Derrick Rose is in the express lane to the Hall of Fame. From Rookie of the Year - skip a year - to All-Star, all before the end of his rookie contract. Derrick's had such an impact in the NBA in his short tenure, that he already has emblazoned himself in league doctrine, having a new clause named after him (a la the "Derrick Rose Clause") because of the amount of success he's had early in his career.
But I'm not voting for him in the All-Star Game.
Not because he doesn't deserve it, or because I'm a hater. It's kind of...well....complicated.
Maybe a list would help:
Reasons I'm Not Voting For Derrick Rose To Go To The All-Star Game
1.) He will get voted in anyway
Rose is a lock.
Yao Ming will probably get voted in again. The All-Star voting has serious flaws, one of which is even letting the fans vote in the first place. It should be a reward or testament to who has performed to highest level up to that particular point in the season. Not a popularity vote, that is what the slam dunk/3-pt competition is for. All Star voting should mirror the All-NBA team picks at season's end.
With that being said, you have to understand that Rose will automatically get the vote. His performance alone get's him in, and probably as a starter. So why waste your vote on a lock? Luol Deng deserves to be a starter, so focus your attention on making that happen. Although with the minutes he plays, I wouldn't like to see him play either.
2.) He is already banged up and the season in too short
Derrick Rose's health in undoubtedly the main ingredient to the Chicago Bulls success. Althougth in his absence the Bulls have a chance to win, given their depth. Unfortunately that will not hold true in the postseason.
Last season it was evident that Rose was not only running out of gas, but suffering from the nicks and bruises from the 82 game season. Take that season and condense it to 66 games in under 120 days and you have a recipe for disaster. Back-to-back games and sometimes three games straight, the Bulls will need every ounce of Rose's energy to break the Eastern Conference Final wall.
This season, Rose is dealing with a multitude of injuries earlier than most expected. Rose recently missed a game against the Milwaukee Buckswith a sprained right toe, he is padded up extra tight and was forced to change his shot due to a stint put in his shoe. Rose went 0-3 from 3-pt, until noticeably changing his shot, going 2-3 from behind the line in the final 7:30 in the 4th quarter.
3.) Focus is paramount
We all know that Derrick Rose is humble pie. We also know that his main dedication and focus is to win, and a championship at that. However, he is human. This shortened season changes the game for every team in the NBA, a break at the mid-point is a great way for players to get an opportunity to rest and regenerate before the second half.
Especially a Bulls team that seems to be playing even better than they did at this point last season. With a record of 11-2, the Bulls once again have the league's best record. Even pulling a win without Rose against the Milwaukee Bucks 78-64. This type of chemistry with youth is amazing, the Bulls need to continue to capture that magic in a bottle and stay focused during the chaotic lay-off that is the jam-packed All-Star Weekend.
I know Derrick brought his family with him last season to stay grounded and feel at home. I hope he continues that tradition this year. Because with teams like Miami Heat, Lakers, Mavs, and Thunder all tuning up specifically for the postseason, Rose cannot run out of gas this time.
"As I See It" prediction: The Lakers will pull the trigger for Dwight Howard, so look for the West to shake up a bit.
4.) Other Bulls players need the extra work
*Like I said before, Rose is already a lock, he also understands it is an honor.
The game itself however, is a snooze fest celebrity pick up game. With failed alley-oop opportunities and players gunning shots early to see who is on, that player usually ends up gunning the most, and staying in the game the longest. Ultimately winning the All-Star Game MVP award, the most meaningless in all sports awards. Rose should at bare minimum make a one quarter starter appearance, or if he is still feeling affects of the sore toe, accept the nod and just not play.
- Noah struggles
Joakim Noah on the other hand needs as many opportunities to play as possible. He needs to focus and shake off whatever this "rust" or "just bad play" is that we've all been watching for the past couple games. Carlos Boozer was the biggest question after last season's ending vs Miami, now it's Noah.
I also believe that Luol Deng has completely gotten over whatever injury bug ailed him earlier in his career. Although I feel that stigma what a subtle derivative of a Chicago media, one that didn't particularly like his contract with the Bulls, given the talent available at the time. Deng seems to thrive with the more playing time he gets, leading the league in total minutes played with 511mins.
Boozer is playing well as of now and Noah is struggling, offensively at least. All in all, not a bad situation if interpreted conservatively. If the Bulls can get all cylinders firing and take a healthy team into May, we may just be ready to plan a trip to Grant Park.