We should not be blindsided by Derrick Rose’s performances

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AP Photo/Matt Marton

MVP! MVP! Those were the chants that flowed throughout the United Center last night. Derrick Rose put on another show, finishing with 24 points, eight assists, three rebounds and two steals against his former Chicago Bulls team. It appears that D-Rose has found something new. It’s like he’s figured it all out after his myriad of injuries. However, on the contrary, Rose has shown this ability before. Our memories are just too short to remember.

Per Game Averages

A: 18 points, 3.8 rebounds, 4.4 assists, 0.7 steals, 0.3 blocks, 32.5 minutes

B: 18.7 points, 2.8 rebounds, 4.7 assists, 0.7 steals, 0.3 blocks, 29.5 minutes

Do those stat lines look similar? Eerily right? Well for those that have followed his journey over the past few seasons, they’ll realize that the A stat line came from his time on the New York Knicks. The B stat line? His current season with the Minnesota Timberwolves.

(Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

Players are usually critiqued based on situation and expectation. While on the Knicks, Rose was expected to help Carmelo Anthony carry the franchise into the playoffs and potentially become the starting point guard for the foreseeable future. With games missed due to injury and personal matters, the Knicks once again became the laughingstock of the league.

When Rose did play, he showed a new controlled approach to the game. A style that allowed him to pace himself up the court. He used his athleticism and explosiveness in bursts to keep defenders on their heels. No longer was he the player that went 100 miles per hour from end to end. He picked his spots and was able to attack at his most opportune times. The numbers were no longer important. It was about the strides he took to transform his game, to allow himself to maximize his time in the league.

Fast forward to Rose joining the Cleveland Cavaliers in the following offseason, and things took a turn for the worst. He was only averaging 19.3 minutes per game and didn’t appear to fit on the floor with LeBron James and company. All thought this might’ve been his last stint on an NBA roster before his old coach Tom Thibodeau called him up. Now he’s flourishing and putting up similar numbers as he did with the Knicks.

Rose may get occasionally banged up and miss a game here or there, but this version of him is here to stay. His career high 45.5% from three is keeping the defense honest, and if they’re playing too close, he’s gone. It’s a pleasure to see players figure it out and come back successful from injuries. Many would have quit, and although Derrick considered it, he fought through and prevailed. This version of D-Rose that has been around for some time can play in this league for years to come.

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