After one season with a dysfunctional New York Knicks team last season, Derrick Rose has made a promising start to life with the Cleveland Cavaliers this campaign.
Unfortunately, his progress with the team has been halted recently after suffering an ankle sprain against the Milwaukee Bucks on Friday which has kept him out of the last three games.
But in his opening two appearances, the former MVP has shown flashes of his explosiveness and has been operating well in the Cavs offence.
He puts this down to having more freedom to play his game after he was forced to operate under the triangle system in New York, which restricted him to utilise his skillset.
“[With the Cavaliers], I get to do whatever I want,” Rose told the New York Post. “In New York, I couldn’t. It was just simple. That’s why I made the transition.”
The 28-year-old now feels a lot more confident playing in Tyronn Lue's offence in Cleveland and explains why.
“There wasn’t no freedom [with the Knicks],” Rose said. “Here I got freedom.
“Coach Lue and the team have been doing a great job of letting me play the way that I want to play. So I can’t complain at all.”
As an aggressive, offensive-minded point guard, Rose loves to play in transition and use his speed in the open court to make plays.
It's, therefore, no surprise that Lue's preferred up-tempo style suits the former Chicago Bulls star.
“That’s how I wanted to play last year,” Rose said. “But that never happened.”
With the Knicks, Phil Jackson insisted his team stick to the triangle and its core principles, and the team stumbled their way to a 31-51 record.
D.Rose accepted a one-year contract in Cleveland for the veteran's minimum to be part of a "winning environment" and is hoping to contribute enough to a championship run.
His year in the Big Apple wasn't a total disaster, however, as he still averaged a respectable 18 points and 4.4 assists.
With more space on the floor playing alongside LeBron James, the three-time All-Star should have a productive campaign with the Wine and Gold.
As the starting point guard until Isaiah Thomas returns, Rose will be relied on heavily to be a playmaker and scorer to ease the load on LeBron and it's the kind of responsibility he thrives under.
The Cavaliers are hoping to have the veteran back in the line up when they travel to face the New Orleans Pelicans on Saturday.