According to Stan Van Gundy, the race for the NBA MVP award is already in the books.
The Orlando Magic head coach said Wednesday night before their game against the Knicks that Derrick Rose already "has it."
It would not surprise me if Derrick Rose won the MVP award in his third NBA season. In fact, I would be surprised if he did not win.
Rose has turned into one of the premier players in the league. He is showing it through his stats and through his team's current first-place standing.
Sure, there are other guys like LeBron James, Amar'e Stoudemire and Kevin Durant that should be in the hunt.
However, here are five reasons why Derrick Rose should win the NBA MVP award.
While the MVP award is an individual honor, nine times out of 10, it won't be given to a great player on a terrible team.
The Chicago Bulls have now overtaken the Celtics for the top spot in the East at 51-19.
Just two seasons ago, the Bulls only won 33 games.
One key to them improving has been the play of Derrick Rose.
Luol Deng has also shown a leap of improvement over the past two years and Chicago has a number of key role players that include Carlos Boozer, Joakim Noah and Keith Bogans.
The MVP award is about the complete package.
Rose is turning into that complete package.
He has improved on his defensive skills each of his first three seasons.
He stats prove it.
He has improved in both steals and blocks per game each season from his rookie year.
He is the leader on the defensive side of the ball and creates the turnovers that lead to a good chunk of Chicago's points each night.
Derrick Rose is not only a leader on the defensive end, but he is also a team leader and the team captain.
Ever since Rose was selected No. 1 overall, he was expected to turn the Bulls franchise around...and he has done so.
He has done so through his play and his leadership.
As the point guard, Rose controls the game. He controls the pace. He controls the offense and the defense.
Rose may not be the vocal leader that some like, but his play on the court is all you need to look at to see what type of leader he is.
Being on a team with Derrick Rose will only make you a better player.
Just ask any of the current Bulls players.
Rose has the ability to distribute like none other.
Rose is quick to drive down the lane and get a big man a dunk or a wing man a three-point attempt.
With almost eight assists per game, you cannot say that Rose does not try to distribute the ball and get all of his teammates involved.
While Derrick Rose likes to distribute the basketball, he also knows when he needs to take over.
Rose has the ability to simply shut down opposing defenders and put up big numbers.
He averages 24.9 points per game, which is currently sixth in the league.
With his combination of scoring and passing, Rose is a dual threat on offense that is almost impossible to stop.
Rose has been held under 15 points in just seven games this season. When asked to, Rose is capable of producing for his own benefit and for the team's.
The MVP award should be looked at as this...If I take this guy off my team, how will my team end up? Without Derrick Rose, the Bulls maybe have 35 wins at this point.