Derrick Rose is Dunking Again

Josh BenjaminCorrespondent IJanuary 11, 2013

MIAMI, FL - MAY 24:  Derrick Rose #1 of the Chicago Bulls dunks against LeBron James #6 and Mike Bibby #0 of the Miami Heat in Game Four of the Eastern Conference Finals during the 2011 NBA Playoffs on May 24, 2011 at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Fasten your seatbelts, Bulls fans. Star point guard Derrick Rose's return may be closer than you think.

Rose's work in "predictable contact" practice has reached a new level, according to Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times. Not only is the former Memphis Tiger shooting jumpers, but he is also dunking.

This is great news for multiple reasons. As exciting as the 2012-13 NBA season has been thus far, it has not been the same without Rose running the point in Chicago. This news shows that once he does return, it will likely not be in a limited role or even off the bench.

This is exactly what NBA fans want. We love watching Rose because he can simply do it all. He can create off the dribble, distribute the ball well and is the rare type of point guard who can also occasionally rise above the rim for a dunk.

Bulls fans should be happy about Rose reaching this level for one reason: Upon his return, the team will be in a prime position to contend for an NBA championship.

Keep in mind that Rose was responsible for Chicago finishing with the best record in the NBA each of the past two seasons and that the team pretty much sunk once he injured his knee in last year's playoffs. Were the Bulls a playoff team, or did Rose just make them one?

Chicago's performance this season has proved that, yes, they are a playoff team, and Rose running the point makes them even better. The Bulls are currently the No. 5 team in the Eastern Conference, just three-and-a-half games out of the top spot.

Once Rose is back in the lineup, it won't be at all surprising to see the Bulls go on a run to close out the season and become the team to beat in the playoffs.