But before you start lighting torches and sharpening your pitchfork, read his post.
Schiller’s pretty fair in his assessment and most of the points he makes have been made on this site, either by me or by astute commenters. The primary arguments against Rose are that he takes too many long jumpers (7.2 per game from 16-23 feet), doesn’t earn enough free throws (4.0 per game), doesn’t create enough shots for his teammates (only 12th in the league in assists per game), and plays relatively weak defense (he gives up 109 points per 100 possessions).
None of these are stunning revelations, but Schiller provides lots of fun numbers to support his arguments. And his primary point — that “the general conception that [Rose] has already made the leap to superstardom is premature” — made me wonder: If I was choosing players in some kind of all point guard fantasy draft, who would I take over Rose?
And I mean as of right now. There’s no point looking to the future. For instance, all things being equal, would I take a 37-year-old point guard like Jason Kidd over a second year player with unlimited potential like Rose? Even if Kidd was averaging a triple-double?
Not a chance.
However, if I were ranking Derrick against other PGs for this season only, here’s a list of the only guys I would choose — or would at least consider choosing — over Rose: Steve Nash (definitely), Chris Paul (absolutely), Deron Williams (almost certainly), Rajon Rondo (a solid maybe), Chauncey Billups (possibly because of his veteran savvy, three-point shooting and ability to get to the line) and Kidd (iffy because I don’t think he can carry a team by himself on a nightly basis anymore).
I wouldn’t take Tony Parker over Rose. For starters, he’s out with a broken hand. Additionally, TP’s numbers are pretty comparable to Derrick’s even though Parker has better teammates. Plus, Tony has missed 10 or more games in each of the last three seasons and doesn’t seem to be getting better. If anything, he might be declining.
Baron Davis? Don’t get me wrong. I love Booms Beard. But I don’t trust Davis to stay committed and provide focused leadership for an entire season. Heck, I can’t even remember the last time he did that.
Brandon Jennings? Uh, check out his month-by-month shooting stats. And he’s a rookie.
Aaron Brooks? He’s tough but tiny.
Devin Harris? His team has won eight games this season.
Tyreke Evans? New Jersey’s eighth win came against his team tonight. (Although, as By The Horns reader jackofarcades pointed out, Reke didn’t play last night. And of course, the Bulls lost to the Nets at home earlier this season. But I’d still take Rose over Evans, if only because it’s hard to figure out how good a player is when he’s killing himself for a team that’s been bound for the lottery for months.)
I could go on, but the point is, there are only five or six point guards in the NBA who are — right now — clearly better or at least arguably better than Rose. According to John Hollinger’s Player Efficiency Rating rankings, only six PGs in the league have a higher PER than Rose…and one of those players is Gilbert Arenas. Does Arenas even count at this point? Not really.
Also, Rose is one of only four players posting at least 20.0 ppg, 5.7 apg and 3.5 rpg this season (along with CP3, LeBron and D-Wade). Just throwing that out there.
Is Rose a legit and clear cut superstar? No. Schiller got that right. But Derrick is still one of the best point guards in the NBA. Top 10 for sure. If he’s not in the top five just yet, then he’s darn close. Don’t forget he played hurt for the first month and a half to two months. From January on, Rose has averaged nearly 23 PPG and almost 6 APG while shooting 51 percent from the field.
And who knows what his stats would look like if he was playing with Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen. Or Dirk Nowtizki, Shawn Marion and Caron Butler. Or Carmelo Anthony. Or even Carlos Boozer while under the tutelage of Jerry Sloan.
Rose still has a ways to go before he joins the NBA elite. But if he continues to progress, it’ll happen.