Derrick Rose Needs Some Support

A Guide to Understanding Derrick Rose

Derrick Rose used to be a great, athletic player. He was the NBA‘s MVP and he worked hard to be where he is now. He is a good scorer and overall player. However, he is not the perfect point guard. If New York Knicks fans want the team to have Rose, they have to accept his very obvious flaws. He is a score-first point guard who is still finding his offensive identity. When Twitter initially blew up about Rose’s “explosiveness”, what people were really talking about is his north-to-south movement. Rose’s acceleration has never been in question. The athletic moves he made before injury were not incredible because he could drive. It was the break-an-ankle change of pace, the air dribbles, the midair duck ins, and the hanging layups. That is explosiveness. Derrick Rose does not have that anymore.

Fans Got What They Wanted

Knicks fans now have an athletic point guard. He just does not have all of the athletic point guard abilities. Rose is not an elite defender, and he is not a high IQ point guard. He is very turnover-prone, and he doesn’t have an efficient offensive game. Knicks fans and coaches need to accept the fact that he never will be perfect. The key is to play to his strengths.

Where Knicks Fans Should Be Looking

Derrick Rose is a legitimate second scoring option next to Carmelo Anthony. That means that he doesn’t need anyone to create a shot for him. He can sustain his own offensive attack. However, like the Knicks’ previous second options, some days he will be on fire and sometimes more mediocre. Every once in awhile, he will be ice cold. Next, Rose is an attention grabber. Teams can double-team Anthony as the Cleveland Cavaliers did on Tuesday, but now Rose is there to help out. Another one of Rose’s strengths is penetration. He gets into the lane at will and opens up shooters in the corners. The problem is that Rose doesn’t look for them. He has been trained his whole NBA career to finish the layup himself, so his instincts aren’t geared towards passing. If head coach Jeff Hornacek draws up specific plays in which Rose is the decoy, it will be one less thing that Rose has to think about and will lead to a much more effective offense for the team.

Where’s the Team Defense?

Lastly, Rose is not an elite defender. Fans can’t expect a player like Rose to suddenly become an elite defender, especially with a coaching staff that doesn’t have a reputation for developing players into great defenders. The Knicks should game-plan to attack the opposing guards with team defense. That’s something Rose is actually used to from playing under Tom Thibodeau for years. Rose is better and more athletic on the perimeter than previous Knicks guards, but great guards are still going to light up the scoreboard against him and the Knicks. There were too many times in New York’s season opener in which Rose had to face LeBron James with no help defense behind him. That’s an instant recipe for disaster!

The Knicks have stayed mediocre in terms of rebounding since the preseason. This trend is worrying, considering that the team has guys like Kristaps Porzingis and Joakim Noah, to whom they handed out a big contract. Where was the production off of set plays? The players are out of rhythm because they need time. Was it a balanced attack? Nope. The defensive rotations actually looked good on Tuesday, but the defensive rebounding? Yikes.
This is the future:

The Knicks just have to get there.


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