Pacers expect to see the same Rose

October, 4, 2013
10/04/13
4:18
PM CT
Friedell By Nick Friedell
ESPNChicago.com
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INDIANAPOLIS -- Roy Hibbert has no doubt what kind of Derrick Rose will be on display Saturday night when his Indiana Pacers face Rose's Chicago Bulls.

"Same Derrick Rose from two years ago," Hibbert said after Friday's practice. "(I'm) happy he's healthy. (He's) a competitive person, and it's going to be a battle out there."

Pacers coach Frank Vogel said the NBA will benefit from the return of Rose, who will play Saturday in an NBA game for the first time since he tore his ACL on April 28, 2012.

"I think he's probably going to play great," Vogel said. "He's going to move great. From what I hear he's moving fantastic and he feels strong so I think (his return) is good for the league. I'm sure there might be a little bit of rust because he hasn't played game minutes in a while but I think he's going to move well."

Pacers star Paul George believes Rose will want to see where he stacks up quickly.

"(I expect him) to really push his limits," George said. "I don't expect him to come out and treat it like a Game 7, but I expect him to come out and really push his limits and see how much or how ready he is ... The injury he has, I think that kind of injury, guys always ease into it. I don't expect him to fully pull it all the way into 100 and sixth gear but I think he's going to try his limits and see what his body can take and what it can't."

Veteran swingman Danny Granger can empathize will what Rose is going through. Granger only played in five games last season as he recovered from a knee injury and is looking forward to being back on the floor with Rose.

"It's not the same injury, but it's a knee injury," Granger said. "As basketball players we do everything through our knees. So when (the knee) is hurt it limits everything you want to do. Whether you want to go get a rebound, whether you want to cut, whether you want to get in a defensive stance.

"On your jump shot you might be pushing off your other leg more and you're off-balance. It actually affects everything you do when you're playing. Especially for someone like D-Rose who's so athletic. He does a lot of planting, he's putting a lot of torque through that knee so it's understandable. I think anybody who's had knee surgery has been through that."

Hibbert expects players to go at Rose the same way they always have.

"He's back," Hibbert said. "He's an NBA player, he's going to get tested every night. I don't really (know). Everybody tests me all the time so I don't really know. I think he's going to get tested every night."

Nick Friedell | email

Chicago Bulls beat reporter
Nick Friedell is the Chicago Bulls beat reporter for ESPN Chicago. Friedell is a graduate of the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University and joined ESPNChicago.com for its launch in April 2009.

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Jimmy Butler
PTS AST STL MIN
20.9 3.3 1.5 39.6
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsP. Gasol 11.9
AssistsD. Rose 5.1
StealsJ. Butler 1.5
BlocksP. Gasol 1.9