It is becoming apparent that Rose is going to be an MVP-caliber player again this season, and there are several things that are starting to suggest he’ll be even better than he was before. Yes, it’s just preseason, but preseason doesn’t impact these things.
First, Rose’s jump shot is indeed better than it was before, as you can see from the highlight above. He has a more fluid shot, and the power of it is generated from the jump. He had a habit of pushing it with his arms, which is why it would go flat. Now it’s coming from his core, which is why it has a better arc to it.
Second, he has improved his decision-making. On one play, Rose was driving in and Pacers center Roy Hibbert, one of the best rim protectors in the business, was ready to swat the ball away. Rose dropped the ball behind Hibbert to the charging Taj Gibson, who had the easy two. That’s the kind of shot Rose would have forced in the past.
Third, he is stronger. On another play, he was charging to the rim and collided with Hibbert, but the shot went in easily. In fact, the ability to finish through contact may be the biggest improvement in Rose’s game.
All that combined is making for a much more efficient Rose than in past years. Friday night, he scored 32 points, going 9-of-15 from the field and 4-of-7 from deep, raising his effective field-goal percentage on the preseason to .591 and his true shooting percentage to .668.
He added nine assists and four rebounds for good measure.
If Rose is producing like that this season, he will very much be in the consideration for MVP. And this isn’t “just preseason.” The rust Rose has shaken off isn’t going to jump back on him once the regular season starts.