Derrick Rose always brings it

For starters, let me apologize for being a few days late on this one. Let me also wish Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau a speedy recovery from his knee surgery.

Neil Paine of Basketball-Reference ranked the players who performed the best on offense against “good” (above average) and “bad” (below average) defenses (according to the BBR rankings formula). His rankings were based on the Offensive Basketball-on-Paper Statistical Plus/Minus (bopOSPM) metric. Here’s a snapshot of the player rankings with the associated bopOSPM metric in parentheses:

Top 10 Players versus Good Defenses
1. Derrick Rose (6.42)
2. Dirk Nowitzki (6.24)
3. Deron Williams (5.84)
4. LeBron James (5.69)
5. Kevin Durant (5.64)
6. Kevin Martin (5.50)
7. Chris Paul (5.04)
8. Russell Westbrook (4.74)
9. Kevin Love (4.52)
10. Carmelo Anthony (4.45)

Top 10 Players versus Bad Defenses
1. Steve Nash (8.71)
2. Dwyane Wade (8.13)
3. Kobe Bryant (7.74)
4. LeBron James (7.54)
5. Derrick Rose (7.25)
6. Kevin Love (6.65)
7. Kevin Martin (6.23)
8. Chris Paul (6.13)
9. Kevin Durant (6.11)
10. Chauncey Billups (5.74)

Paine’s original post provides extended rankings and additional analysis, but there are some rather interesting points to be made based solely on the respective top tens. For instance, the three players who were the best at shelling the bad Ds — Nash, D-Wade, and Kobe — didn’t make the top 10 against the better defenses (they were 20th, 12th, and 11th, respectively, against the above average Ds).

Most telling from the standpoint of this blog, however, is that Derrick Rose ranked first against good defenses and fifth against the not-so-good ones. In fact, he and LeBron were the only players to rank in the top five in both lists. Of course, it helped that the current and former MVPs didn’t have to face their own defensive units — Chicago and Miami ranked second and fourth in the BBR rankings — but still.

This also highlights a point I made repeatedly about Rose all season: The kid flat out brought it every single night. Didn’t matter who the Bulls were playing against. Good teams. Bad teams. Mediocre teams. Derrick didn’t always play well…but he almost always played with an edge.

And, based on Paine’s metric, he was the best player in the league against the top defenses. And, unlike LeBron, who was playing alongside Wade and Chris Bosh, Rose didn’t have a premier second scoring option to take the defensive pressure off of him. Derrick had to repeatedly drive directly into the jaws of the best the opposing defenses had to offer…

…and he still played great.

Since the lockout is robbing us of much in the way of meaningful NBA news, let’s take a look at Derrick’s top 10 scoring games from last season:

1. 42 points at Indiana
2. 42 points (with 8 assists) versus Spurs
3. 39 points at Orlando
4. 39 points versus Pistons
5. 36 points (with 10 assists) versus Raptors
6. 36 points at Portland
7. 36 points versus Celtics
8. 35 points (with 12 boards and 7 assists) at Phoenix
9. 34 points versus Hawks
10. 34 points (with 8 assists) versus Miami

Note that six of those games — against Indiana (12), San Antonio (9), Orlando (3), Portland (15), Boston (1), and Miami (5) — came against a top 15 defense. Three of them happened on the road.

Now let’s look at his next 10 best scoring games:

11. 34 points versus Clippers
12. 33 points versus Hornets
13. 33 points at San Antonio
14. 33 points (with 7 assists) at Houston
15. 32 points (with 10 assists) at Toronto
16. 32 points (with 11 assists) at Clippers
17. 31 points versus Sixers
18. 30 points (with 8 assists) versus Boston
19. 30 points (with 17 assists) at Milwaukee
20. 30 points (with 10 assists) at Atlanta

Again, five of those games — against New Orleans (10), San Antonio (9), Philly (11), Boston (1), Milwaukee (4) — came against a top 15 defense. Two of them were on the road.

For fun, here are Derrick’s raw averages against the top 15 defenses in the league last season:

1. Boston: 26 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 6.8 apg, 47.9 fgp
2. Chicago: N/A
3. Orlando: 25.0 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 6.3 apg, 46.5 fgp
4. Milwaukee: 21.5 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 10.8 apg, 40.6 fgp
5. Miami: 29.0 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 6.3 apg, 44.6 fgp
6. Dallas: 24.0 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 7.5 apg, 37.8 fgp
7. Memphis: 23.0 ppg, 8.5 rpg, 9.5 apg, 31.0 fgp
8. Lakers: 29.5 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 8.5 apg, 46.0 fgp
9. San Antonio: 37.5 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 6.0 apg, 60.0 fgp
10. New Orleans: 23.5 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 7.5 apg, 41.7 fgp
11. Philadelphia: 26.7 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 8.7 apg, 46.6 fgp
12. Indiana: 27.0 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 6.5 apg, 43.4 fgp
13. Denver: 18.0 ppg, 2.0 rpg, 6.0 apg, 33.3 fgp
14. Oklahoma City: 19.5 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 7.5 apg, 34.1 fgp
15. Portland: 26.0 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 9.5 apg, 52.6 fgp

11 Responses to Derrick Rose always brings it

  1. letsgobulls_24 August 3, 2011 at 1:47 am #

    He needs a good nickname…
    Derrick “Doesn’t Back Down” Rose has a nice ring to it lol.

    Batmanu August 3, 2011 at 4:23 pm #

    I’m sad to see that he dominated my Spurs so thoroughly. And I watched both games. =(

  3. Ryan August 4, 2011 at 8:23 pm #

    Flat out Beast! When are they going to start airing the Drew League games on ESPN?!

    scott August 5, 2011 at 9:48 pm #

    there should be no under-estimating Mr. Rose!

    Folusho August 6, 2011 at 4:01 am #

    Good stuff. D Rose definitely has a very aggressive style of play. It looks like D Wade is REALLY good against bad defenses, not so much against good ones. I think this has a lot to do with the fact they he’s drives to the hoop all the time. If Rose can get up to 37 or higher from 3….watch OUT!

    Cassidy August 6, 2011 at 11:10 pm #

    This just shows how good D Rose is. Give him some time, he’ll be great. Youngest MVP ever already spells Hall-of-Fame, (I know, it maybe to early to predict. But I’m a die-hard Bulls fan, and I dream big) but who knows what else he’ll accomplish in the rest of his career. If we can get a solid SG, we could be serious title conteders… Look what we did with Bogans.

    joe August 7, 2011 at 5:39 am #

    Kevin Love?! I’m surprised he’s the top 10 – I had a misconception he took advantage of bad defenses.

    Not sure what the Stat “Top 10 Players versus Good Defenses” is indicating. That other guys get shut down or that the good defesive game strategy is to let the Star (Rose) get his points and try to win by shutting down the other players.

  8. Brian August 7, 2011 at 6:34 pm #

    you kind of sound like Chip Crain. he’s a blogger for the Memphis Grizzlies and is basically under the assumption that Kevin Love just gets garbage rebounds and buckets against other teams’ second units. he’s not exactly brilliant, imo.

  9. Mike August 9, 2011 at 3:01 am #

    yeah it appears that you’re neglecting to mention the number of shots he takes per game, totally biased statistics if that’s the case

  10. Nick August 9, 2011 at 4:49 am #

    You should write about John Lucas’ comments to ChicagoNow. Interesting stuff –

    BFD August 10, 2011 at 3:13 pm #

    I thought the knock against K Love that he IS a bad defender, not that he was only good against bad defenses.

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