Rapid Reaction: Bulls 82, Pacers 76
October, 5, 2013
By Nick Friedell
INDIANAPOLIS -- Let's take a quick look at how the Chicago Bulls earned an 82-76 win over the Indiana Pacers on Saturday night at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Derrick Rose's return to action.
How it happened: Taj Gibson led the Bulls with 18 points and 12 rebounds as the Bulls picked up a victory in the preseason opener. The key for the Bulls was that they set the tempo most of night, feeding off the emotion that Rose's presence provided. The Bulls outrebounded the Pacers 56-38.
What it means: Obviously, the only thing most fans will take out of this game is that Rose was back on the floor with his teammates. He hadn't played in a professional basketball game since April 28, 2012, as he recovered from a torn left ACL, and his teammates were clearly happy to have him back on the floor. He looked life his old self at times -- and rusty at others -- but the key for the Bulls is that he played with no fear and showed no hesitation while driving to the rim.
The Bulls played tough and showed the trademark intensity that has come to define them in recent seasons under Tom Thibodeau, but this night will be remembered because it marked the final step Rose had to take in his rehab progression. There's still some rust he has to shake off, as evidenced by the four turnovers he had, but he looks like a player who is mentally and physically ready to play in the NBA again.
Hits: Luol Deng had 15 points and eight rebounds while playing his typically strong defense. He was 4-for-16 from the field, though.
Misses: Carlos Boozer was 1-for-5 on the night and scored just two points in almost 25 minutes.
Stat of the night: Rose's final totals: 20:26 of game action, 5-for-12 from the field for 13 points, 2 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals and 4 turnovers.
What's next: The Bulls face off against the Memphis Grizzlies on Monday night in St. Louis.