Lost in the maddening melodrama of what would be most the most efficient route for Derrick Rose to take in his unsettling transition back as the indomitable force of the Chicago Bulls’ multifaceted attack is the fact that, at least statistically speaking, the former league MVP has been almost every bit as good as he’s ever been in his somewhat sputtering return this season.
More than three full seasons removed from being celebrated as the youngest MVP in league history, Rose’s overriding dilemma now lies in being able to do more of what he’s steadily showing himself capable of doing.
To wit, during his 2010-11 MVP season, Rose averaged 25 points, eight assists, and four rebounds in an average of 37 minutes per game, compared to the 23, seven, and three his current numbers (17, five and four) suggest he would now average over essentially the same minutes. Both set of numbers favorably compare to those Rose has posted over his six even remotely full NBA seasons, a time when he has averaged 21 points, seven assists, and just over three rebounds.
It all has Rose boldly declaring “my confidence is through the roof, man. I don’t need no more confidence, I just need to play.”
In the minds of Bulls fans, truer words were never spoken. Ditto, for veteran coach Tom Thibodeau, for over the last two years all the faithful of Bulls’ Nation have been forced to endure Rose largely being sidelined for two full seasons recuperating from major knee injuries.
It’s seems a good thing that Rose has such a reservoir of positive thinking to gleam from, for never before has he been questioned or scrutinized as he now finds himself on the regular. For at least a measure of that aggravation, Rose has no one to blame but himself for recently even hinting he’s thinking, however remotely, of anything beyond the Bulls winning in the here and now when he takes the court each and every time out.
But that all now seems a thing of the past, or at least more and more it’s picking up steam in that direction, as over the team’s last two road wins Rose has bagged 35 points, 10 rebounds, and six assists.
“I know how good I am and I know how good I’m going to be,” said Rose. “It’s just that I just need to be out there playing.”
Again, Bulls Nation would wholeheartedly agree, as over the nine games Rose has played in this season the Bulls are 7-2, compared to just 4-4 without him.
“He was playing with a high intensity level,” Thibodeau said. “And when he plays like that, it’s huge for our team. … Every time he’s out there, it’s important.”
Derrick Rose knows and embraces that theory more than anyone, he just knows for it to work over the long haul he has to remain true to Derrick Rose.
“When it comes to basketball, I listen to myself,” he said. “I have a lot of confidence in myself and my talent. I know where I’m going to be in a couple of weeks. I know where I’m going to be at the end. It’s just that y’all are going to be surprised to see me there. It’s just going to take time.”