Overall PPP: .78 (1)
Isolation PPP: .64 (1)
Opp FG Percentage: 37.9% (2)
Percent Scored: 36.1% (2)
Help Rating: -.14
Let me start by saying that yes, I am a Derrick Rose fan and a Chicago Bulls fan. Let me then add that contrary to what some people would like to suggest, my being a Bulls fan and Rose fan, it actually has no impact on what actually happened in the NBA this season.
It's an ad hominem fallacy. Ad hominem fallacies aren't just personal attacks, but they are attempts to make the argument about the person, rather than the content of the argument. Whether I am a Bulls fan or not, it doesn't change the facts. Derrick Rose, based on the statistics chosen, was the best defensive point guard in the NBA.
Now you might argue that I'm using a statistical bias. If that's your argument then that's fine, but you should point out 1) how the statistics I chose actually present a misleading argument, 2) how that is and 3) further statistical evidence that demonstrates something different.
Merely saying that's what I did is just more ad hominem attack.
I took considerable time to explain my logic in selecting the data in the first six slides. If you want to address my logic feel free, but please address my logic, not my loyalties.
Now having said all of that let me address what I think would be the most common argument about how Rose's numbers could be misleading. Some will argue that it's because he's on such a great defensive team.
However there are several things inconsistent with that argument. First, he was the primary defender on 1,118 plays, that's more than all but three point guards in the NBA. That's not suggestive of the beneficiary of a lot of help defense.
Second, his defensive numbers are generally better than CJ Watson, Keith Bogans or Ronnie Brewer, the other guards on the Bulls. This is in spite of the fact that Rose often would cover the superior offensive threat defensively, particularly when the game was on the line.
Third, there is a myth that only Bulls fans have this notion that Rose emerged as an elite defender last year. Tom Thbiodeau, the architect of the defense has said "Our defense all starts with Derrick Rose. He's the reason we're so good." Rob Mahoney of the New York Times wrote a persuasive argument in January about Rose's defense (which includes video clips.) Finally, Rose received the third most votes among point guards for MVP.
While I wouldn't try to make an argument that popular perception means anything, I'm just pointing out that if you feel it does, you might be surprised that popular perception doesn't entirely agree with you.
Finally, and I think most tellingly, what can you say about Rose's teammates that you can't say about Rondo's? Boston runs the same system as Chicago. Rose has Joakim Noah, but Rondo has Kevin Garnett. The only difference is Garnett missed a lot fewer games last year.
Yes, Rondo had some transitional issues with Perkins and the O'Neals but Rose had "help' from Carlos Boozer.
Yes, Rose had Luol Deng and Keith Bogans to help him, but Rondo had Paul Pierce and Ray Allen.
So why is it that even though Rose has better numbers, his teammates and system get all the credit? And if you want to get snarky and say "because I watch the games" then I'd ask how it is that by watching the games you see something other than what the preeminent scouting agency in both pro and amateur basketball is seeing.
If by "watching the game" you are seeing something other than what happened either you are seeing thing through tented lenses, not really watching the games, or heavily medicated.
Saying "if you watched the games" doesn't mean that you watched the games, and it doesn't mean whoever your saying it to didn't. If you actually watched the games you wouldn't have to say "if you watched the games." You could just point to what happens in the games.
What happens when Derrick Rose plays through defense is that he's very good at fighting through picks, he is tremendous at coming out and challenging jump shots, and he is very hard to get around. And if you're going to say "Jeff Teague" you should be aware that only 28 of the 82 points Teague scored were on Rose.
The fact of the matter is that after Joe Johnson's big first game Rose spent a lot of time guarding him. He also spent a lot of time guarding Jamal Crawford. In total Synergy only charged Rose only with 50 points in the six game series.
In the Miami series he was charged with 38 points. In the Pacers series he was charged with 36 points. In total in the 16 postseason games, counting free throws, he was charged with 124 points. That's just 7.75 points a game.
Not bad for a man with a partially torn ligament in his ankle huh?
Look, I get these rankings are challenging convention, but I think that convention needs to be challenged when it comes to looking at defense. If defense is about preventing the opponent from scoring, then what we should look at is the success in doing that.
I know it sounds completely outlandish that the best defensive players are those who do the best job of actually defending, but entertain the notion for a while. When it comes to doing that Rose does it better than any point guard in the NBA with Rondo a close second.