Is Derrick Rose overrated?

According to Noam Schiller of Both Teams Played Hard, the answer to that question is a resounding yes.

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).

That’s it.

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.

28 Responses to Is Derrick Rose overrated?

  1. Dat Dude dat likes to smoke dat kush March 25, 2010 at 3:51 am #

    Rose is legit. He has took a pretty not great team last year and made the playoffs. This year the lineup is even worse and they are still in the hunt. Next year when they may have a possibly good lineup? Wooo I may just shit my pants.

    Mike March 25, 2010 at 4:07 am #

    I would take Rose over Rondo, Billups, and Nash even for this season in a heartbeat. Obviously he’s not as good as Williams or Paul yet but he has stretches of games like them. He just hasn’t had full months like them yet but that’s coming. The main reason why I think Rose is so special is his ability to completely take over a game. Granted, he’s the Bulls only real scoring threat, but he still does it effectively. I think Rondo is massively overrated. If you watch the Celtics, Rondo doesn’t even get guarded. Rose faces a double team as early as the half court line.

  3. PTFC March 25, 2010 at 4:43 am #

    This topic is trickey. First everyone doesn’t have the same definition of what a “star” NBA player is. Second, there’s a difference between being a top player in general and a top point guard.

    Some people put more weight on statistics (how many columns on the stat sheet that player can fill up), others put more weight just on a couple stat columns (depending upon the position).

    Derrick Rose right now is a star because he does a couple things VERY well and gets alot of people’s attention. Some of the nba players in the PG position mentioned in the article does 5 or 6 things well but maybe not 1 or 2 things that make your eyes pop out. In some peoples book the later is more important whether you consider someone a “star” or not.

    Rose scores a bunch for a point guard, is big and athletic for his position and makes some spectacular plays and carries his team on his back. He is a “star” in the general sense. But he is not a big star “point guard” (yet). Many of the other players mentioned are better “point guards” but are not better scorers, slashers, and athletes then Rose.

    So its how you want to look at it. Do you want to focus and lock in on the Point Guard position or just a nba player/athlete in general.

    Also, people have to actually “overrate” a player before then can be “overrated”. I don’t think people overrate him at all. People talk about his flaws all the time as well as his strentghs. People always say “but he needs to improve in *blank*. So I don’t believe he is overrated because most people don’t “overrate” him.

    GotNext March 25, 2010 at 4:44 am #

    Derrick Rose is not overrated. Is he overhyped?? Yes. Does a casual fan thinks he’s better than he actually is?? Yes. He is definitely not overrated though.

  5. Bobby March 25, 2010 at 10:33 am #

    To me there is a pretty simple answer to this fairly pointless question. Rose was put on the All-Star team by the coaches. After almost every game the opposing coach talks about how good Derrick is and often about how he torched their team that night. He has basically already been chosen for the US national team by one of the greatest coaches anyone has ever seen in Coach K. I think we should stop listening to the guy with his nitpicking stats and ask the people who had to coach against him. Stats don’t tell you who drew double teams and don’t tell me Rose doesn’t create for his teammates thats just stupid. Watch the games and count how many times he passes to a wide open teammate and they miss a simple jumpshot. He can’t make the basket for them. I know they won’t make the shot every time he passes it to them but we miss so many open jumpers that his stats suffer for it.

    Tony C. March 25, 2010 at 2:16 pm #

    The problem with that article is that the author attempts to prove something amorphous by using hard numbers, which can’t be done. In other words, how Derrick Rose is “rated” boils down to semantics, and semantic distinctions don’t lend themselves to statistical analyses.

    Is Rose considered to be “great”, a “superstar, a “star”? And by whom? People sling superlatives around in sports indiscriminately, so what, exactly, does the author mean by saying that he is overrated?

    By any reasonable definition he is certainly a star already. Is his game unpolished? Yes. Does he have room to improve in a number of areas? Sure. But I haven’t heard any serious observers suggest otherwise, even while they are heaping praise on him.

    With regards to the more narrow question of how effective he is as an offensive player, I’m inclined to endorse the munjib’s rant (comment #17) found here on the original thread:

    bobbysimmons March 25, 2010 at 2:40 pm #

    I agree with PTFC, just because he isn’t a top 10 PG doesn’t mean he is overrated, he does other things far better than most other PGs. By the way if I think if you asked the Nuggets or the Celtics if they would do a straight up trade for Billups or Rondo for Rose, they would in a heartbeat. Whoever you would you trade Rose for straight up must be a bigger star than Rose. The only PG I would put in that category is Paul.

  8. Courtney March 25, 2010 at 3:08 pm #

    Come on man Rose is a Allstar that means alot some of these people that you have ahead of Rose has a far better supporting cast. Rose is a point gaurd who is being forced to be assertive and score which I believe henders his ability to get assist because he has nobody he can really pass to who is going to knock down a shot (Allen, Peirce, Barbosa, Richardson, Stojakvich, Smith, Melo, Nowithzki, Terry) when he gets to the lane and kicks it out or dominate inside on a pick and roll (Boozer, KG, Amare, Melo or West, Nowitzki, Dampier).

    jackofarcades March 25, 2010 at 3:41 pm #

    The Nets did beat the Kings last night – but Tyreke Evans wasn’t playing. Also, that should disqualify Rondo, since the Nets beat the Celtics. :)

    The things that would worry me as a Bulls fan: Rose shooting more and more jump shots (even at a good percentage) and Rose not finishing at the rim or getting to the line as well as other offensive superstars.

    bullsfandom March 25, 2010 at 5:00 pm #

    Rose’s surplus of jumpers comes from opponents clogging the paint because the rest of the team can’t shoot from the outside so that doesn’t worry me.

    Watching one of the fastest players get burned off the dribble night in and night out by smaller, slower guys is troubling though.

    Savage March 25, 2010 at 5:04 pm #

    Great read once again thanks Matt. It is important to look at the team he is on. He does not have the supporting cast that Rondo, Nash,or Williams has. Without Rose in the lineup it is very possible that the Bulls could lose almost every game. The Celtics, Suns, and Jazz have the talent/depth to win without their point guards. It is harder especially on a younger point guard to produce while on a team that has a total lack of depth and to an extent talent. As mentioned above Rose appears at times to be the Bulls only source of dependable offense and he draws much more defensive attention/intensity than a Rondo or even Williams. Rondo does have talent (although I do find myself hating him for some reason) but in my mind he is nowhere close to as talented as Rose. Hopefully the Bulls can get some more talent/depth in the future to help Rose grow into the superstar that he appears to be on the way to becoming. Sure he has areas he can improve on like 3 point shooting and defense. However, he is only 21 years old and in his second year he has plenty of time to improve. With his work ethic it seems like a foregone conclusion that he will get better every year.

  12. Ryan March 25, 2010 at 5:20 pm #

    I think Bobby hit it right on the head (not bobbysimmons – he thinks Rose and Noah should be sitting for the remainder of the season). I really don’t like throwing stats, percentages, and numbers out when trying to show the ‘skills’ of a player – they can be used to display strengths and weaknesses against certain teams or players. Obvously if we had a talent like Wade/Johnson or a big man like Bosh/Stoudemire, Rose’s assists would increase along with his shooting percentage. He would be able to get to the basket since they would need to double-team other options. Th kid is 21, how many other 21 year old players get as much praise from NBA players and coaches? I know Jennings and Evans are good, but I haven’t heard as much praise about them.

    triggertre March 25, 2010 at 5:32 pm #

    Let talk about overated for starters because if u look at Steve Nash. He never been a good defender throughout his whole career. But we talk rose defense so that not point bring up about defense. The suns do not play defense at all as a team period. But he fills up a stat sheet every night and his will never win a championship with but when he retires he will go in the hall of fame for his stats that’s it. Rondo he is a good player based on the talent around him and he is great rebounding guard like jason kidd and shoot like jason in his early in his career. Defense is suspect based on gambles alot on da other end he proved that u an win with him. Is he better than rose no based on he does not have deal with pressure of getting game plan for everynight. The last three guard Deron Billups kidd and Paul they actual run da show and play at the other end. They play defense and will take the big shot if they have to based on their skill set. The only thing they have on rose is talent around them. They have shooters and post-up players they can go to to thhroughout da game. The Bulls have nothing on their that even resembles as a go to guy on their other that rose. Now if u want talk about overrated players Deng and kirk are best key examples for discussion. Kirk can not get his own shoot and limited on what he can do on the floor. But we want rose to drive to the basket all da time because he can. Last time I checked he got hurt twice driving to the lane. So what the problem taken what da defense give. He not overrated he just has to do to much but he does it well that he is a rising star.

    Matt McHale March 25, 2010 at 7:12 pm #

    “Also, people have to actually ‘overrate’ a player before then can be ‘overrated’. I don’t think people overrate him at all. People talk about his flaws all the time as well as his strentghs. People always say ‘but he needs to improve in *blank*.’ So I don’t believe he is overrated because most people don’t ‘overrate’ him.”

    Agreed. I see a lot of enthusiasm for his current (rather modest) accomplishments and his potential, but nobody’s freaking out the way they did when LeBron was a sophomore.

    “The problem with that article is that the author attempts to prove something amorphous by using hard numbers, which can’t be done. In other words, how Derrick Rose is ‘rated’ boils down to semantics, and semantic distinctions don’t lend themselves to statistical analyses.”

    I tend to agree. While I’ve heard many people say that Rose is a fantastic young player and an emerging star, I’m not sure I’ve heard his regarded as a superstar ala Kobe/LeBron/etc. I did some Googling on the subject and didn’t find anything serious to that effect. He was a worthy All-Star and he pretty clearly makes his team better. To me, the “overrated” tag on that post was either consciously or unconciously used to be inflammatory. In reality, the post was basically just a very detailed scouting report on Rose masquerading as “proof” that he’s overrated.

    “It is important to look at the team he is on. He does not have the supporting cast that Rondo, Nash,or Williams has.

    Agreed. And not just the talent, but the systems. For instance, I tend to think playing for Jerry Sloan would do wonders or Derrick. I’m also a Jazz fan and have followed D-Will’s career pretty closely, and playing in Sloan’s system has really helped that kid. That’s not a dis on Vinny, but it’s true. Jerry Sloan is an awesome coach.

    “Now if u want talk about overrated players Deng and kirk are best key examples for discussion.”

    I’m not sure they’re currently overrated. Overpaid? Yes. But that’s a product of them being overrated in the past. If anything, they’re now underrated. Most people think Deng is a stiff, but many teams would love to get 18 points and 7 boards from the SF position.

  15. bullsfan231 March 25, 2010 at 10:19 pm #

    Rose is not overrated by far, this is only his second year in the NBA and he’s an all-star. It’s not like fans voted him in, the coaches saw his ability and chose him to play with the greatest in the NBA today. He averages 5.8 assists a game, to get assists you have to have people around you to make the shot, Ben Gordon and Kirk Hinrich was about the only people that could do that (and that wasn’t every game). He was injured the first two months of the season, when he’s not injured he averages almost 26 points a game. So don’t assume he’s overrated in only his second year in the NBA.

    Dan March 26, 2010 at 7:15 am #

    Someone here said they’d take Rose over Nash RIGHT NOW?

    Come on, Bulls homer… not a chance.

    Not only is Nash one of the greatest shooters in history (if not the greatest), he makes everyone else much, much better. Everyone who plays with Nash raises their game. No, it’s not coincidence.

    I wanted to discuss Rose, but couldn’t after reading that comment… geez.

  17. RandyrandyWittman March 26, 2010 at 4:56 pm #

    Here’s the thing: for all of his strengths, Rose has flaws that, if not fixed, will make him into the kind of guard we love to hate. In other words, Rose is one bad attitude away from being Stevie Francis.

    Boppinbob March 27, 2010 at 3:31 am #

    Rose is a star in the NBA right now. He has been to the All-Star game and is the main cog in the Bulls offense as it is. I have not heard anyone call D. Rose a superstar. His flaws are apparent. He is working to fix those flaws. There is no doubt in my mind that if his development continues as it has gone over the past 1.75 seasons he could be a superstar in the future, possibly the near future. Once he learns how to get the inside assists and concentrates on team defense that will be a big step in the right direction.

    Max March 27, 2010 at 4:37 am #

    Anyone who says he is overrated is a Jackass…Enough said!!

    BULL4EVER March 28, 2010 at 3:22 pm #

    D’Rose overrated, yeah okay this point guard is the windy city’s next superstar since Jordan.He is Rose, he is not micheal beasley.And another thing thing, it took Jordan seven years to win an NBA title with Chicago and it’s D’rose’s second NBA season and he still needs low-post scoring help.Rose does not even have low-post scoring help,he still needs help in the paint, hey Jordan needed Pippen and 6 NBA titles would have been impossible without Pippen joining forces with Jordan in the 90’s.

  21. sean March 28, 2010 at 8:13 pm #

    If not for Derrick, the Bulls would probably be the worst team in the NBA. If you think he’s overrated then you need to watch a Bulls game.

    Kevin March 28, 2010 at 9:13 pm #

    Hmm… Your explanation as to why you would pick Rose over Tyreke was pretty soft. Just because his team hasnt won a ton of games doesnt mean he hasn’t been a legitimate force. I think Bulls fans might have to accept the possibility that Evans is a more effective version of Rose. The two have very similar games, but Evans is just that much bigger. Rose will still be great, but I think he will need another star to win a championship.

    Patrick March 29, 2010 at 2:51 am #

    I’m sorry, but as an objective viewer (journalist), Rose is overrated. He lacks that point guard instinct that makes him want to make everyone on his team better. He plays pretty awful defense (anyone wonder why Rondo was so unstoppable last year in the playoffs against the Bulls), and still was a shoo-in for ROY despite the fact that Brook Lopez had a much better year. In fact, in a one season all-point guard draft, I would rather have Nash, Paul, Williams, Billups, Rondo, Kidd, and even Brooks. If you look at the numbers, Brooks has a much better true shooting percentage while dishing out similar assist numbers despite being basically the only true-offense player on his team. Brooks was drafted in the late 1st round and is in his 3rd year versus the 2nd year number 1 pick, so he gets less acclaim, but solely for this year, I’d rather have Brooks.

    Patrick March 29, 2010 at 3:14 am #

    One other thing to follow up on my comment. Derrick Rose is going to be better than Brooks when all is said and done. He plays the hardest position in basketball for a young player to play and has played it better than almost any other players of his age. He will be a superstar, but is not one now.

    marcus March 29, 2010 at 3:50 pm #

    this is crazy if u look up d williams, c paul an rondos #’s for there second yr in the league they look almost the same really rose put up more points a game then they did. An rondos this yr 13points with 9apg with a way better team than the bulls next to rose 20points 6apg an you say who better its not even close no rose is not overrated.

    Jay April 1, 2010 at 7:22 pm #

    Top point guards (bulls fan)
    1a. Chris Paul
    1b. Deron Williams
    3.Derrick Rose
    4.Chauncey Billups
    5. Jason Kidd
    6.steve Nash
    7. Rajon rondo
    8. Gilbert arenas(would be higher if he had played more, 23 points and 6-7 assists per game would be worthy of 3rd place)
    idk the other point guards, Brooks maybe?

  27. Just sayin' April 10, 2010 at 3:09 am #

    Derrick Rose’s team gave the Nets two wins, so how bad is he?


  1. Feeling sweepy: Bulls 110, Pistons 103 » By The Horns - March 29, 2010

    […] Derrick Rose had the kind of game that made me wonder whether he’d been reading the reports that he’s overrated. Rose scored 21 points on only 13 shots, got to the line eight times and dished out a game-high 9 […]

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