As the FIBA tournament approaches its start, the question in relation to Derrick Rose is still on everybody’s mind: is Derrick Rose still the Derrick Rose.
There is a realist’s outlook and there is the hopeful’s outlook.
The realist’s will say this:
Derrick Rose is coming off two injuries, and has effectively wasted the Chicago Bulls time and effort. To think that he will be the player that he was when he won the MVP is foolish, and to bank on that future is sealing your own fate as an organization. The Bulls need to get rid of him quickly while he still holds value, because if he is a bust nobody will want him.
For the most part, this is true. Derrick Rose has only played 10 games in around 2 years. If you are doing the math, that’s 6% of games in two years. That puts in him the same pool as Greg Oden. Needless to say we know how that story has ended.
Then there is the other side who say this:
Derrick Rose is only 25, and is fully capable of making a come back. He is a young point guard, and can learn to play a more traditional point guard position. Derrick Rose is still a player you want to build a team around because of his ability to create offense. If he changes his game, he will find more success.
And this is also true. The Bulls have now built a giant puzzle, and Derrick Rose is the missing piece. He is young, and he can learn how to play a traditional PG role because he now has the team to do that with.
So then who is right?
Well they are both and both wrong at the same time. The answer is no longer what we speculate Derrick Rose can do but rather what he has to do.
Derrick rose can no longer be the guy that shoots the ball 20 shots a game. He can no longer be the guy that the offense leans on for offense. what Derrick rose has to do is what every point guard is expected to do – create offense. Am I saying Derrick Rose needs to be a more traditional point guard? Not Exactly. Once the kid gets going, he is a like the Tasmanian Devil in that sense that he is fast and hard to stop. To ask him to change that aspect of his game does not make sense. What I am saying is that he needs to learn how to turn it on and when to turn it off.
Take Tony Parker for example. In my personal opinion, I rank Tony Parker as a better point guard than Chris Paul. For some of the uneducated basketball fans, you probably had a fit. Yes Chris Paul is nice. He is an excellent point guard. At the same time, he has nothing to show for his greatness. Yes I understand the numbers are in favor of Chris Paul. But here is a number CP3 may never reach : four championship rings. that is how many rings Tony Parker has. When you look at the scope of how they play, it is understandable. Tony Parker is a basketball anomaly – he may not be the most explosive player, but he is definitely one of the most effective and only seems to get better with age, like some kind of french wine. He knows the tempo of a game and is very good a dictating it; whether they have the lead or not Parker is able to will the team in crunch time situations. This is what leads to the Spurs success and why no matter how old that core gets, they are always a threat- they understand when to press the gas as well as when to hit the brake.
Rose’s goal should not be proving the world wrong, but rather just growing as a NBA point guard. Rose’s speed and jumping ability should not be of question seeing as he still has the explosive play we have come to expect. What should be developed are the smaller things. Things like ball control. Rose has a propensity to lose the ball on the dribble. Yes he has ridiculous handles, but it is still an issue with him and the result is unneeded turnovers. Rose also has an issue with shot selection. at times he forces shots up when it isn’t needed, and has a low shooting percentage because of it. Finally the biggest area of improvident for Rose is his defense. While he isn’t an incredible defender, he isn’t impressive either. With somebody of Rose’s speed he should be able to chase down balls, and get more steals than he normally does.
Derrick is now on team where players like Pau Gasol, Nikola Mirotic, and Doug McDermott can be set up to score. The days of Derrick putting the team on his shoulder is long gone. He now has to do things his has not done since entering the NBA like
- Learning how to pick and roll effectively. Boozer what brought into the Bulls organization in order for Derrick to have a pick and roll forward. That never happened. Now Rose will have not one, but two players who thrive off the pick and roll.
- Trust team mates with critical shots. This is something we may not see for two seasons. When you are the leader of any sport team sometimes you have to weight your situation to say is this a move I need to make or can somebody else make this play . Rose is going to have to do that continuously, for the good of his own health. He is going to also have to trust player like McDermott, Snell and Dunleavy to make the outside shots.
- Play Defense. Derrick rose has been an average defender, but more is going to be expected from him on the defensive end. No longer is Thibs going to allow Derrick to slide by on the strong play of Noah and Butler- Rose is going to have the be the 3rd head of a defensive powerhouse. Which is capable of. This will also assist in the slowing down of the tempo
Doing these things will ensure the Bulls the most success. If Rose is going to succeed he needs to look at his situation like somebody who is looking to change-up his game a bit because he is growing, not looking to prove he is still the player he was. Remember, Rose was a raw talent even when he won the MVP award. The issues he had then have not changed, there for he should still look to improve those things.
When the Bulls play the Cavs at the first game of the season, do not take the way Rose plays to heart. Every player is going to have bad games, and every player is going to have great games. The way he plays in the beginning of the season will not dictate the way he will play for the rest of the season. The key for Rose is simple; look for your groove in the team’s scheme and use that to your success.