Blog Entry

Rose tops CP3, but is he moving past him too?

Posted on: February 12, 2011 11:30 pm
Edited on: February 12, 2011 11:32 pm
Posted by Royce Young

Derrick Rose's name may be rising in the MVP conversation. He actually may be at the top of the list.

But he's still having trouble cracking the "top point guard in the league" debate. Whether it's because he doesn't routinely dish out 10 assists a night or because I'm not even sure what qualifies a real "true point guard," Rose is still trying to overcome Chris Paul, Deron Williams, Rajon Rondo and even the blossoming Russell Westbrook in terms of the top spot of elite point guard status.

Rose made another statement Saturday though, outplaying yet another one of the league's top point guards in Chicago's 97-88 win over the Hornets. Rose had 23 points and six assists against Chris Paul, but perfectly orchestrated the Chicago offense in the second half. What's making Rose so good right now is that he's picking spots to take over. He has weapons in Carlos Boozer, Luol Deng and Ronnie Brewer so he doesn't have to score 35 in order for the Bulls to win.

That description though, is what was used to summarize how crafty and Chris Paul has always been. Paul is a player capable of routinely scoring 20 points a night, but instead he involves teammates wonderfully and chooses his battles. He finds the moments when he needs to score, when he needs to shoot and when he needs to create. It's the gift of a great point guard.

But with Rose's latest vanquishing of one of the league's premier point men, we've got to start asking, where exactly does he rank? I think we can all agree he's somewhere in the top five, but using this latest showing, is he better than Paul? I know, I felt a little weird asking that myself. But let's look.

There's no arguing that Rose is the better athlete. He's far more explosive. That's partly unfair to CP3 as it doesn't look like he's fully recovered from that knee injury that sidelined him for most of last season. But Rose plays above the rim and can finish over anyone. Paul has to get creative. He has to wiggle into the lane, create a little contact and finish. But just being fast, strong and able to jump high doesn't make you the best.

Because where Paul has Rose still is in the category of running a team and an offense. There's just nobody in the league that sets up his guys like CP3. Most of Rose's dishes come as a result of breaking down the defense, getting them to collapse and then kicking to an open player. Paul actually finds open men. Watch Chris Paul next time. I mean, really watch him. It's almost stunning to watch him locate an open shooter at the last second.

Paul is also the better defender at this point. Nicolas Batum called out Rose's defense after Andre Miller torched the Bulls' point man, but Batum was a little excited there. Rose is a good defender. He's just not CP3. Chris Paul is a truly elite defender. I've never been so impressed with Paul's defense as I was last season when he took the assignment of Kevin Durant for an entire fourth quarter and frustrated Durant into multiple turnovers, tough shots and basically kept the Thunder's scorer entirely out of rhythm. It was a sight.

Rose's most recent effort showcased though how far he's come. He did a fantastic job on CP3, holding the Hornet to just six assists and 3-10 shooting. He used his athleticism to keep Paul out of the paint and contested everything. Rose may not be a great defender, but he's better than average.

Is he there yet though? Is Rose really at the level of Chris Paul in terms of the very best point guard in the league? I don't think so. That's something CP3 has won because of the excellence of multiple seasons. We saw how important Paul was to this Hornet team when he went down last season. Rose has absolutely carried the Bulls through injuries this season and in terms of just a basketball player, is every bit Paul's equal. But in terms of a point man, CP3 still bears the torch.

For now.

Since: Mar 16, 2008
Posted on: February 13, 2011 9:54 am

Rose tops CP3, but is he moving past him too?

I agree. People don't necessarily want to anoint somebody who is only 22.  Also, we are in a space where there are more PG's who are really dominant.  When CP came into prominence in his first three years in the league it wasn't the vogue position it is today. Not that it hasn't been considered, the talent previously was not as prevalent.  Let's face it, the positions are defined by the talent and we will blurb about the talent as whatever cycle happens in conjunction.  I believe, along with Carlos Boozer that he is the man.  Watch out for the bulls when Noah rounds into shape again.

Since: Sep 26, 2006
Posted on: February 13, 2011 8:35 am

Rose tops CP3, but is he moving past him too?

I would rather have Rose. Paul can never take over a game on his own. If the offense gets stagnant Rose can create any shot he wants. In the Last week Rose has dominated Williams and Paul and also got the win in both games.

Since: Feb 13, 2011
Posted on: February 13, 2011 2:36 am

Rose tops CP3, but is he moving past him too?

Its as simple as this, would you rather have Rose play point for your team, or CP3?

Since: Jan 9, 2007
Posted on: February 13, 2011 2:11 am

Rose tops CP3, but is he moving past him too?

I think Rose has topped Paul as a better point guard...if you do not factor in the knee injury Paul is recovering from. It's not know if Paul will regain his lightning quick speed he had 2 years ago so assuming he doesn't, Rose is not the better point guard. Watching this game, Rose just blew by Paul with ease. There is a big difference in speed with the ball.
Now add in these factors:
  • Rose has better statistics (24.7pt 8.2ast vs 16.5pts 9.5ast)
  • Rose is putting up better statistics on a team with a better record (Bulls are 36-16, Hornets are 33-23....5 games behind the bulls)
  • Rose has lead his team to a 36-16 record despite only having their 2nd and 3rd best players on the court 9 games (Noah/Boozer)
  • Rose is one of the most clutch players. Perhaps only Kobe, Wade and maybe one other player are more clutch this season.

It's hard not to think that Rose is the best PG in the league. The only reason people are hesitant is that he is 22yrs old and this is his first superstar year. But the above facts speak for themselves.

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