Derrick Rose May Not be the Best Choice to Start in the All-Star Game but He May be the Next Kobe

The All-Star game is almost upon us.  This means it is time for the media to tell us who they think are the ‘best’ players in the game.  And it also means it is time for the people who look at stats to say “sorry, that player is not among the ‘best’”. 

So let’s get the season started with a comment on Derrick Rose.  Fans and media have fallen in love with Rose this year.  The Bulls are winning and Rose – who leads the Bulls in scoring – is clearly their ‘best’ player.  Andres Alvarez, though, disagrees.  What follows is a column he originally posted at Nerd Numbers, which makes two interesting arguments.  Rose may not be the ‘best’ but he may be another Kobe. 

Derrick Rose may be the new Kobe. By that I mean he’s a good player that people have definitely gone overboard on. Derrick Rose has been called a lot of things lately and one may question if they are true. The Automated Wins Produced Numbers can squash a few of these rumors. Derrick Rose is not currently in the top ten Wins Produced Players for the season. Derrick Rose is currently listed as the 7th best point guard in the league behind Chris Paul, Steve Nash, Rajon Rondo, Deron Williams, Jason Kidd and Russel Westbrook. It’s somewhat hard to even consider thinking of him as an MVP candidate with that in mind.

DJ at the Wages of Wins Journal sent me a question based on the recent podcast Arturo and I put on; Does Derrick Rose deserve to start in the All-Star game? An interesting thing about how Derrick Rose is perceived is that he has “ramped it up” since the start of the season and “become a leader” in light of the injuries to Boozer and Noah. With that I decided to take a quick look over the season piece by piece to get a slightly better understanding of Derrick Rose using the brand new Game Splits tool.

Table 1: Top Bulls throughout the season in 2 week increments.

At the start of the season Rose wasn’t very good. He improved slightly  for about two weeks before going back to merely being an above average point guard. For the first month and half of the season this team belonged to Noah. When Noah went down with injury it was problematic, but indeed Rose did step up his play and has been playing at star level since the start of December. However, it turns out that Boozer returning to the Bulls in top form was a bigger boost to the Bulls. In fact, it has only been in the last month with both Boozer and Noah experiencing injury that Rose is “leading” his team.

Let’s look at Rose in another light going in two week increments. Rose has been listed as an MVP and All-Star candidate. To be an honest option for All-Star I’d expect Rose to be a top 5 guard in the East at minimum. To be an MVP I’d expect Rose to at least be top 10 in the league. How has that looked?

Date Range Player G GS MP WP48 Wins MVP East Guard Team
10/26 to 11/9 Derrick Rose 6 6 226 0.04 0.19 N/A N/A 5
11/10 to 11/24 Derrick Rose 7 7 280 0.194 1.13 N/A 5 2
11/25 to 12/9 Derrick Rose 6 6 230 0.129 0.62 N/A N/A 4
12/10 to 12/24 Derrick Rose 7 7 246 0.244 1.76 9 1 2
12/25 to 1/8 Derrick Rose 8 8 299 0.215 1.34 N/A 3 2
1/9 to 1/23 Derrick Rose 9 9 355 0.211 1.56 N/A 2 1
Total 43 43 1636 0.1936 6.6 N/A 4 1

Table 2: Derrick Rose’s rank as MVP, East Guard and Team Leader.

In December Derrick Rose did indeed crack the ranks of the top players in the NBA as well as play better than all the other guards in the East. Still, I think many would argue one week does not an MVP make. He was still second fiddle to Boozer though. Rose has only enjoyed one span of time as the “best player” on his team and it required the top two players to fall to injury. Rose as MVP and the best player on the Bulls looks a little weak to me.

One thing that doesn’t look so bad to me though is the All-Star possibility for Rose. In the last month and a half he has indeed been playing as a top guard in the East. The only real issue is that the three guards in front of him currently; Wade, Rondo and Fields are much better guards. So while I do consider Rose an elite guard out East I still can’t consider him worthy of starting the All-Star game.

Let’s make sure to end this on a positive note though. Derrick Rose has been playing like a star guard as of late. He is very easily worth his contract and if he keeps up his play will definitely be worth the extension the Bulls are likely to give him. To say Derrick Rose is not the best player in the league or the best guard out East or the best player on his team is not an insult. I am merely pointing out what others have said; that people are overreacting to Derrick Rose’s play right now. Derrick Rose is very talented and young and is a huge part of his team’s success. However, it would be foolish to give him all of the credit or consider him better than he really is.

-Dre

P.S. To make sure Arturo is happy, It should also be noted that the deserving starting point guard out East is playing better than Rose with fewer minutes and just as many team injury concerns on his team. Also Rose isn’t clutch. . .

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