Derrick Rose will undoubtedly go down as one of the greatest teases in NBA history. Injuries robbed the former league MVP of the awe-inspiring athleticism he relied on, but don’t get things twisted: he’s no bum.
Rose’s greatest fans have become his worst nightmare. One tweet at a time, they’ve hacked him and his reputation down, distorting reality. It’s worked so perfectly that the majority of NBA fans have been brainwashed into believing it is reality. It’s time to stop listening to these D-Rose Bulls “stans”, though. The Derrick Rose of 2017, while no longer a superstar, is not the garbage player you’ve been led to believe he is.
On a dysfunctional New York Knicks team, Rose managed to put up 18.0 points, 4.4 assists and 3.8 rebounds last season. The way that he came about those points was highly impressive, too. Despite his post-injury limitations, Rose has developed an efficient below-the-rim offensive game only a few guards can match.
According to NBA.com, he averaged 8.2 points per game on 10.0 drives to the basket last season — good for fourth overall in the league. Over half (51.2 percent) of Rose’s shot attempts came on drives, as well. Only All-Stars Isaiah Thomas, DeMar DeRozan and Damian Lillard posted similar scoring numbers on their drive attempts and only John Wall, Jimmy Butler and Kyrie Irving put up a similar percentage of shot attempts driving to the hoop.
This is great news for the Cleveland Cavaliers, who signed Rose to a one-year, $2.1 million contract this off-season. With the collection of knockdown three-point shooters on the Cavs’ roster, Rose’s ability to get to the basket will be a very valuable asset. This efficient style of play has also helped Rose boost his shooting percentage (47 percent) to the highest its been since his pre-injury Bulls days. Surrounded by much better players, that number could rise again next season.
As long as he stays healthy, Rose should flourish in a sixth-man role for Cleveland. While a point guard rotation of Irving and Rose would have been ideal, Irving’s recent trade request likely means we won’t get a chance to see it in action. That said, if the Cavs can orchestrate a deal with the Phoenix Suns for Eric Bledsoe, they’ll still be in good shape. It won’t be enough to give Golden State a serious scare, but that duo is still an improvement over the Irving-Deron Williams combo that took on the Warriors in the NBA Finals.
It may feel like he’s been around for a long time, but at 28, Rose still has a lot to give an NBA team. His one-year contract, along with the better work environment, should motivate him to continue his solid play in 2017-18. Injuries will always be a concern given his history, but this rose has not withered yet.