Derrick Rose: 5 Predictions for the Chicago Bulls Star Next Season
Rose has increased his three-point percentage from 22 percent to 33 percent in only three years and raised his free-throw percentage seven percent to a good 86 percent from the line, all while becoming "Too big, too fast, too strong, too good," according to Bulls announcer Stacey King.
So don't think that after his 2010-2011 MVP season Rose will back down. D-Rose would love to bring home more hardware to his hometown Chicago Bulls.
For this summer, he will continue to work on his three-point jump shot to try to improve another deadly skill he could add to his repertoire. With a great three-point jump shot, defenders would be forced to play tight on him at the three-point line, creating room for him to blow right by them to the hole for the highlight play.
Rose might be the fastest player in the league, so if a player wants to play up tight on him, he won't be afraid to go right by him. But for this to happen, he needs to keep shooting threes in the offseason until he can get his three-point percentage around 40 percent.
Another thing Rose can continue to do is work on the pick and roll with Carlos Boozer. In the playoffs against the Heat, Rose would get doubled off the pick, and it caused some turnovers that gave the Heat easy fast-break points. Boozer is a good mid-range shooter, and he needs to continue to create better chemistry with his teammate.
The last thing Rose can do, and I know he won't like this, is to rest. Those legs were so fatigued in the playoffs—even he can admit it. Rose drives to the hole harder than anyone else in the league, so a little R&R couldn't hurt.
Here are five predictions for the reigning MVP next season.
Prediction No. 1: Average More Than 25 PPG and 10 APG
Now, this may seem a little far-fetched for some of you, as Rose only averaged 7.7 APG last season.
Rose does score a lot more than most point guards, but next year I see this Bulls offense becoming better on the scoring front. The Bulls can't do any worse at the SG spot than they did last year, so whether they sign a new guard or trade for one, it will be an upgrade from Keith Bogans.
With another reliable option on the wing for Rose, you can add more assists per game for D-Rose. I just don't see how with a surrounding cast of Luol Deng, Boozer, Joakim Noah and an improved SG Rose will not be able to get 10 APG.
Another reason for him getting more assists is due to the fact that defenses will now specifically create game plans to stop D-Rose. I'm not saying these defenses will shut him down, because they probably won't, but it will probably involve more double-teams and increased attention to him when driving to the hoop.
With the increased attention, Rose will have to learn to become a facilitator as well on offense. I don't think this will be a problem because Rose is a team player and just tries to do whatever it takes to win.
With a feat of 25-plus PPG and 10 APG, Rose would become the top point guard in the league—absolutely no argument if he is capable of getting those stats.
Prediction No. 2: Shoot More Than 40 Percent from Three-Point Range
I talked about this a little bit in my introduction, as I feel Rose will definitely focus on his three-point shot this summer.
After three straight years of steadily increasing his percentage, Rose will look to increase his 3P percentage from 33 percent last year. Now, 33 percent isn't terrible, and it's not the worst he has shot during a season (22 and 27 percent consecutively in his first two years), but the number that is troublesome is the 25 percent average in the playoffs.
The impact a 40 percent three-point average can have on Derrick Rose's game would be tremendous. That's like Peyton Manning adding a 4.2 40-yard dash to his arsenal. If Rose has a 40 percent three-point average next year, defenders will not sleep the night before they guard him because that will be the hardest they will have to work all year.
The addition of the deadly three-pointer forces defenders to play tight on you at the three-point line. This is huge with the strength and speed of Rose, because he can blow right by you for the dunk, layup or dish for an assist, or he can step back and drain the jump shot.
Rose knows what is at stake this year. He has the will and drive to lead a talented and capable Bulls team to a championship.
One of the only things he needs to improve on is his three-point jumper.
Now, I believe Rose will work his butt off this offseason to spend hours in the gym working on his jumper, as he has for the past three summers. However, I feel there might be a little extra motivation this year, as he was so close to his goal of winning the championship.
That trophy is right there for him to take if he works hard enough, but the question is, how bad does he want it?
Prediction No. 3: Make All-Defense Second Team
I don't know how many people know this, as it was a little overshadowed by the rest of his achievements last year, but Derrick Rose was only a few votes away from joining the All-Defense second team for the NBA. He was only four second-place votes away from tying Chris Paul.
Rose is a truly gifted individual when it comes to his size, strength and speed, which all help him on the defensive front in Tom Thibodeau's defensive masterpiece. On a team that had the best opposing FG percentage and the second-best points per shot, Rose was also atop the league leaders in blocks per game for point guards.
But for him to jump Chris Paul next year, Rose will have to obtain more steals. I don't think this will be a problem, as the Bulls were only in their first year of Thib's defense. As they gain more experience by learning his offense, individuals will also come out as better defenders.
If Rose is able to make the NBA All-Defensive team, he will become even more like Michael Jordan, as Jordan was given this achievement nine times throughout his career, which is tied for first with Gary Payton, Kobe Bryant and Kevin Garnett.
Prediction No. 4: He Will Repeat as MVP of the NBA
I was a little cautious of putting this up because I know the trolls could go crazy arguing about it, but I believe this is truly possible of happening for a few reasons.
First, the Bulls will most likely win around 60 games in the regular season next year. This will put them in the top five teams in the NBA, and who's by far the most valuable player on the Bulls?
Congrats if you got it right—it's Derrick Rose.
Second, Rose could average more than 25 PPG and 10 APG. The only "point guard" to ever average 25 PPG and 10 APG was Oscar Robertson; Magic Johnson, Isiah Thomas and Kevin Johnson were all very close. That's how rare it is for a point guard to obtain a double-double of that magnitude.
Lastly, who else is going to win it over him? These are my list of candidates next year and why I think they won't win it.
LeBron James: He's by far the most talented player in the NBA, but he's also playing with the second-best player in the NBA, Dwyane Wade. The only way I really see him winning the MVP is if he averages a triple-double and Wade has a subpar season.
Dwyane Wade: Pretty much the same here with James. Wade's not capable of averaging a triple-double though. He would need to average close to 40 PPG and clearly establish himself as the most valuable player on his team, let alone the most valuable on his team for the entire league.
Kobe Bryant: He's getting older, and he's no longer in his prime, so Kobe has seen a gradual decrease in PPG over the past five to six years. For him to win MVP, he would have to average more than 30 PPG, and the Lakers would need to have the best record in the league.
Kevin Durant: I think he is really the only obstacle Derrick Rose faces next year. The Thunder, in my opinion, are the favorite to have the best record in the Western Conference, and if Durant wins the scoring title like he has the past two seasons, he could look like the best option to the committee.
The only thing in his way is Russell Westbrook. If he wants to keep the ball in his hands all game like he did in the playoffs, Westbrook could cost his teammate the MVP trophy.
Dwight Howard: He could actually have a chance if his team actually wanted to win a championship. His only chance is if the Magic miraculously bring in a free agent who pans out for them.
Prediction No. 5: He Will Win the NBA Finals' MVP Award
The Chicago Bulls will win over the Miami Heat next season in the Eastern Conference finals, and then they will beat their Western Conference opponent, whether it's the Thunder, Lakers, Mavs or Grizzlies.
There is no questioning the effect the addition of a SG such as O.J. Mayo, Courtney Lee, Arron Afflalo (probably won't happen) or even Jason Richardson could have on this Chicago Bulls team.
Last season, the Bulls had arguably the worst starting SG in the league in Keith Bogans, and they still had the best record in the entire league. They were one starting SG away from beating the Heat in the Eastern Conference finals as well.
The Bulls, with the addition of a quality SG and a healthy Boozer, have all of the pieces to win the championship. They have their star in Derrick Rose, Luol Deng as their glue player, Boozer as their post-up threat, Joakim Noah as the heart of the defense and arguably the best bench in the entire league in the Bench Mob.
Derrick Rose could be the most hard-working individual in the NBA, and I really don't think there is a player who deserves to win a championship and the MVP trophy more than he does. Look for a Jordan-like performance in the Finals, as Rose will be hungry to bring that trophy home to his hometown.