Derrick Rose: In Two Years, the NBA's Best PG
I would like to preface this article by stating that I am a HUGE, HUGE Chicago Bulls fan. I am also a huge fan of the NBA, and the point guard position is my favorite.
First off, I would like to rate the top three point guards in the league.
1. Chris Paul
Anyone who watches the NBA should know this man is truly a magician with the ball; he plays both sides of the ball better than any other point guard. He makes everyone on his team better, and I, along with the rest of New Orleans, believe he should have won MVP last season. Give it back, Kobe!
The only—and I mean only—knock against Paul is his size. He's listed at 6'0", 183 pounds. While I watched the NBA last year and this year, I've noticed that the Hornets are absolutely awful without this man. He creates open shots, throws perfect passes, and can make his way into the lane and score whenever he desires.
I could talk about him for ages, but anyways, these are his rookie stats after two years at Wake Forest.
In 2005-06, Paul started 78 games, played 36 minutes per game, and shot 43 percent from the field. He averaged 16.1 points per game, 7.8 assists, 5.1 rebounds, 2.2 steals and 2.35 turnovers. He was the 2005-06 Rookie of the Year.
His first playoff game was in 07-08, and he dropped 35 points and 10 assists on the Mavericks.
2. Deron Williams
Fans should note D-Will and CP3 have a great rivalry, seeing as how they were picked one after the other in the '05 draft. Deron Williams is the only reason the Jazz haven't packed up and left Utah. He runs the pick and roll nearly as well as Stockton did.
Jazz fans are so lucky because Deron can shoot as well as he can create. I remember him being the key for Illinois' '05 title run. He finishes at the rim and was magnificent against Baron Davis and the Warriors two years ago in the playoffs.
In 05-06, Williams played a little more than half the game, as Jerry Sloan was trying to bring him along slowly and teach him the offense. Sloan loves him because he is tough and has size to bang in the post against larger point guards. He is listed at 6'3", 191 pounds.
His rookie season, he started 47 games, played about 29 minutes per game, shot 42 percent from the field (including three's). He averaged 10.8 points per game, 4.5 assists, 2.4 rebounds, .8 steals, and 1.8 turnovers.
While his rookie stats aren't as impressive, remember, he has averaged a double-double in points and assists the past two seasons.
3. Chauncey Billups
I might get some heat for ranking him this high, but clearly, watching him in the playoffs is rubbing off on me. He has been in the league for over a decade and is just flat out the best leader in the NBA.
His teams have gone to seven straight conference finals; he is the primary reason. He is a coach on the court. He rarely makes mistakes, controls the tempo of a game, has the deadliest pull-up jumper on the break, shoots over 90 percent at the charity stripe and is the BEST clutch-shooting point guard in the league.
His rookie stats aren't impressive because, as loyal NBA fans know, he bounced around the league until he found a home in Detroit. Larry Brown broke him down and built him up to the point where he was hitting game winners in the finals against the so-called genius Phil Jackson and the Lakers in '04. (Yeah, if I had MJ, Pippen, Shaq and Kobe, I could have won a couple of rings, too.)
Taking Denver to the Western Conference Finals this year and watching Detroit wither away like an over-35 YMCA team, cemented his spot in the top three for me.
All of this fancy rhetoric leads to the subject of the article, the point guard prodigy Derrick Rose. I first read about Derrick Rose in Sports Illustrated while he was in high school at Simeon in Chicago. Check it out here (http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2006/highschool/11/20/hs.rose1127/index.html).
After reading that article, I spoke to a relative that lived in Chicago. He told me that Derrick Rose led Simeon to the state championship that season and in the final game, had a whopping two points, but was far and away the best player on the court.
Just a question for doubters: How many players do you know of that can control a game without scoring? Even so, how many can control their state title games without scoring?
This season, Derrick Rose led the Bulls back to the playoffs after Kobe trade rumors made Luol Deng and the team forget how to play last year. Rose won Rookie of the Year honors in a landslide. He is listed at 6'3", 190 pounds, and below are his stats.
This season he started 80 games, played 37 minutes per game, and shot 47 oercent from the field. He averaged 16.8 points per game, 6.3 assists, 3.9 rebounds, .8 steals, and 2.49 turnovers.
For those who were in a coma, or were just too cool to watch the classic Bulls-Celtics series this year, let me remind you how it began. Derrick Rose destroyed the vaunted Celtics in Game One...IN BOSTON!!!
He dropped 36 points, 11 assists and a perfect 12-12 from the free throw line in a victory. It was the second best playoff debut; the best debut was Kareem Abdul Jabar, a freaking center. He has already had a better playoff debut than CP3, and CP3 didn't make the playoffs until LAST season.
Rose already has the ability to penetrate into the lane at will, can create for others as well as himself. If he develops a mid-range game, he will be unstoppable. He makes plays on both sides of the ball that make me break my remote because I have to rewind my DVR so much.
The only other point guard that should be in this discussion is Devin Harris. (Yes, Mark Cuban, you made a terrible trade in a panic, he has years left at his prime while J-Kidd is aging faster than Robin Williams in Jack.)
The other two point guards I had to consider were Rondo, whom I consider as the dirtiest young player in the league, and Tony Parker.
For those who don't believe me, I pose this question: When Rondo whacks Brad Miller in the head and doesn't get a flagrant, would it have been a flagrant if the roles were reversed? (Yeah, I thought so)
I had to rank Rondo and Parker below Harris because both Rondo and Parker play with the two best power forwards of the decade (Duncan, Garnett) and each team has multiple Hall of Fame players and coaches.
As much as I love watching the old slam dunk contests, I cannot kid myself because the Nets are terrible and Vinsanity will never make the Hall of Fame.
Let the arguments begin.
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