Blog Entry

Derrick Rose makes a statement against Spurs

Posted on: February 17, 2011 11:29 pm
Edited on: February 17, 2011 11:30 pm
Derrick Rose takes over to beat Spurs with 42 points and 8 assists. What is it that makes him not only so good, but different from the other elite point guards?
Posted by Matt Moore

When Derrick Rose said that this game was a "statement" game, he apparently had more than one thing he wanted to make a statement about. 

"The Bulls are good enough to beat the Spurs." Check. 

"The Bulls are a legit Eastern Conference contender." Check.

"The Bulls will rise to the challenge when facing the great teams." Check.

"Derrick Rose is an MVP candidate." Check.

The Chicago Bulls have improved in a lot of ways this season, particularly defensively. They're a more complete team, have better perimeter scoring, better interior defense, a legit post presence in Carlos Boozer, and a better knowledge of how to execute in key situations. But Thursday night the biggest reason for their improvement was clear: Rose. Rose dropped 18-28 from the field, lobbed 8 assists, grabbed 5 rebounds and had but one turnover against the Spurs, a virtuoso performance which encapsulated his best attributes. 

There are so many great point guards in this league and everyone has their own favorite. Recently Royce Young argued that Chris Paul was still rule of the roost, but that Rose was on his way. However, tonight's performance served as an excellent example of what makes Rose so transcendent. He's blessed with a point guard's skills and a small forward's ability. His scoring ability is elite, there's no question of that now. Typcially this season, Rose's three-point shot has been on and his mid-range jumper has struggled. Against the Spurs it was the opposite, as he went 0-4 from the perimeter but nailed all but two of 13 jumpers inside the arc. That range forces the defense to step up, at which point, said defense is ruined, along with said defense's mother, face, and hope for the future. Rose showcased a floater that is as good as any player in the league, often off jump-stops or pump fakes, creating and-one opportunities. 

Rose's eight assists, though, don't come like Rajon Rondo's twisting, turning exploitations, or Chris Paul's seamless extensions of the offense like it was a part of him. Instead, Rose continually finds assists where there are seemingly none to be found. He is often credited with things described as "winning plays" and "big-time plays." In reality, this is a reflection of his ability to convert on low-percentage situations.  Against the Spurs, Rose swung passes over triple-teams from defenders trying to stop the gushing wound caused by Rose's dribble penetration. The result are wide open threes. Whereas Rondo and even Paul to an extent, create scoring opportunities with the threat of their passing ability, Rose creates passing abilities through the onslaught of his offensive repertoire. Essentially, he gouges you until you try and protect the wound, then he hurts you where you're revealed yourself. 

For the Spurs, it's a downer going into the All-Star break, especially because of the defensive implications. For a while Gregg Popovich has been harping on the defense, and in a situation against an amped opponent who was willing to work even on the last game before the vacation, they found those problems amplified. The Spurs are a fantastic team with just ten losses. But if they don't improve their defensive ability, it will all be for naught. 

And for Chicago? Luol Deng played great. Carlos Boozer was solid when he wasn't getting blocked by Tim Duncan, and the Bulls' wings did a nice job on Manu Ginobili. But the statement in reality is fairly simple. 

Derrick Rose hasn't just arrived. He's taking the next step, and that's what should leave the rest of the league petrified. 

Since: Sep 16, 2010
Posted on: February 18, 2011 10:16 am

Derrick Rose makes a statement against Spurs

Derrick Rose has constantly improved.  He's already a superstar and he's still practically a kid!  He's closer to 21 than 23!  His work ethic is awesome.  His attitude is as well.  54 games isn't a fluke.  He sure a heck didn't play bad the first two years either.  There has been some occasional growing pains, but what makes him stand out to me is his undieing drive to improve from his mistakes.  He's going to continue to get better on everything including his scoring, which at 24.9 ppg is going to be pretty tuff when you can distrubute to the ball to an entire team of quality players!  I've watched almost every game this year--he's made all kinds of great passes.  He creates open men and he's improving at finding them.  His defense is developing into something special also.  He's a freaking nightmare to the oppisition.  Get over it!  Derrick Rose is force and he's here to stay!!!!!

Since: Jul 17, 2008
Posted on: February 18, 2011 9:49 am

Derrick Rose makes a statement against Spurs

Wow!  You couldn't be more wrong about Rose!  Statistically, he has shown that he is improving year-to-year.  That's not the type of player that is going to fade.  He is a top 10 playmaker, top 10 scorer, and he is growing into a great defensive point guard.  He really is about as complete of a player as you could hope for at the position.

Since: Oct 11, 2010
Posted on: February 18, 2011 9:45 am
This comment has been removed.

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Since: Oct 17, 2006
Posted on: February 18, 2011 9:45 am

Derrick Rose makes a statement against Spurs

I don't mean to pick too much of a fight here, but honest to god this is the dumbest comment I've ever seen on these boards.  I realize you're a tad butt hurt after what he did to Tony Parkers 'defense' last night, but come on man.  You're going to compare his season to Jamario Moon?  The one where Moon averaged 8 points?  Or 7?  I don't see much of statistical abberation there.  Same for Randolph.  Averaging 11 points over a season isn't quite the same as averaging 25 through 54 four games.  You seem to be confusing having 4 or 5 really good games in a row vs. having 54 really good games.  
The jumpshooting certainly isn't going to be on every single night, but neither is any other player's in the NBA.  But Rose can get to any spot on the court whenever he wants.  His decision making is only going to get better as his shots per game eventual decrease and he becomes more efficient.  I shall patiently await your other case studies of players over their first four seasons that averaged 16, 20, 25, and then returned to journeyman status.

Since: Sep 22, 2006
Posted on: February 18, 2011 9:33 am

Derrick Rose makes a statement against Spurs

Jeez man, pay attention.  It's a relatively simple argument.  It has nothing to do with Moon averaging 24 and 8.  It has to do with statistical anomalies--spikes, if you will--in players' games.  The point is: Rose is a good player, maybe a great one.  Take the "PG" label off, and he's certainly one of the game's most dynamic leaders and scorers.  Still, this 54-game sample is a statistical spike that does not appear to have any foundation.  Yes, I've seen him play; but I must be watching different games, because he is NOT, when I'm watching, hitting mid-range all over.  The author of the article also points out that his mid-range success against SA was an anomaly.  The only change in Rose's game, if you want to call it that, is Boozer's presence.  I don't see that as significant.  What I'm saying is: it is going to take more than half a season to convince me that he has taken the next step.

There is, after all, a reason why they are called "low percentage situations": it's because usually, when someone tries to make that play, it fails.  Even when someone as skilled as Rose tries to make it, he usually fails.  Yes, he might convert a slightly higher percentage than Jamario Moon would--or TJ Ford, or Booby Gibson--but he still won't make it work consistently.  And that's what makes a great point guard: they make good, high-percentage plays; they put their teammates in good positions consistently; they work within the offense to create opportunities.  A great player can get away with trying to create something out of nothing sometimes, but statistically, the odds are against him.

Do I need to make it any simpler?

Since: Apr 10, 2008
Posted on: February 18, 2011 9:12 am

Derrick Rose makes a statement against Spurs

You must have never seen this man play.  He is hitting the mid-range all day.  Please show me guys who have put up the same stats, "only to fade" later.  When has Moon or Randolph, as you say, averaged 24ppg and 8 assists for a 54 game stretch?  Or anywhere close?

Since: Sep 22, 2006
Posted on: February 18, 2011 8:44 am

Derrick Rose makes a statement against Spurs

54 games is not, statistically, a huge sample.  If you don't like the word luck, call it a statistical abberation.  It explains why guys like Anthony Randolph or Jamario Moon can light it up for half a season--even a whole season--only to fade into oblivion.  Derrick Rose has been, statistically, not a great point guard.  Nothing in his game--his skill set, if you will--has essentially changed.  He still can't hit the mid-range jumper consistently, meaning teams will pressure him outside and force him into the lane, where he still tends to leap before he looks.  The article is arguing that he has "taken the next step"; I'm arguing he's on an incredible hot streak--and yes, 54 games would still qualify there.  It's only half a season; if you'd like, I can dig further and name you at least a dozen guys who had one great half and then returned to journeyman status or disappeared entirely, but you can probably name them yourself off the top of your head.

Like I said: I won't be shocked if Rose reverts to "normal"--which is still pretty good, don't get me wrong--in the second "half" of this season, and I'd bet on it happening next season.

Since: Jun 25, 2007
Posted on: February 18, 2011 8:33 am

Derrick Rose makes a statement against Spurs

Im curious if Rose was listed as a SG, would people still question his passing ability? He is a true combo guard, a rare combination of passing and scoring skills that this league is unaccustomed to watching. No other PG possesses his ability to drive the lane and finish like a slashing SG, to go along with his elite passing skills. When people stop putting 'labels' on his position and just see him for the true talent he his, maybe this 'doubt' of whos the best 'G' will no longer be in question. Rose=Stud.

Since: Feb 26, 2007
Posted on: February 18, 2011 8:12 am

Derrick Rose makes a statement against Spurs

It would be luck if it was a handful of games, but over the course of 54 games?  Luck?  That's just silly.....

Since: Sep 22, 2006
Posted on: February 18, 2011 4:41 am

Derrick Rose makes a statement against Spurs

The article highlights what I consider to be Rose's major shortcoming--and the reason why I don't consider him an elite point guard.  This year, as the article suggests, he's making something out of nothing; he's succeeding in LOW PERCENTAGE situations.

In other words, instead of finding the open guy or making the offense work, Rose gets himself into a situation where he has no obvious solution--which most of us would call a trap--and manages to make something out of it.  That cannot and will not last.  Eventually, he will revert to his mean.  When he drives the lane and leaps without an obvious shot or a passing lane, that's going to be a turnover.  Until he consistently hits his mid-range jumper--not just one night, but consistently--he's going to find himself in those situations repeatedly.

This year, it's working for him.  He's having a great year, perhaps even an MVP year, but he's playing with fire.  There appears to be as much luck as skill working for him this year, and I don't expect to see it again next year.  In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if his second half marks the beginning of the reversion. 

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