Here’s a piece of breaking news that should shock absolutely nobody: Derrick Rose is the NBA Rookie of the Year.
From K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune: “The Bulls have called a 2 p.m. news conference Wednesday to announce that Derrick Rose has won the NBA’s Rookie of the Year award. Rose joins Michael Jordan and Elton Brand as the only Bulls to win the award. Rose led rookies in assists (6.3) and minutes played (37.0) and finished second to Memphis’ O.J. Mayo in scoring, averaging 16.8 points per game. … Rose also is the only rookie starting on a playoff team.”
Update! By the Horns reader Prashant provided a couple corrections to Johnson’s article: “K.C. got at least two facts wrong, just in the sentences you snippeted — Rose is actually 2nd in minutes played (behind Mayo), and as for rookies starting for playoff teams, ummm, what about Courtney Lee?” Prashant is right. Plus, Pete and Meredith pointed out that rookie Mario Chalmers has been starting for the fifth-seeded Heat all season long. A wag of the finger goes to K.C. for not checking his facts a little more carefully…and a Dikembe Mutumbo-like wag of the finger goes to me for simply assuming he had it right. That there was some lazy blogging.
Some other quick Rose rookie rankings, of the advanced statistical kind: He was 3rd in Value Added (226.1), 3rd in Estimated Wins Added (7.5), 4th in Assist Ratio (25.2), 5th in Usage Rate (22.1) and 10th in PER (16.05). Go here if you’re not sure what those numbers mean. (Here’s some shorthand: They mean he’s really good.)
Speaking as someone who wasn’t initially in favor of the Rose pick — I thought Paxson should go after Michael Beasley to fill their continuing need for inside scoring — it has been a total blast watching him play. I knew he was going to be good, but he was far better out of the gate than I could have expected. He never hit the dreaded rookie wall. He never lost confidence, even when the team was really struggling to beat even the worst of teams back in January. He developed his jump shot during the season. Though far from perfect, particularly on defense, he was a steady presence every single night.
What’s more, Derrick gives me real hope for the team’s future. Even when experts were foolishly projecting the Bulls as a potential Finals team after their overachieving 2006-07 campaign, I never felt like they had “it.” You know, the superstar power necessary to make it to The Next Level. Well, Derrick is “it.” I really believe that. And this award…well, get ready, because it’s going to be the first of many.
Another update! By the Horns reader Brad had this to say about Derrick: “You know my favorite thing about Rose? Sure he has tremendous quickness. His ability to finish at the rim is incredible. Gaining a jump shot during the season is impressive. And his assist-to-turnover ratio is excellent. But my favorite thing? I just really LIKE him. And that I mean as a person. I would root for him if he was the last guy on the bench. I would root for him in a rec league game. I would enjoy having him over for a backyard BBQ. He just seems to be a quality person as well as a jaw dropping talent.”