For the first time since April 28, 2012, Derrick Rose was back in action at the United Center in Chicago. He surprised himself -- and perhaps Detroit Pistons rookie Peyton Siva -- with his performance.
"I surprised myself some, going to the lane, getting guys on their heels and really playing through contact," Rose said after the Bulls' 96-81 preseason win over the Pistons, via the Chicago Tribune. "Even though I'm getting hit, I'm finding ways to get through it."
The Chicago Bulls have been without Rose since he suffered a torn ACL in his left knee late in a win over the Philadelphia 76ers in the opener of their first round series in the 2012 NBA Playoffs. At long last, he made his long-awaited return in the Bulls' preseason game against the visiting Pistons on Wednesday night. This was just his third 2013 preseason performance and his first home appearance.
In 22 minutes, Rose shot 6 for 9 from the field for 22 points while grabbing two rebounds and dishing out a pair of assists. Even more promising, he showed flashes of the explosiveness that earned him NBA MVP honors for the 2010-2011 season. In perhaps his most memorable foray into the paint, Rose put Siva on roller skates with one particularly nasty crossover dribble.
"I think I'm way more explosive now," Rose said after his Chicago return, via ESPN Chicago. "Like getting to the rim. I think I can take contact a little bit better. 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."
WATCH: HIGHLIGHTS FROM DERRICK ROSE'S RETURN