Derrick Rose made his first start for the Memphis Grizzlies in their first preseason game against the Indiana Pacers on October 11, 2023 at FedEx Field. Rose only played limited minutes due to his age and injury history, but he had an amazing first quarter.
In the video below, Rose is initially defended by TJ McConnell at the top of the arc. Santi Aldama blocks and forces a switch with Buddy Hield now defending the former MVP before Rose uses his patented crossover step to get away from Hield.
Rose manages to get past Hield, who tries to track back to block the shot. Isaiah Jackson was also on the sidelines to help with the defense, but the 35-year-old threw down a highlight-reel shot with two Pacers players in his face.
The move was reminiscent of Rose in his heyday, showing that he still has some of that old magic in him.
Rose played 13 minutes in the first half and had 13 points and two assists. He shot a very high percentage from the field, going 6-of-8 from the field and hitting his only three-pointer. The Memphis Grizzlies led 66-59 at the end of the first half.
Rose only played 27 games for the New York Knicks last season, and his team option was declined. He became a free agent this summer, signing a two-year, $6.6 million contract with the Grizzlies. He will wear No. 23 in honor of his time at the University of Memphis.
It is worth noting that Rose played one season with the Memphis Tigers before being selected first overall in the 2008 NBA Draft. He led the Memphis Tigers to the NCAA Tournament, but lost in overtime to the Kansas Jayhawks.
Rose had a memorable debut with the Grizzlies, and it’s clear he can contribute more. If he can stay healthy, he will be a key contributor for the Grizzlies this season.
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