15 December 2010
The Bulls sit atop the Central division at 15-8, and the main reason is the play of Derrick Rose. With Carlos Boozer missing the first 15 games with a broken hand, Rose stepped up and led the Bulls to a 9-6 record, including a 4-3 record on the circus trip. But should he be considered with the best in the league?
He's averaging 24.7 points per game, 8.3 assists per game, 4.4 rebounds, and 1.0 steals per game. He's improved his three-point shooting to 42%, hitting 15 of his last 25. He's becoming the Bulls best clutch player, getting a bucket whenever the team needs, or sending games to overtime (Phoenix, Houston).
Talent-wise, he's most definitely elite, and one of the bright young stars in the league. He can get to the rim almost whenever he wants, due to his quickness and strength. He has shown a commitment to defense unlike ever before. He's able to elevate and grab rebounds over taller defenders due to his superior leaping ability. He's completely changing the point guard position in the NBA.
But a deeper look into his statistics shows that he's not elite. John Hollinger had an article on ESPN discussing Rose, and his inability to get fouls. Since it was an insider article, I'm not going to post what he said, but the premise was that Rose needed to get to the line more.
Casual basketball fans will disagree with this, and say "now you're just being picky." But when you think about it, Hollinger is right. Derrick is shooting 58% on shots around the rim. If you take the 58% and multiply it by 2 points, you get 1.19 points. If you take Derrick's FT percentage at 77%, and multiply it by 2, you get 1.54 points. It's better for Derrick to get fouled than to not get fouled.
Also, his inability to get to the line affects his TS% or true shooting percentage. True shooting percentage takes into account all shots taken - two-point field goals, three-point field goals, and free throws. The three different shots are weighted based on difficulty to come to a percentage. Based on Hollinger's numbers, Derrick had a lower TS% than all the elite point guards - Chris Paul, Deron Williams, Steve Nash, Russell Westbrook and even Rajon Rondo, who is not regarded as a good shooter. Why is Rondo better? He gets to the line more, and free throws are the easiest of the three components of TS%.
Now, the conversation we've had on this site is that Derrick needs to get more calls. In regards to fouls, his biggest strength is his biggest vice. Because he's so quick and strong, he has the body control to finish even with contact, even though he tries to avoid it. That body control fools refs, and doesn't see the offensive player affected. So what should Derrick do? I'm not saying to purposely barge into a player, but maybe force additional contact to get a call or two.
I'm not trying to diminish what Rose has been able to do this year. He's been incredible. When I made my season prediction, I predicted Rose at 26 points per game, and around 10 FT's attempted per game. He's hovering around 5. If he can get to the line an extra two times per game, he's going to be the MVP. There's no doubt in my mind. The field for MVP is weak this year, as Durant has struggled, Paul has come down a little, and LeBron and Wade are sharing the ball.
|< Prev||Next >|