Chicago Bulls

Should Derrick Rose Be MVP?

Derrick Rose MVPI still remember the day when I was voted Social Chair of my fraternity. I won by inspiring 75 other degenerates around the possibilities of more girls, booze, and parties and when it was all over, I was thrilled…… except for the fact that I ran against nobody. Yep, I won by default. So should I have really felt good about that one?

I’m confused. Despite being a life-long Chicago Bulls fans, the thought of Derrick Rose for MVP is still somewhat unsettling. Is anyone else running? Does anyone else really care? While Rose has had a fantastic season, he has yet to convince the masses that he is worthy of the recognition. Since coming into the league, Rose has become the NBA’s equivalent of America’s Sweetheart (who evidentially is now either Snookie or Natalie Portman), while being beloved by fans and fellow players alike, and always saying and doing the right thing. He has led the Bulls to 34-13, third best in the Eastern Conference, and done so with both Boozer and Noah out for at least a month. Moreover, after spending the entire summer working on his game, Rose has developed an efficient 3-point shot while reaching new statistical heights as a point guard by averaging 25 points, 8 assists, and 5 rebounds. He is now arguably the best point guard in the NBA, and possesses a unique combination of speed and strength that the league has never seen.

So why the confusion? I don’t know – Is Derrick Rose really a Top 5 Player? Is he in the league of a Kobe, Lebron, or Wade? Part of me can’t help but think that with Wade and Lebron splitting possessions in Miami, and Kobe on cruise control until the playoffs, Rose is the default selection. Don’t get me wrong, as a Bulls fan, I am pulling for him, but I can’t help but question his candidacy? Aside from the aforementioned “Big 3”, Dwight Howard is struggling with a mediocre supporting cast, Nowitzki has been injured for a large part of the season, and Durant has actually been overshadowed by Russell Westbrook for most of the first half. The only other candidate is Chris Paul, but even the Hornets have had their ups and downs.

Additionally, there are still some glaring weaknesses in Rose’s overall game. For one, he averages few FT attempts for a guy who attacks the basket as often as he does, partly attributed to his lack of respect by the officials, but also because of his propensity to contort his body and avoid contact at all costs. Second, despite significant improvement, Rose still remains somewhat of a mediocre defender. He often gets burned by quicker point guards and is nowhere close to being named 1st or 2nd team defense anytime soon. So is he really convincing as MVP?

The flip side is that should the Bulls win 55 games, capture at least the #2 seed, and Rose maintains his statistical pace, he will make a very strong case. The Bulls do not have a true #2 player – a guy who can alleviate offensive pressure during key moments throughout the game. While Boozer has shown scoring proficiency, he has the inability to create his own shot, and has historically struggled against big forwards, something that he is bound to face should the Bulls meet with the Celtics, Hawks, or Magic in the playoffs. All of the other role players on the Bulls rely heavily upon Rose’s penetration to create shots for them. So consider the fact that Rose is competing with a lack of a true #2 sidekick, injuries to the Bulls 2nd and 3rd best players, and a potential two or three seed? The argument becomes much more compelling.

Should Rose win the MVP, he will become only the 3rd player under 6’3 to do so (Steve Nash and Allen Iverson being the others). He still has an opportunity to put his stamp on the award. Stay tuned.


15 Responses to “Should Derrick Rose Be MVP?”

  1. I appreciate the work you put into this article, but how can anyone take your opinions on Derrick* Rose seriously, when you can’t spell his name properly?

    This is just bush league work.

    Posted by The Real 23 | January 28, 2011, 1:51 pm
    • Thanks for reading and my apologies for the oversight. The corrections have been made so hang in there with us.

      Don’t worry, we just fired our Editor in Chief.

      Posted by ssbhatta | January 28, 2011, 4:27 pm
  2. great call out. thanks for keeping it real, Real. Now time to get back to writing my article about Dewayne Wade.

    Posted by sumant | January 28, 2011, 5:47 pm
  3. If you actually fired your editor in chief that’s an asshole move.

    Posted by boosh | February 13, 2011, 6:41 pm
  4. Jesus, u hinkies are too serious

    Posted by JBillz | February 17, 2011, 8:51 pm
  5. I have to say I disagree with your assessment of his defense. He has the lowest points per play against of any starting point guard in the NBA. He’s also shut down some pretty good point guards. How about Deron Williams and Chris Paul?

    Posted by Kelly | February 17, 2011, 9:44 pm
    • Thanks for the read Kelly and appreciate your comments. I always love when people can point to meaningful stats to help support their arguements. However, I still happen to disagree with you.

      The Point per play stat attempts to measure a player’s performance through situational metrics, but does not do a good job in my opnion of taking into account the strong help defenses. In today’s NBA, no player relies exclusively 1 on 1 defense throughout the entire game. In fact, the majority of defensive possessions are spent relying on a team’s help-defense schemes and strong/weak side rotations. Therefore, I think that Rose’s PPP stat is a bit misleading, since he benefits from what is arguably one of the best help defensive schemes in the NBA thanks to Tom Thibs. In sum, Paul and Williams played poorly against Rose this season, and while part of should be attributed to an improving Derrick Rose defense, the bulk is the result of the help that Rose gets. No one, with perhaps the exception of the Celtics, rotates better defensively than the Bulls.

      I believe that Rose has improved substantially and is getting better. In my opinion, he still struggles against the quick scoring point guards and is nowhere near the caliber defensively of Kobe, Wade, and Lebron.

      Posted by The NBA Realist | February 18, 2011, 10:22 am
  6. Initially when you point to the fact that Rose avoids contact, I tend to agree. But then I think longer term, and look at D Wade. Throughout Wade’s career, he would recklessly drive to the hoop and throw his body into defenders. Should you be a fan of the other team (I’m a bulls and pistons fan), it’s infuriating.

    That being said, I cannot help but wonder if Wade’s proneness to injury has something to do with that reckless habit.

    It’s different for big guards like lebron who will take less “damage” during contact.

    I cannot help but think that avoiding contact isn’t a better idea in the long run. After all, fewer trips to the free throw line is a lot better than few games on the court. And let’s not pretend that Lebron can play defense. Playing good defense happens all the time, and Lebron only plays it when he feels like it.

    Posted by Nick | February 20, 2011, 12:47 am
    • Thanks for the read Nick. I think that you are absolutely right that Wade’s injuries have been attributed to the “wreckless” way in which attacks the basket and Rose needs to be careful that he protects his body in the long run. However, he is currently shoot far too few free throws and there needs to be a medium Its both an art and a science when it comes to figuring out how to draw fouls while take as little contact as possible. To me, Kobe Bryant is a master of this. Lets hope that Rose can get there soon.

      Posted by The NBA Realist | February 20, 2011, 12:43 pm
  7. You kiddin me?

    Lebron took THE WORST TEAM IN NBA HISTORY to a 2 straight years of 60+ win seasons.

    What now. B1tches.

    Posted by kobe is a | February 21, 2011, 1:15 pm
  8. Stats don’t lie:

    MPG 38.0
    FG% 0.450
    3p% 0.355
    FT% 0.838
    OFF 1.0
    DEF 3.4
    RPG 4.4
    APG 8.2
    SPG 1.0
    BPG 0.7
    TO 3.5
    PF 1.8
    PPG 24.9

    MPG 38.3
    FG% 0.485
    3p% 0.345
    FT% 0.761
    OFF 1.0
    DEF 6.5
    RPG 7.4
    APG 7.3
    SPG 1.6
    BPG 0.6
    TO 3.7
    PF 2.1
    PPG 26.1

    Where is Rose better? And as for defense we all know Lebron is a much better defender.

    Posted by Stormon | February 21, 2011, 1:28 pm
    • Thanks for the read Stormon. Rose is not better than Lebron. You will get no arguement from me on that front.

      However, if you look historically at the evaluation criteria for MVP, Best does not necessarily = MVP. MVP means most valuable and in a team with both Wade and Bosh, it is hard to say that Lebron’s value has been more than Rose at this point, particularly given the injuries to both Boozer and Noah. That being said, if Lebron wins the MVP at the end of the season, I wouldn’t raise that much of stink. I believe that he is the best player in the game.

      Posted by The NBA Realist | February 21, 2011, 2:56 pm
  9. Why has everyone in the media jumped on the Rose bandwagon? Take a look at Westbrook’s numbers and tell me why he hasn’t been mentioned at all… Their numbers are virtually the same.

    Posted by ambiguous | April 7, 2011, 5:21 pm


  1. […] we make Derrick Rose the default MVP, we need to look over at Oklahoma City. This choice is as much a prediction as it is an assessment […]

  2. […] Derrick Rose’s MVP candidacy has not only incited a national debate as to whether he is truly worthy of the award, but if he wins, will also ignite a second, and potentially more explosive debate as to who actually merits 1st Team All-NBA consideration. […]

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