There are a few things to note about Derrick Rose's role in the Chicago Bulls' offense. First of all, Derrick Rose is the Chicago Bulls offense. Luol Deng is an underrated shotmaker, and Carlos Boozer can score in the pivot, and Joakim Noah is a deft passer. But every other team alive in the NBA Playoffs has better options than the Bulls do after Option No. 1. Even Zach Randolph has Mike Conley!, and no, I can't believe I just wrote that either.
But that said, Rose's incredibly high rate of usage is something to behold.
Per Basketball Reference, Rose is using 36.6 percent of the Bulls' possessions while on the court in the playoffs, up from 32.2 percent in the regular season. For comparison's sake, if all five players on the court for a team used an equal share of possessions, everyone's usage would be 20 percent. Rose is using nearly two players' share of possessions. Given that one of his most frequent running mates is Keith Bogans, this is a good thing.
But 36.6 percent is just incredibly, incredibly high. Since 1986, among players with 100 minutes in a single postseason, Michael Jordan has the highest ever usage rate -- 39.9 percent in 1986. How high does Rose rate? His current postseason is No. 13 since '86, and his usage rate is higher than any ever registered by Kobe Bryant or LeBron James. LeBron put up a 36.4 percent in 2009, and Kobe's highest is a 34 percent in 2003.
This is both good and bad. It helps explains Rose's almost consistent inefficiency -- 34 points on 32 field goal attempts and 11 free throws in Chicago's Game 4 loss on Sunday -- but it also makes the Bulls incredibly vulnerable if a team can figure out how to contain the MVP. The Hawks have put a spook into Chicago, and should the Bulls advance an excellent defense in Boston or Miami await.