Monday, November 9, 2009

It Was Only a Matter of Time ...

Until someone wrote the "panicked about D-Rose column" and here we have it:

Where are we really at with Derrick Rose?

I've been debating about how long to wait before writing this piece, and I've been hoping that it would become unnecessary over time. Even now, I hope I look like a moron in a month, and the stupidest man alive in two years, but I think it's time to discuss where we are at with Derrick Rose in an honest way.
I'm sure most of my readers are aware of the hour long podcast I did describing Rose's game prior to the draft. You know that I was a 50/50 fence rider between Rose and Beasley. I projected Rose to have a higher ceiling while Beasley would have a higher floor and would be a better fit on the roster. A patient franchise willing to rework it's roster could be much better off with Rose down the line, but if Rose didn't live up to that potential then reworking an entire roster for a guy who fails you would kill the team for a half decade.

I will try my best to avoid the typical, defensive, Rose-can-do-no-wrong reaction. Maybe there are issues to consider, but isn't a bit early in the season to make these conclusions? It's like the player who gets 40 and 35 points per game in the first 2 games of the year and he's on "pace" for the first 37ppg season since MJ.

We are 3 games into D-Rose's sophomore season, and I'm not ready to panic.

Jumping to the end of that article ...

If I had to list just one fear with Rose though, it would simply be this: I'm nervous that he doesn't have the type of personality to become the supreme alpha dog. On both ends of the court he's prone to getting passive for long stretches of time. I'm trying to think of other players who were like that and went on to become great. In my memory, most of the greats came out firing right away and didn't stop even if it was to their detriment. Rose is going to need to learn to stay amped all game instead.

Right now, I don't know what to think of or expect from Rose. Is his confidence shaken? Is his ankle still a factor? Does this team simply not space the floor enough to give him a chance? Is this simply a small slump to start off the season that he pulls out of?

It didn't take long for me to decide Rose was going to be worth rebuilding around last season. He came out the gates far stronger than I'd ever hoped. A year later though, and I'm beginning to worry again as his progression from year one to year two isn't what I'd hoped so far. It's not panic time, especially with a central leading 4-2 record, but it might be time to remove the teflon coating and stop pretending some of these issues don't exist.

Don't all of those points ignore the fact ...
That Rose is a PG?
That he's a 21-year-old trying to work within a system?
That he's playing for the worst coach in the NBA?
That the Bulls have a recent history (see: BG, TT) of being utterly incapable of developing young talent?
That all of the recent PGs (CP, D-Will) made their jump between year 2 and 3 (not year 1 and 2)?
That he's a 21-year-old forced to emotionally lead an NBA team (and that team didn't vote him a captain)?

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