Derrick Rose racked up six turnovers in the Chicago Bulls' tight Game 2 win over the Indiana Pacers, the only real concern from an otherwise outstanding performance for the presumptive MVP. Rose now has nine turnovers in the series against a team that ranked just No. 22 in turnover creation this season. Further, Rose had serious turnover problems in last (and first) serious playoff battle, in 2009 against the Boston Celtics. In that series, Rose racked up 35 turnovers in seven game, a bad five TOV/game average.
The Bulls don't have a great offense; only a late-season push even got Chicago over league average on that end. This team wins because of defense, plain and simple. But because of Rose, the team's offense isn't awful -- it's certainly as good, if not as deep, balanced or talented, as recent Celtics' Finals teams. Boston has had an electric distributor in Rajon Rondo and killer scorers in Ray Allen, Paul Pierce and, at times, Kevin Garnett. Chicago's talent base is smaller, but Rose's star is greater than any of the C's.
That means that while Boston's middling offense can receive a boost from any one of its stars, Chicago essentially relies on Rose. That means Rose needs the ball ... a lot. And that means Rose has many, many opportunities for mistakes. But in that context, Rose hasn't actually turned the ball over much commensurate to his responsibilities; Rose's usage rate is a magnificently Kobian 38 percent, and his turnover rate is just 12 percent, a manageable figure for a point guard.
In 2009, when Rose averaged five per game, his usage rate was much lower, thanks in part to the presence of John Salmons, who soaked up quite a few possessions. That caused those five turnovers per game on fewer individual possessions to be a bigger issue; Rose had a dreadful 21 percent turnover rate in those playoffs. So even though Rose is averaging more than four turnovers per game in this series, the impact on the Bulls has been about as half as great as the five per game in 2009 were.
The Bulls did keep the Pacers in Game 2 by turning the ball over too much, but given production by the shot and assist, a combined 10 turnovers for Carlos Boozer, Joakim Noah and Luol Deng were a bigger problem. Two of those players -- Noah and Deng -- didn't produce much on offense, making the turnovers harder to swallow.