Last night I watched Derrick Rose scorch the Atlanta Hawks for 44 points, 7 assists, and 5 rebounds leading the Chicago Bulls to a 99-82 victory over the Atlanta Hawks in game 3 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals. In his 3rd season, Rose has become the league’s MVP, a legit superstar, and a top 3 player in the NBA. I remember when he was coming out of school, there were plenty of doubters and plenty thought Micheal Beasley would be the better pro.
I remember watching Derrick Rose play for the first time as a freshmen at Memphis and being impressed with his combo of size, speed, strength, and ability to finish in traffic while taking on contact. I thought after the first ten or so games that he is the top pro prospect in college, while others thought it was Micheal Beasley. I recall debating in barber shops and on facebook about who should go number one in the draft and people saying “well he can’t shoot” or he’s not a true point guard.
Yes coming into the NBA one of Rose’s weaknesses was his jumpshot, but what other questions did anyone have about his ability to play the game? Having a suspect shot allowed him to average 17 ppg, 6 apg, and 4 rpg in his first year, while winning the NBA’s rookie of year award. His shooting from the field has improved every year so far as well as his FT% , 3pt FG%, and scoring. What does this tell me? That he’s putting in the work in the offseason, trying to fulfill the potential that he has.
Bottom line is this, in his third year Derrick Rose has put the Bulls back in the position of being a legit title contender, a place where Bulls fans thought they would never be again. He’s the youngest MVP in NBA history, he’s only 22 years old, and finishing up his 3rd NBA season. He’s a born leader, hard worker, and he just has that it factor on the court down the stretch when it counts. I know he’s going to have to deal with the Miami Heat for the next 5-8 years, but I believe the Bulls will be lifting up that championship trophy once or twice in that time period. I’m just looking forward to seeing to him continue to play in these playoffs and progress as a player.