3. Derrick Rose Is Dominant Again

Earlier this season, you may have heard rumors of a sophomore slump from Derrick Rose. Not that he’d suddenly stopped being a very good player, but over the first few months, he seemed human all of the sudden. And… Well, now not so much.

Derrick Rose is a point guard created by aliens.

And he’s starting to really hit his stride. Literally. After being felled by an ankle injury for the first two months of the season, Derrick Rose is a superstar again. ESPN’s John Hollinger weighed today at True Hoop:

It seems that the only thing that was holding him back the first month-and-a-half of the season was the ankle injury he suffered in training camp. Check out his monthly splits:

  • November: 16.2 points, 5. 3 assists, 46.4 percent shooting
  • December: 20.4 points, 6.1 assists, 45.0 percent shooting
  • January: 23.5 points, 6.5 assists, 51.4 percent shooting

SB Nation’s Bulls blog, Blog-a-Bull, has some great stuff as well. Rose is getting better all-around, but more specifically, his midrange jump shooting has been deadly. From Blog-a-Bull:

Derrick Rose has apparently decided to become the greatest mid-range shooter of all time. (or, something close to it)

From Hoopdata‘s charting of shots 16-23ft, Rose hit 6 of 10 tonight.  In this streak he’s been over 55% from that range, which would be nearly the very best in the whole league. It’s an astounding rate of effectiveness, yet it doesn’t seem too crazy when you watch. His incredible speed makes nearly all these shots wide open, as his defender is either off-balance or going under a screen trying to compensate for an impending drive. And Rose’s form and arc on his shot looks better as well.

And it does make sense, when you think about it. Derrick Rose’s combination of strength and speed would theoretically allow him to create space for himself on almost every shot he takes. He’s that gifted, athletically. What happens when a player with those type of gifts develops a consistent jumpshot? Well, Derrick Rose’s latest hot streak happens. Or Brandon Jennings’ first month of the NBA.

When players like Derrick Rose or Jennings or Chris Paul are hitting jump shots, it’s pretty much impossible to defend them with any consistency. It’s the type of thing that can take average teams like Rose’s Bulls (or Jennings’ Bucks, back in November) and have them competing with some of the NBA’s more competitive teams. For Chicago, though, it’s a gift and a curse.

Now that Rose is rounding into the superstar we’d always expected, the Bulls are back at square one. Relying heavily on Derrick Rose to single-handedly make them competitive. He’s one of the best players in the league, so he can do it. But in so doing, it overshadows very real deficiencies in Chicago, and allows their horrific management to get away with penny pinching habits, foolish loyalty to Vinny Del Negro, and all sorts of other tactics that real, respectable franchises don’t utilize. This was Chicago’s plan all along, I think.

It’s working, and Derrick Rose has been a revelation the past few weeks. Is that a good thing?


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