The Derrick Rose from 2011 will never be seen again. That year, on his way to becoming the youngest MVP in NBA history, the 22-year-old Rose averaged 25.0 points, 4.1 rebounds, 7.7 assists per game and led the Chicago Bulls to a league-high 62 wins.
He shredded defensive game-plans into confetti, could get anywhere on the floor whenever he wanted and was the most savagely athletic player his position had ever seen.
Injuries ruined it all. But a glimpse of his former brilliance is currently on display, and with Rose finally healthy, it’s fair to wonder whether this top-notch production can finally sustain itself:
Derrick Rose has now shot at least 50 percent in his last 7 games, every game since All-Star break; averaging 21.3 and 55 percent on 3s
To be a great NBA player, consistency is paramount. Everybody in the league is talented enough to drop 30 points on any given night. Rose needs to show out for an entire season before he can elevate into a higher tier.
But, still, something about his game is so hypnotizing; he’s a lightning bolt in the open floor:
Rose can still create modestly efficient shots for himself, but his assist rate is at a career-worst 26.3 percent. In 2012, it was 40.3 percent. And beyond his inability to draw help defenders like he once could, for the rest of his career fans will hold their collective breath whenever he falls over:
It still gets dead silent every time Derrick Rose stays on the ground for an extended period of time. Appears to be fine in this instance.
On one hand, Rose’s recent play is a nice story. He’s playing well and efficiently and doesn’t lose his cool whenever his pants fall down in the layup line:
On the other, it sometimes feels like his fans still expect him to pick up where he left off, highlighting the positives while glossing over his serious flaws.
Five years ago, Rose was an unguardable nightmare. Even though his numbers are trending in the right direction, he still has a long way to go before he can ever put that same level of fear in his opponents each and ever night.