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Chicago guard Derrick Rose says chance to play Heat in return to the NBA is 'unreal'

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ADVANCE FOR WEEKEND EDITIONS, OCT. 26-27- FILE - In this Oct. 7, 2013, file photo, Chicago Bulls' Derrick Rose shoots a free throw during an NBA preseason basketball game against the Memphis Grizzlies in St. Louis. The Bulls have their point guard back, and they believe they're ready to challenge LeBron James and the Miami Heat for supremacy in the Eastern Conference, starting with their season-opening matchup on Oct. 29. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson, File) (The Associated Press)

Derrick Rose walked onto Miami's court for practice Tuesday morning, surveyed his surroundings and made no secret of how eager he is for opening night.

Rose says, "It's unreal."

After 18 months, the real return of the 2011 NBA MVP has arrived.

The 25-year-old Rose and the Chicago Bulls open the season later Tuesday against the Miami Heat, who will start the festivities by raising their second straight championship banner and getting a new batch of rings handed to them by Commissioner David Stern.

Tipoff is scheduled for 8:10 p.m., at which time Rose will be playing in his first real game since a knee injury sidelined him in April 2012.