Writing His Own Legend: Derrick Rose Flourishes In The NBA
Derrick Rose is my MVP.
And it's not only because I'm a Bulls fan, it's because he proves it every time he plays. Three years ago with the draft at hand I wasn't especially keen on Rose for Chicago. At that time, Kirk was still the prime point guard for me because he not only handles the ball well, he defends well.
In my mind Chicago needs a good post threat to become an elite team. With the choice zeroing on two players I believed the hype that surrounded Michael Beasley (OK, so I'm not an expert after all), a post scorer and a good mid-range shooter. For me he was Chicago's salvation. The scorer that Chicago coveted since Elton Brand was (stupidly) traded for Tyson Chandler.
So, to my utter disappointment (at the time), David Stern announced Rose as the number one pick of the 2008 Draft. I thought the team wasted their chance on having a solid player, and to support me Rose wasn't the most solid PG on his rookie year. He was explosive yet his shooting wasn't there—heck it's almost like Rondo's. He wasn't the Deron Williams or Chris Paul type of PG I imagined for my favorite team to have. One thing I admired though is how he persevered and relentlessly attacked the basket, opening doors for the other Bull's to score. A will power comparable to Michael Jordan.
Rose made a believer out of me in their play-off series against Boston. Rose debuted in the play-offs with 36 points (tying Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's NBA record for points scored by a rookie in his playoff debut set 1970), 11 assists, and four rebounds as the Bulls prevailed in a 105–103 overtime win on the road. It was noticeable during that series how limited the Bulls were against the big names of the Celtics like the Allens and the Pierces, even through that Chicago stayed in their series and had the Celtics gasping in 7 games (Don't give the Garnett was injured BS because Deng was also injured and was higher value for the Bulls than the Celtics who would give the Magic a run for their money in the next series even without Garnett). Rose averaged 19.7 points on 47.5% shooting, 6.3 assists and 4.9 rebounds per game, although the Bulls were defeated by the Celtics in 7 games. Amazing in the sense that a rookie was able to carry that much burden especially at age 20. Wow!
After his Rookie of the Year season, Rose would improve in his stats in his 2nd year. He'd get 20.8 PPG on 48.9% shooting, 3.8 RPG, and 6.0 APG; although the clamor for improvement in defense and shooting was still there, it was clearer now that Rose was the team's best player—he would also be the first Chicago all-star since Michael Jordan in 1998. In the playoffs Rose averaged 26.8 points and 7.2 assists, but the Bulls still lost in five games to the Cleveland Cavaliers.
This year he even took his game to new heights improving his defense and mid and long range shooting. To note Chicago only played full strength for only nine games, and by that I meant the whole team playing because obviously Boozer was still recovering after missing the first 15 games and by that time Noah has already sustained his own injury that have sidelined him for 28 games now (and counting). Rose rises to the occasion by bringing a different approach to his game; he is the main threat and still distributes. It is amazing to note that despite getting 24.7 points, Derrick dishes out 8.1 dimes a night. It takes a great amount of energy just to get those numbers to limited outlets (since either Boozer or Noah is out).
The candidates for MVP can be narrowed down to Rose and James. Kobe's Lakers are packed yet they're underachieving. Stoudamire has slowed on his candidacy due to the Knicks on and off record. Wade is playing second fiddle to James. Durant gets plenty of help from fellow all-star Russell Westbrook.
Rose may not get the same numbers as LeBron but he is MVP because he carries more baggage. And to note for comparison, Miami has yet to defeat the Celtics and the Mavs, 2 teams Chicago have dispelled to many's disbelief—in in no small part thanks to Rose's play.
These past two games against the best point guards the league can offer, Rose's critics were high in praise for Rose for shutting both Chris Paul and Deron Williams to a minimum. Combined, the two premiere PGs averaged 13 points, 9 assists, 3 rebs, and 0.5 stl to Rose's 26 points, 6.5 assists, 3.5 rebs, and 1 stl. Staggering numbers to say the least against the best. At 22, he can only get better.
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