In my scouting report on Derrick Rose, I criticized the kid’s defense. Well, By The Horns reader Tony C. felt that I didn’t criticize it strongly enough…so he left a rather illuminating comment that perhaps explains why Rose struggled so mightily on defense:
I’d say that your analysis is fairly accurate, with one glaring exception: defense. First, it is obvious that he is a tremendous athlete, but so are the vast majority of the players in the NBA. If you view a highlight reel of Tyrus Thomas blocking shots, it would be easy to assume that he is the greatest shot-blocker in history.
While you did qualify the exceptional plays as being atypical, you severely understated just how bad Rose was on defense. He was, frankly, like a friggin’ sieve. When facing other quick guards, he was frequently made to look slow. Devin Harris, in particular, blew by him at will in virtually every Nets game.
In fact, given his tremendous natural abilities, Rose was very disappointing on the defensive end. Can he improve? Absolutely. Will he? Yes. But he has a long, long way to go before becoming an asset on the defensive end of the floor.
Finally, I’ll add an unusual insight into how Rose can be so explosive on offense, and so vulnerable to quick guards on defense. He is used to operating at 3/4 speed on offense, then kicking in the supercharger. That’s part of why he is such a tough cover. On defense, he had a tendency to rely on the same two-speed approach, and was frequently caught flat-footed. Someone in the organization needs to teach him to move his feet more frequently and rapidly on defense.
Interestingly, Jordan showed a similar characteristics on offense, but figured out how to adjust on defense. Rose needs a bit of help.