Derrick Rose Deserves MVP Award
Anybody who's been following the NBA this season is aware that Derrick Rose has become an elite scorer. He is absolutely impossible to keep out of the lane and once he gets in, he can finish strong through contact with either hand. On top of everything, this season he worked hard to improve his outside shooting ability -- which used to be the only glaring weakness in his offensive repertoire. In the 2010-11 NBA campaign, Derrick Rose put up 25.0 points per game on 44.5% shooting, 4.1 rebounds and 7.7 assists. Are these MVP numbers? Not according to some, who feel LeBron James is the NBA's most valuable player this season. In comparison, James is averaging 1.7 more points per game than Rose. He's also pulling down roughly 3.4 more rebounds a game than Rose, and he's shooting a much more efficient 51% from the field. Rose only eclipses James by less than an assist per game. Stat-wise, LeBron James has a fair argument for the MVP trophy. Unfortunately for the prince of South Beach, Derrick Rose puts together a pretty convincing argument of his own.
Something that cannot be overlooked is Derrick Rose's leadership ability. He is counted on for the majority of Chicago's offensive scoring possessions. While it is unfair to claim that he doesn't have a competent team built around him, it's undeniable that the roster is made up of role-players and the very second-fiddle, Carlos Boozer. Rose is required to work through a lot of double and triple teams, which accounts for his average shooting numbers. While opposing teams are forced to deal with the beast that is LeBron James, the team has two other superstars in Dwyane Wade (who averaged 25.5 points a game on 50% shooting) and Chris Bosh (18.7 points a game on 49.6% shooting). Clearly, all three are prolific scorers who command a lot of attention. Boozer averaged 17.5 points this season on 51% shooting and he can create for himself at times, but unlike the trio in Miami he is much less effective without someone setting him up. Without Rose, the Bulls
wouldn't have a puppeteer; they would only be a series of marionettes dancing aimlessly in the street for pocket change. If LeBron James didn't take his talents to South Beach, the combination of Wade and Bosh would still be a power in the Eastern Conference.
Rose spent the beginning of the season working without a healthy line-up. Carlos Boozer -- thanks in part to a rogue bag -- missed 23 games due to injury. Center and defensive juggernaut Joakim Noah missed 34 games injured. While James' top two teammates only missed a combined 11 games. Still, it was Rose who led his team to the best record in the NBA. The Bulls finished 62-20, a full four games over the Heat -- for the record, Chicago lost the only game Rose missed this season.
One area that Rose seems to really be LeBron's superior is in clutch shooting. Derrick Rose has the special ability to carry his team late in games when the Bulls need a bucket. He's one of the best scorers in the NBA during crunch time, while LeBron is somewhat sketchy in this area, and tends to defer to Wade instead of taking care of things himself, which hasn't turned into success for his team. Derrick Rose is 17-7 in games decided by five points or less (18-7 if you want to include the playoffs), while LeBron is a mere 4-13.
A common criticism surrounding LeBron James is his lack of a killer instinct. That isn't to say that he doesn't play hard or he isn't talented, just that he doesn't have the same lust for victory in his eyes that we see in Kobe Bryant and now Derrick Rose. Once they have it in their mind that they want to take over, there is simply no stopping them. We see this quality the most when Rose is playing in high-pressure situations, like against a rival or in the playoffs. Sometimes it's hard to judge a player's heart, but Rose is clearly special in this regard.
Rose plays like an MVP and he wins like an MVP, however sometimes it's the story behind the gameplay that determines value in the eyes of NBA media (the voters). Chicago was a .500 team (41-41) last season, but the improvement of Derrick Rose catapulted them to a 62 win season, a 21 game improvement and he did it without a lot of offensive assistance. Past MVPs Allen Iverson and, yes, even LeBron James were in similar situations in the past. They had good teams built around them, but their rosters would collapse without a great scorer to depend on (which is exactly what we saw with the Cavs this season). Derrick Rose is a pillar. It's his fierce scoring mentality that allows his teammates to flourish. This dependence is value.
The statistics may suggest that Derrick Rose should not be the MVP this season, but the bottom line is that he has been the most valuable player in the NBA. In just his third season, he's become one of the game's best leaders, one of the league's best closers and the only star player on the league's best team. In the coming weeks Rose will be crowned as the 2010-2011 NBA MVP and rightfully so.
Counter Opinion: LeBron James for MVP
"While it is unfair to claim that he doesn't have a competent team built around him, it's undeniable that the roster is made up of role-players and the very second-fiddle, Carlos Boozer."
Unless you define "role-player" to mean any NBA player who isn't an All-Star then the above sentence is wrong. It is completely deniable that the roster is made up of role-players. Have you heard of a player called Luol Deng? He has averaged 16 points a game and a little over 6 rebounds. He averages 35 minutes a game. He defends, he slashes, he average 1.4 3s per game on 35% shooting. That isn't a role player, that is a good starting small forward.
How about Noah? Where do you have him ranked in the list of most valuable centers in the game? I bet you have got him in your top 10. Yes, he doesn't have much offense (only 11 points per game), but he is blocking shots and grabbing boards. Later you describe him as a "defensive juggernaut". How can he also be a "role-player"? Oh I get it, a defensive focused Center is a "role". I guess Mutombu was quite the role-player.
Rose is turning into a great player this year. He is the catalyst and the crunch time scorer. He is the most imprortant Bull and a fine MVP winner. But let's not get carried away about what Rose is doing here. He has lead a very good defensive team to the best record in the NBA. The team is great with Rose, but would still be a 50 win team with any of half a dozen other point guards in the league.
"The team is great with Rose, but would still be a 50 win team with any of half a dozen other point guards in the league."
Your mind isn't very sound if you honestly believe that...
What your argument lacks, like so many others that think Rose deserves MVP honors, are the defensive facts. You Rose fans have all been throwing the " he got the Bulls the best record in the NBA this season" point, and are all so wrong about it. The defense got them the 62-20 record, the defense at which they are ranked 1st in the league, by that same coach who had the Celtics be the best defensive team in the League in their recent championship year. Tom Thibodeau deserves the COY, Derrick Rose doesn't deserve MVP. Why? Because the defensive rating of his team is actually better when he is off the court. Defense is the main reason they got this far, so while you could say that yes, he is the one that carries the biggest load offensively, he does not help much on the other hand of the court.
While we can assume that yes, the Bulls wouldn't have the best record and yes, they would be weaker without him, I think we can also assume their elite defense would have still got them into the playoffs. The same cannot be said about a Magic team that would play without Dwight Howard. The fact that the Magic are a top tier team defensively despite ANY OTHER player being a good defender aside Howard is a statement to his impact. The Magic without Howard would be awful, and I'm being kind.
This situation is 2001 Allen Iverson all over again. It's the Sixers' top notch defense that got them to the Finals, yet it's Iverson who received all the credit despite being the worst defensive player on his team....
Defense kept the Bulls in games.....Rose put them away.
When you're ranked first in the NBA defensively, it generally means it does a lot more than just keep you in games, defense is the reason they won.
Seriously, you don't think the Bulls win 50 games if I replace Rose with Westbrook, Paul, D Williams, Rondo, or Nash. There are five guys right there who you can't possibly think are more than 12 games worse than Rose. We are in an age of great point guards. I think the Bulls with their great defense win 50 games with Billups or Wall as well. I like their chances for a 50 win season with Devin Harris as well. Yeah, I said that. Harris was an All Star, he can score. Not like Rose, but 50 wins, that could happen. Heck, Kidd could run the Bulls and they would still be solid;don't count the old man out he is ripping up the playoffs. Throw Tony Parker onto the Bulls. You think they aren't still making the playoffs?
Not saying all those people are as good as Rose. Just saying that the team doesn't fall apart if you put another good point guard in there. And "good" point guard right now means about a third of the starting PGs in the league.
You take the Magic, remove Howard, put the second best center (and who knows who that is) in the league on that team and they are dead.
Sorry, let's not forget Steph Curry and Andre Miller. Both are good PGs who could step in for Rose and the Bulls would not fall apart.
So I've almost got a dozen point guards who probably wouldn't cost the Bulls 12 out of their 62 wins.
Derrick Rose isn't a pure point, so let's not limit this to pure PGs.
I think if any of these 5 guys replaced Rose, you wouldn't see a significant drop in games won. I think they're still contenders with these guys too:
- Paul, Deron, Nash, Westbrook, Wade
Beyond that you definitely see a drop off. Rose has had a terrific season and you can't deny that. You might see a drop-off with these guys due to lack of scoring ability that Rose brings (or obviously they're not as good):
- Rondo, Lowry, Tony Parker, Steph Curry, Billups, Kidd, Ty Lawson.
I think the most interesting scenario is.... what if Monta Ellis was on the Bulls? I don't think he's as good as Rose, but I do think they're similar in a number of ways.
Rose is a great player, having a great season. I think anyone under the opinion that he's the best player in the league is a little crazy, but I can understand the mvp vote. Lebron gets my vote based on pure dominance on both ends of the floor.
This would make Rose the youngest ever MVP I believe. I think he's deserving.
The Magic would still make the playoffs with a number of other centers. They don't have a star alongside Dwight but they do have a lot of solid depth. The Heat would still win 50 with about 20 other guys replacing Lebron (a knock on fit, not the man himself).
The lack of dominant big men in the L right now make Howard irreplacable by default. While he is a beast on the defensive end, and sometimes on the offensive end, he has no rival....no match.
You can argue replacing Kobe with LeBron, Durant, Melo and even Pierce on the Lakers and they would be just as good given their supporting cast.
Rose is a different kind of PG than Paul, Williams, Rondo and the rest. His closest matches are Wade and Westbrook. Could Wade lead this team like Rose has? Probably. Could Westbrook? Maybe. Westbrook is a phenomenal player but he hasn't had to play with the kind of pressure that Rose has yet in his career. He has Durant to lean on while Rose has to continually take the team on his back and has delivered every time.
LeBron led his team to less wins this year then he did with the Cavs the last 2 years. That should discount him for the MVP right there. He is the best player in the game but not this year's MVP.
Howard is the most dominant player on defense but doesn't will his team to wins on the offensive side. When he scores 39 points or more, his team is 1-4 including playoffs. His free throw shooting is a detriment in the closing minutes of a tight game. The guy is an athletic marvel, and for him having no match, should be able to be more imposing on the offensive end.
In the 90's, we had Shaq, Ewing, Hakeem, Robinson and Alonzo. Can you imagine how dominant anyone of those guys would be in today's game? Howard's competiton at center is nowhere near that caliber. He should be way more dominant on the offensive side.
the argument that says if you replace Rose with any of the top third of the guys in the league is so ridiculous. If you replaced him with Westbrook, Paul, or Williams sure, they would still be a very good team and probably still contenders in the league. Whats that prove? Those guys have all been considered for MVP before, and Rose is having a better season than all of them. Saying the Bulls would win 50 games with another good point guard does not prove anything. Yes Dwight Howard's team would win a lot less if you replaced the next best center with him compared to Rose if you changed him with Paul. But that just speaks more of how the league is so much more stacked at PG than center. There just are not many top tier centers in this league anymore. I can argue if you take Lebron off his team they win 50 games if you dont replace him with anyone at all. They won 47 last year without him and Bosh. Does that mean Lebron is not the best player in the world? No it does not. The Bulls are 0-3 vs the Pacers without Rose. He is the most valuable to his team and deserves the award. Without Rose the Pacers would of won this series. That doesn't mean the bulls dont have good players its just they NEED Rose to wins games. The Bulls rely on Rose to win them games more than any other team. You can attribute as much of the success to defense as you want, but in this league you cant win unless you score points and without Rose scoring himself or setting up his teamates this team has one of the worst offenses in the league. Dont forget Rose has contributed to this teams success on the defensive end. The Bulls defense makes this team elite. Without it, they would have no chance at winning the title this year. But without Rose, this team is the Charlotte Bobcats and have no one who can create offense by themself. The player who was supposed to do this was Boozer, but he hasnt been healthy or consistent at all. And his defense isnt bad, its horrible and is a liability for the Bulls.
Hey, it is just a stat and one stat doesn't mean everything. Plus/Minus isn't even a great stat. But over an entire season it does tell you a little about how the team does when a player is on the court and off it. Look bellow. One of these things is not like the other. See if you can spot it.
Player On Court Off Court
Lebron +9.7 -0.5
Howard +8.1 -2.3
Nash +5.5 -11.5
C Paul +4.2 -8.0
Gasol +8.4 -1.7
Rondo +8.3 +0.1
Nowitzki +10.2 -6.1
Ginobli +10.7 -2.2
Rose +7.9 +5.2