Where did Derrick Rose’s passes go?

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.

Here’s a breakdown of where those passes went:

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.

, , ,

9 Responses to Where did Derrick Rose’s passes go?

  1. bscholtens@hotmail.com'
    Brad S. October 1, 2009 at 2:54 pm #

    Now that is a great post that brings up some interesting questions. Could some of our critism of the Bull’s Big men for their lack of interior production be unfounded? (in this case I am talking offensively, there still is no excuse for the bad interior D). How much responsability for that is on the center or power-forward versus how much blame does the point guard have to own up to.

    The above stats point to the fact that the Bulls basically run a “drive and kick” offense. It is a very effective tool to get open shots. However, it usually leads to long range jumpers which are always a lower percentage shot than a dunk. Also, it becomes defenable when used too often: the defense just refuses to collape on the driving player. That makes it necissary for the “driver” to either finish at the hoop, or curl back out and set up again. However, there is a 4th option: Get all the way to the hoop, and pass to your center when the defense rotates. A truly great point guard will make the correct decision and then execute any of these plays with equal skill.

    Given that I fully expect DRose to get even better in the coming years, then it would follow that our interior players should see their stats rise as well. I wonder if it will also be accompanied with a slight decrease in stats from our SG and SF?

  2. dojasouljah1@gmail.com'
    beesneezy3 October 1, 2009 at 6:40 pm #


    It was his ROOKIE year. Of course he’s only going to get better. Let us not get too caught up in his first year numbers. Which are actually very good all around. Yeah, could have been better, but I don’t think people were expecting a flawless transition from a one year college stint to the NBA. Especially on a team that is growing like the Bulls.

    Cannot wait for the new season, cannot wait for D. Rose to put up some big numbers, which no doubt is going to happen.

  3. B Colbert October 1, 2009 at 7:26 pm #

    id like to know how many of those jump shots are ben gordons. itll be interesting to see his numbers this year and see what happens when you have more than a one pass and shoot offense.

  4. stuart.dalrymple@gmail.com'
    AcidFiend October 2, 2009 at 2:07 am #

    I too was wondering how many assists DR gave to BG.

    Also its as much a reflection on the state of the Bulls talls that his inside assist numbers are down. You can’t make an assist when theres no-one capable of putting it in.

    I’m expecting Roses assists to drop this year, as he’ll need to make more shots in BG’s absence.

  5. felipeagarcia87@hotmail.com'
    felipe garcia October 2, 2009 at 3:41 am #

    let just hope he can put up even more better numbers.

  6. mitchela@us.ibm.com'
    Anthony Mitchell October 2, 2009 at 8:27 pm #

    What is the percentage of sports writers who REALLY played for an ORGANIZED sports team. What makes these guys EVEN think they know diddley about sports in the 1st place. I would not beleive in stock broker who actually majored in journalism. Why do we look at these fools as the last word on sports.

  7. jeffjohnsn@gmail.com'
    Jeff Johnson October 6, 2009 at 6:15 pm #

    Too much emphasis is being placed too soon on Rose’s playmaking abilities. He will be an outstanding player regardless of whether he’s ever a 10 asst/gm guy. Look for big improvement this year, just give him the ball and get out of the way, Vinnie.


  1. Where were the Bulls shooting? » By The Horns - October 2, 2009

    […] post about Derrick Rose’s assists got me thinking about where the Bulls were shooting the ball from last season. Fortunately, […]

  2. Not Qualified To Comment » Qualified Links - October 15, 2009

    […] A very interesting look at where Rose’s passes are all ending up.  Are they creating 3-pointers or layups?  Dunks?  Take a look. [By The Horns] […]

Designed by Anthony Bain