2. Derrick Rose
During this year’s Media Day, Derrick Rose made it abundantly clear that he feels he can still provide some highly effective contributions to an NBA team at this stage in his career.
While the belief was Memphis signed the veteran to serve mainly as a locker room mentor for this young roster when they landed him in free agency back in July, the point guard has publicly stated that he has no desire to “babysit” and collect dust on the sidelines.
In their matchup against the Pacers, Rose made a strong case for himself to be more than an end-of-bench guy heading into his debut season with the Grizzlies, as he had quite an impressive showing.
Slotting into the starting lineup what with the absences of Ja Morant (suspension) and Marcus Smart (injury), the 35-year-old went on to post 13 points and 2 assists while shooting a highly efficient 75.0 percent from the field and a perfect 1-for-1 from deep in just over 13 minutes of action.
Showcasing an impressive array of quickness, agility, and overall aggressiveness, the former All-Star easily seemed to be playing more similarly to his 2018-2022 self (16.2 points and 4.6 assists on 47.7 percent shooting from the field) than his 2022-23 version with the Knicks that was surprisingly pulled entirely from the rotation just a few months into the season.
Hopefully, he can further prove the doubters wrong with another strong performance against the Bucks.