LeBron James Likes What He Sees From Derrick Rose in Cavaliers Loss to Bulls— Watch Video

So perhaps all those doom-laden predictions about the Cleveland Cavaliers being old, or broken down, or old and broken down—including Newsweek's own—were a tad premature.

The Cavaliers lost 108-94 to the Chicago Bulls on Wednesday evening at Quicken Loans Arena in their fourth preseason game, which doesn't look good even if it is preseason. We are now less than a week away from the NBA suiting up for real, when the Cavaliers are going to have to confront Kyrie Irving and the Boston Celtics, who are younger, probably faster and want to be better than them.

But there were reasons for Tyronn Lue to be happy. LeBron James, notably, played for the first time since the NBA Finals in June after missing the past two weeks with a sprained ankle. James scored 17 points and his claim that he hadn't been very good afterwards was his way of stating, maybe, that he felt mortal on the court for once—he did turn the ball over seven times, after all. "Well, me personally, tonight I was off," James told ESPN. "I could feel it. It's just my first action since the Finals and my timing was a little off and turnovers I think just trickled down to everybody, so I made everyone's timing off."

Derrick Rose had some nice moments, too. Six minutes into the second period, the former Bull drove to the basket and scored with a sweet layup. Two minutes later he produced something even better—leading a rapid breakout and providing an assist for a spectacular Jeff Green alley-oop. There are legitimate concerns about whether Rose can stay healthy, primarily, but also about his ability to shoot from range and his defense. Some highlight-reel moves aren't going to make those worries go away, but it has to be good news that Rose can still produce those breathless moments for the Cavaliers, if not as regularly as in his prime. James applauded the layup vociferously from the sideline.

👀🌹 pic.twitter.com/7C9yBs5Xnu

— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) October 11, 2017

Jeff Green elevates for the alley-oop SLAM on ESPN! pic.twitter.com/1iFOFEslnD

— NBA (@NBA) October 11, 2017

Elsewhere, it was a mixed bag for the Cavaliers. Dwyane Wade shot 1-for-7 and Kevin Love 1-for-12, and ESPN pointed out a lack of communication between the stars expected to drag the Cavaliers to another Finals appearance, at least. James was minus-18 for the evening, too—that won't be the case on October 17 in Cleveland when Irving comes back into town.

Even with a back-up-to-speed James, though, the Cavaliers would surely love Rose to keep rolling back the years.