Interview: Rose discusses his strong debut with Pistons

Veteran guard Derrick Rose scored 18 points in his first game with the Pistons.

INDIANAPOLIS — On a night where the Detroit Pistons came into Indiana as 7.5-point underdogs without star forward Blake Griffin, they stunned the Pacers with an impressive 119-110 win.

Griffin at times single-handedly carried the Pistons last season, so without him on the floor a win like this was fairly impressive. Players such as Andre Drummond and Luke Kennard had sensational performances, but the X-factor was Derrick Rose, who was making his Pistons debut.

Rose scored 18 points and tallied nine assists, while shooting better than 50 percent from the floor. However, he did not attempt a single 3-point shot, uncommon for a guard in the modern NBA.

“I’ll shoot the three, but they’re not giving me threes,” Rose told Amico Hoops after the win.

In 2011, Rose was the best player in the Eastern Conference outside of LeBron James. But this version of Rose may be even more impressive. While he’s no longer the superstar he once was, he has found a way to re-invent his game with less athleticism and much less explosiveness. The serious injuries were devastating and derailed what could have been one of the best careers in league history. But Rose has not let that discourage him from playing good basketball.

“I just know my game, I’m not just gonna take it just to take them,” Rose said, alluding to 3-pointers.

Today, there are players like Drummond, a true center, now shooting threes. An hour before the game, the Pistons center was chucking up threes to work on his shot. It’s something that is a must for most NBA players these days, because of the way the game has changed. Players are adapting.

Some want to call the mid-range game dead, but basketball is a rhythm game. There are nights like Wedndesday where a player such as Rose does not need to shoot threes.

“I think you need 50-50,” he said. “It’s the way that you have to adapt to the game. You just can’t be shooting twos the whole game.”

There is also the element of knowing yourself as a player.

“I’ve got Tony SnellLuke Kennard and (Langston Galloway) on my team — why shoot five threes?,” Rose asked. “Unless they swing (the ball), and I’m wide open, I’m taking it. I’m a set-shooter.”

Rose and the Pistons will resume action as part of the second half of a back-to-back against the Atlanta Hawks in Detorit on Thursday.