls saying that the challenge of doing it again would be too tough, too taxing to pull off for a Heat team that has already made the march to the Finals three consecutive times. But his view that had as much to do with the return of the Bulls’ Derrick Rose as it did anything else underscored a compelling reality about the 2013-14 campaign that is almost upon us: when the many stars who were missing in action last season come back, virtually anything is possible. Here’s a look at some of the biggest stars and where they stand. Or, for some, where they sit.
Derrick Rose, Chicago Bulls
Two preseason games in, this much is clear: he’s still one of the fastest players in the league.
Speed is everything when it comes to Rose’s game, and the 2010-11 MVP who tore his ACL in April 2012 and missed all of last season was back to being a blur in his strong outings against Indiana and Memphis. After his 13-point, three-assist, four-turnover showing against the Pacers on Saturday (20 minutes), Indiana coach Frank Vogel said “Same old Derrick Rose. He looked great.” After his 13-point, three-assist, one-turnover outing on Monday (23 minutes), new teammate Mike Dunleavy compared him to fellow speedster Monta Ellis, but added, “With Derrick, it’s a whole different gear … I don’t remember him being that fast.’”
As the Bulls reminded the masses in May when they handed Miami its first playoff loss in the Eastern Conference semifinal opener that they ultimately lost in five games, they were capable of being a thorn-in-the-Heat-side foe even without Rose. With him – and with small forward Luol Deng in a contract year, center Joakim Noah healthy and coach Tom Thibodeau’s elite defensive scheme still working its magic – these Bulls who fell … [For more on Rose, Howard top NBA stars coming back strong, click here.]
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