MVP for Thought Part 2: Why Derrick Rose Is Still Not Deserving of NBA MVP

JC 'Truth Serum' @@HeartBreaKersJCCorrespondent IApril 8, 2011

CHICAGO, IL - MARCH 28: Derrick Rose #1 of the Chicago Bulls reacts to a loss against the Philadelphia 76ers at the United Center on March 28, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. The 76ers defeated the Bulls 97-85. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Yes, sequels don’t usually live up to the original, but I promise a different vibe here.

Going against general public opinion can draw attention. It’s even worse when you’re right. I was benched a little while after I wrote my first article, so someone obviously went on and told.

That’s fine, I’m good to go now and I want to clarify myself on what I really meant to say originally.

I want to start off by apologizing to those who I offended last time in the comments section and I hope we can discuss things in a civilized manner this time around.

First off, I want to make it very clear I think Derrick Rose is a stud. Rose is a great player, one of the best players in the NBA today. Any team would love to have his services including myself if I were a GM.

Here is the thing about the MVP:

I really don’t like that because everyone has a different interpretation of what the MVP is, people have to argue endlessly on why their favorite player is MVP or why the player they hate is not.

But for arguments sake, let’s take the different interpretations of MVP and see where they reasonably stand. Now this is crucial, so if you are just stubborn and ignorant about the game, please don’t comment, because I’m going with reality here.

One of the biggest arguments I hear for MVP is “The player’s team would be horrible without him.” That argument can apply to many players, and the MVP could not possibly be that simple. Let’s say it is though. What would the Chicago Bulls be without Rose? They certainly would have no shot at a title so being a contender is out of the question. But could they still be a decent team? Statistically, Chicago’s +/- with Rose off the court is positive and close to their +/- with Rose on the court. That means they fare well without him throughout the game (Depth). The Bulls can realistically be a playoff team without Rose, especially in the east. Carlos Boozer is an all star, Loul Deng was a good scorer before Rose, Joakim Noah is a double-double machine, and Tom Thibodeua is a great coach. They have a few other guys who contribute as well and they all buy into the coach’s great defensive system.

Let’s be serious here, the Magic minus Dwight Howard would be pitiful. The Bulls have 4 players on their team (Rose, Boozer, Deng, and Noah) that would easily be the second best player on the Magic. Don’t come here and try to overstate Jason Richardson, Gilbert Arenas, Hedo Turkoglu, or Jameer Nelson. They all can have nice games, but come on; they are often liabilities on the court for one reason or another. While the circumstances are different, LeBron James is more valuable to the Heat (Statistically) than Rose is to the Bulls. The Heat are -1.7 without LeBron and +9.7 with him on the court. Of course, it’s hardly that simple, but these numbers are facts. People say the Heat are still a good team without LeBron, that may be so, but that does not make LeBron any less valuable as an individual. His production and impact have not changed, only the uniform he wears has changed.

I suggest you all read John Hollinger’s article on Rose and the MVP. He shows everyone that there is not a single valuable statistic that shows Rose is a more valuable player than LeBron or Dwight Howard.

Anyway, another argument I hear is “The best player on the best team” argument. Well I’m not sure how that could really be determined. One can throw all the team stats they want, but at the end of the day, only wins and losses matter correct? Well the San Antonio Spurs have the best record in the NBA; therefore they must be the best team. No good? See people will argue endlessly about who the best team in the NBA is too. This is opinion based and this can’t truly be proven until the season is over, when we have a champion. And even if we rounded up the 6 or 7 best teams and tried to pick out the best player out of all those teams, Rose does not make the cut. Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Dwight Howard, and possibly Kevin Durant are all better overall players than Derrick Rose right now. But of course, there are people who (LOL) argue Rose is better than those players, and that will cause a huge mess. So out with that.

Finally, there is the “He carries the biggest load for his team” argument. This argument implies carrying a really bad team and making them at least a playoff team. This does not work out for Rose either, and plenty of players have carried bad teams to the playoffs, it’s happening right now. Rose does not shoulder as big a burden as some other players, and usage rate is not a good argument.

The MVP should mean the most valuable player in the NBA. The NBA values LeBron more than any other player in the league. LeBron can do it all, and he makes the value of a franchise skyrocket upon arrival (Tidbit there).

All in all, Rose has absolutely nothing on LeBron as a player:

Rose: (6’3 – 190 lbs – Can play Two positions)

25.1 PPG - 7.9 APG – 4.2 RPG – 1.1 SPG – 0.6 BPG – 44 percent FG – 3.5 TO – 33.2 percent 3FG

LeBron: (6’8 – 250 lbs – Can play four or five positions) (Word is 6’9 – 265 lbs)

26.7 PPG – 7.0 APG – 7.5 RPG – 1.5 SPG – 0.6 BPG – 51 percent FG – 3.5 TO – 33.1 percent 3FG

Advantage LeBron… Easily…

How about Howard:

23.1 PPG – 14.1 RPG – 1.3 APG – 2.4 BPG – 1.3 SPG – 59.6 percent FG – 11.8 FTA

I would take that over Rose’s production in a heartbeat.

Here is something else to think about. It is very reasonable to argue Rose is not even the best player at his position. Deron Williams and Chris Paul both have supporters for best at their position, so not even Rose’s place at his own position is concrete. For LeBron and Howard, there is no debate. LeBron is arguably the best player in the game, and there is no one who comes close at SF. Dwight Howard is easily the best at his position and is really the most irreplaceable player in the entire league. There is no other center that comes even close to what Howard does at the position. Even Russell Westbrook can replace Rose and there is no real convincing evidence that would suggest the Bulls would fall that much.

People act like Derrick Rose is some wonder boy, the first of his kind. He simply is not. Do we so easily forget the other great PG’s of the past? Is Rose already better than John Stockton, Gary Payton, Oscar Robertson, etc? NO! I think Tim Legler said Rose is as dominant as Magic Johnson was… Take that in for a second. It's not even worth talking about these “experts.” Did we already forget the kind of production Nash, Paul, and Williams have had? Not to mention they are all much better passers than Rose which is just as important as scoring. The media and average fans are just obsessed with scoring and scoring fancy. As if Rose is the first to do that. Anyone remember Vince Carter? Pretty good player and fun to watch, but he was not so good at other things. And that’s another problem, some people act as if Rose is flawless. Rose is a score first point guard, good for him, welcome Monte Ellis 2.0 to the NBA. I honestly see Rose as really more like a slightly better version of Steve Francis. See people forget all of that for their benefit and because they think what they are seeing has never been done before.

People like to even throw in the clutch stuff for Rose… Uh, there are three and half more quarters of basketball people. Looking at the big picture will easily suggest Rose is not in the class of LeBron James and a few others. It’s insulting to a knowledgeable basketball fan’s intelligence. Who are you trying to kid here? Rose has nothing on LeBron James, not a single thing. Clutch gene considered, LeBron has plenty of game winners in his career, he is simply trying to play his way into a new situation where there are two other stars and an idiotic coach NOT calling actual plays (People who have watched the Heat would agree). Rose plays for a great coach and team that has an identity. LeBron and the Heat still win in spite of Spoelstra. Even today, LeBron is shooting a higher percentage than Rose in the clutch; 44 percent to 37 percent I believe. But things there are also circumstantial, because a player can hit a shot already up by 4 in the last 20 seconds and people act like it’s the most clutch thing ever, but it still goes into the clutch stats. So we have to take them for what they are, even if they are fact based. Truth is, while this has not been LeBron’s most clutch season, both players have shown they can come up big at times, but neither are on the level of Kobe, Wade, Pierce, etc.

People say to me, well Rose is the only player that is in the top 10 in scoring and assists. LeBron is the ONLY player with his type of numbers period! And no one is even close. LeBron has been number one in PER for the last few years as well, including this year. People then want to say PER is also an opinion based stat and what not LOL. A lot of statistics are opinion based, but your not too bright if you think Hollinger built PER to make LeBron look good. PER is a bipartisan system that takes many important stats and puts them together to rate a player. LeBron is simply the best overall. Dwight Howard for the record in number two in PER this year.

We know what Cleveland is without LeBron, his value, production, and importance can’t be overstated or assumed; we now truly know. Look people, I like Derrick Rose and I like watching him play. But we can’t have the media keep on choosing MVP. We need some really smart, bipartisan select individuals to take many things into consideration and privately vote for MVP. Let’s get the media hype machine thrown out the window, and we get knowledgeable people (Like ex-coaches) to appraise player’s values from a big picture overall perspective.

Here are some side stats to prove what Rose does for his team and what LeBron does:

Rose eFG percent = 48 percent

LeBron eFG percent = 54.1 percent

Rose Net Production = +11.0

LeBron Net Production = +18.5

Rose Individual win% = 71.2 percent

LeBron Individual win% = 79 percent

Rose Draw Foul % = 13.1 percent

LeBron Draw Foul % = 15.3 percent

It’s not that Rose can never win an MVP, I feel he may be capable of truly earning an MVP award in the future. Putting Rose on that MVP list right now though is simply terrible and embarrassing for the NBA. They let the media decide who the most valuable player in the NBA is… The generally clueless media… wow. Just because I may be the minority does not mean I’m wrong, check world history to see how those things have turned out. Also I know the media picked LeBron and others before as well, but they have been wrong before. That said, they got it right with James the past two years. There are other ones they have gotten right, but the wrong ones are a disgrace. 

The Chicago Bulls are a heck of a team and Derrick Rose is a heck of a player. This is not a knock on the team, the player, or the city.

There are simply too many players to pick over Rose to start a team, win a game, win a series, or win a championship. That is real value there. It’s not that Rose can’t do those things with the Bulls, but he simply won’t be the clear reason why if they did. That would in turn be short selling the rest of the Bulls and what Thibodeau has brought to that team. This season has shown me watching the Bulls, that they are a darn good team. The Bulls have a lot of good pieces. The truth is Rose has so many limitations still and barely plays the way his position is supposed to be played. This matters a lot, we are talking about an MVP here. This matters especially at PG, because this position is supposed to be for the creative player, the floor leader, the tone setter, etc. Yet, Rose doesn’t pass as much as he should and is not even close to being the best defender on his team, which is crazy because that is what the Bulls do best: Defense. You can throw all the stats you want, but something stats won’t measure is getting beat by his man constantly to only have his teammates cover for his lapses on D (Inexcusable for a player with his athletic ability). This in turn inflates his defensive efficiency. One thing that I really don’t like about his game though is his tendency to become a chucker in crunch time. I feel this mentality will hurt the Bulls in the long run.

Again, Rose is awesome to watch, and he does great things during games. He is indeed a special player, but one of many who have played this game.

Top five MVP candidates

1. LeBron James

2. Dwight Howard

3. Dwyane Wade

4. Chris Paul

5. Derrick Rose 

Thanks for reading. 

Assessment from Bulls fans on Rose after Game 1 VS Pacers:

Update: Rose is shooting 35% from the field, has shot nine 3 pointers on two separate occasions, is shooting below 12% from 3 point land, is only averaging 6 assists, 4.25 Turnovers per game, and has been unable to control the AJ Price and Darren Collison duo. (Games 1-4 Vs. Indiana Pacers [Only team under .500 in the playoffs])


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