In my scouting report on Derrick Rose, I noted that the Bulls’ rookie point guard ranked 12th in the NBA in total assists (512) last season. Just for fun, here’s a list (in descending order) of the players who dropped more dimes than D-Rose: Chris Paul, Deron Williams, Steve Nash, Jason Kidd, Rajon Rondo, Jose Calderon, Dwyane Wade, LeBron James, Chris Duhon, Raymond Felton and Andre Miller. Immediately trailing Derrick were guys like Baron Davis, Tony Parker, Chauncey Billups, Devin Harris and Joe Johnson. All in all, Rose is keeping some pretty good company.
Three-pointers: 136. NBA rank: 18th. For perspective, LeBron James led the league in three-point assists with 232. For a little added perspective, the Bulls were 23rd in the league in three-point attempts (1293) and 22nd in conversions (493). In the final tally, Rose assisted on close to 30 percent of the team’s made three-pointers. Those are reasonably solid numbers for a PG on a team that doesn’t chuck up a lot of long-range shots.
Two-point jumpers: 216. NBA rank: 5th. Only four players assisted on more two-point jump shots than Derrick. Those players were: Jason Kidd (307), Chris Paul (293), Jose Calderon (267) and Deron Williams (266). You can see that Rose is in elite company in this area. However, Derrick’s greatest strength as a passer sort of draws attention to his greatest weakness: Many of his dimes occur as a result of basic drive-and-kick plays. This is in part due to Vinny Del Negro’s rather primitive offensive schemes, but also because of Rose’s general lack of court vision and creativity. I don’t know what we can do about Vinny, but hopefully Derrick will mature as a playmaker this season and therefore improve in the following two catagories.
Close: 105. NBA rank: 29th. I really hate the fact that Rose generated so few in-close, high-percentage shots for his teammates. In this category, he even trailed Tim Duncan, a center. Obviously, it would help if Derrick had a big man who loved to finish at the rim. (Stop taking so many jumpers, Tyrus!) But still, a point guard’s responsibility is to get his teammates the best shots possible. That’s what Steve Nash did. He lead the league by helping his teammates convert 248 close shots.
Dunks: 55. NBA rank: 30th. Another depressingly low number for an elite point guard. Chris Paul, the floor leader against whom every PG is measured, led the league by assisting on 163 dunks…almost three times as many as Rose.
Passing Rating: According to 82games.com, Rose has a Passing Rating of 9.1 (NBA Rank: 27th). The Passing Rating was invented by the 82games staff to “reward passes leading to successful shots from close range at a higher rate than assisted outside shots, while including the rate of passing turnovers.” Basically, it’s about the passer giving the shooter the best percentage chance to convert a field goal.
Chris Paul led the league with a Passing Rating of 20.9. Meanwhile, Derrick trailed even guys like Golden State’s Stephen Jackson (9.8). At this point, Rose’s evolution as a player — and the Bulls’ evolution as a team — seriously depends on his ability to start creating easier offense for everybody on the roster…epecially without Ben Gordon as a bailout option.