Derrick Rose's future: Where should we set the bar?

So far this year, I've seen something that I never expected.   Derrick Rose's teflon armor already beginning to wear off.   I figured after a rookie of the year campaign the guy would get a bigger break with the die hard fans than he has.  Clearly, this isn't everyone, but far more people than I thought are starting to consider what we really have in Derrick Rose.

In fact, it's gotten to the point where I think the pendulum may have swung too far in the other direction.   Some outstanding performances by Brandon Jennings have put a huge amount of pressure on the Derrick Rose bandwagon.  

Instead of talking about Rose's performance in terms of good, great, or elite, instead of talking about him as our franchise player in one breath and him underachieving in the next, I think it's time to sit down and figure out what are our realistic expectations with Rose, so that we can really discuss  whether he's meeting them or not.

So here were my expectations for this season:
Improvement in his defense to become at least an average defender.
Improvement in his rate at drawing fouls at the rim by driving to create rather than avoid contact.
Incremental improvement in his jumpshot range and accuracy.
A change in attitude to be less passive
Improvement in his feel for running a team and creation of looks for others

Most people know I hate using per game stats as statistical markers.   I care more about per minute stats and overall efficiency markers.    So to put things down in terms of metrics I care to use, I'd say I expected this:

TS% > =53% (a significant rise in how efficiently he scores)
AST% >= 33% (I don't think he'll ever be one of those elite 50% type guys, so just some improvement)
PER >= 18 (an incremental step forward to where I hope to see him above 20 eventually)
USG% > 25 (a step up in how active he is)

Thus far, my hopes of incremental improvement in these metrics have met with slight regression across the board.   There are a myriad of reasons why, and instead of trying to find a root cause, I'm going to go with the "it's a little bit of everything" theory.  

- The ankle is bothering him.
- Our shooters aren't knocking down threes so spacing is poor which closes driving lanes.
- Defenses now game plan specifically to stop him as their primary priority so he sees more intense coverage
- He's simply going through a slump

I'm not going to go with the "he's not as good as we thought" argument.   Derrick Rose didn't have the best year of his career as a rookie last season.  He is as good as we thought [or at least as good as the people who didn't get carried away thought].   He is going to play better than he's played so far. 

Long term, my expectations are largely incremental improvements in the things stated above.   I hope to see Derrick as a 55% TS% scorer, 35% AST Rate, PER > 20 player. 

So set your own personal bar below, bookmark this thread, and then we can come back in a month. two months, end of the season, etc and decide whether Derrick is really living up to expectations or not.    9 games is too small a sample to get worked up about.   I think my expectations are reasonable, and I think he can still hit them.

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  • Turnovers are the worst indicator thus far this year. While his minutes have dropped by 4 a game, his turnovers have gone up .5. That is not a good sign (even though it's only 9 games in). I haven't been able to see all of the games but the one's that I have seen, Rose has looked awful with the ball in his hands. He's made terrible passes and has driven to the basket without looking for a shot, getting himself trapped under the basket with nowhere to go with the ball.

    On the free throws and that last comment, could this be because of his ankle? Is he shying away from contact? I don't know. Last year he avoided contact when healthy. What does that say and what kind of questions does that bring up?

    I don't think it's in his head to become aggressive. He's just a mild-mannered passive kid. That does not translate into superstar or franchise player. Rose can be a very good basketball player but I don't ever see him becoming an elite one.

    The silver lining in all of this is that he has stepped up in the fourth quarter of games and made some shots. Why is he not more aggressive for the first three quarters?!?!? It's confusing but it looks like we have another Deng-type player, good but not great.

  • Come guys don't count him out yet. Too early in the season for this. He will pull through, I think coaching staff is telling him to relax and let his ankle heal it's self 100%.

  • 16ppg and 8apg this season and go from there.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    And lead this team to the playoffs. Hopefully, with better results.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    Correction:

    18ppg and 8apg this season and go from there.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    Id be right around here as well.
    Ideally, with no injury, I expected him to be at 18-21 a game + 6-8 assists.
    Last year he was 16.8 as a rookie, so I didnt have a hard time seeing him getting just 4-6 more points a game if he came out aggressive (hasn't...).

    Thats my line 18 - 6 low but ok 22-8 medium...

    Assists to me arn't that easy to look at. Takes a guy actually making a shot for an assist to count so in my eyes with all these open looks we've had his assist should be higher. Hard to lead in assists when your teamates are clanking shots.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    If Rose got aggressive and started taking those shots in the key rather than pooping them out for long 2's, I think he could easily score 20-25 a game. After we lost BG, I sorta expected him to take over as "His Team". But our coaching staff doesnt even make him a captain. That's another topic, but one that bothered me. You cant have a cornerstone player thats not a captain cmon. Force the kid into if you have to. I like that he's nice and laid back etc, but this is the NBA, and stars are aggressive (if even to their own detriment sometimes early in their career).

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    I cant stress this enough. Until the Bulls get a true scorer to space out the floor, D. Rose will not fully live up to his potential. I've mentioned this before, but do you think John Stockton would have been a HOF player without Karl Malone? Its unfair to judge him, particularly, as you pointed out Doug, with the lack of an outside threat..I think this city has a real issue with letting players develop in all sports...we want immediate success NOW, but lets be honest, he would be what a Junior in college right now?

    Im not looking for Rose to be a big time scorer....I think Mr. Happy's numbers look realistic and attainable..I'll go with that.

  • In reply to Dmband:

    This is also a true statement. Rose needs a side kick. Batman needs Robin (even if that makes Rose Robin : )

    All in all I think its too early in the season and he's slumping from injury + pressure and expectations + trying to be toooo passive as a team first guy.
    Not sure how you do it, but I have no doubt Rose can get 18-20ppg / 6-8 asists with even a SLIGHT bump in his agressiveness. You cant / shoudn't expect less from a #1 pick.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    I was going to say, thats less points than his rookie year, I definately expect more than that. Assists wise though thats about right, he'd need some better players around him to get more than that anyway.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    Rose will have a great 3rd year. The 2nd year for most of rookies is not great. Also, he is missing Ben Gordon. Let him be this year. Ask more on his 3rd year in the league. This year, I want to see him shoot 3's regardless if he makes them or not. He needs to develop the 3 in order to be a star.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    Hey maybe AI would be that scorer...

    IM KIDDING GUYS...

  • Guys like Chris Paul, Deron Williams and even Brandon Jennings have better scoring big-man. That never hurts the assist totals.

    Derrick Rose is creating open shots for his teammates, but when they rely so much on perimeter shooting, it's hard for him to get assists.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    You can add Rondo and Calderon to that list too.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    "Who is the threat playing next to Dwyane Wade? LeBron and Carmelo didn't have good threats next to them early. "

    Far different skill sets that Rose. I have no expectations that Rose will become that type of player...

    "If you expect Rose to be a John Stockton type then this may be less true, but Rose hasn't yet shown himself to be that type of player. He typically drives to score first. "

    I think he does drive to score now because he has no one to dish it off to, If you look at his demeanor, he strikes me as someone who does NOT want to be the alpha dog..which is why its important with Rose that we do bring in that type of guy...I think you're absolutely right, those types of guys do not need anyone else...

    I havent seen anything in Rose that would lead me to believe he will ever be an "alpha", and thats not a bad thing..you cant make someone into something they are not...personality or game wise...

    Not every guy is, or wants to be, a 'leader' in the locker room.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    That was my point I guess, they are relying on the kickout jump shots since they dont have any great inside scorers. I love Noah, and think he's been killing it this year, but lets not kid ourselves and pretend he's a reliable option for scoring in the post. Until we get some aggressive driving big men (Bosh / Stat / etc) Roses assists are going to rely heavily on the jump shot. Thats just the way it is right now, so saying his assists suck is sorta controversial to me. Had he a decent scoring big man his totals would be way up (plus not clanking shots).

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    You know who is an alpha dog? AI....

    Alright, I'll stop.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    I want to qualify my statements by again reiterating, D Rose could easily still be playing at Memphis right now...and hopefully he continues to take a leadership role as he gets more comfortable..I just dont know if that's his personality.

  • In reply to Dmband:

    I think the biggest issue with Rose when talking about will he be a great player or a star, is all going to come down to his assertiveness. I have no doubt in my mind he has the talent / ceiling. Its all attitude. So far Ive seen more of a passive team guy, which is fine, but he'll never be the Alpha star if thats the case and will need us to pick up Bosh etc to help out.

    Ideally though, he's a slash to score type player, so Id like to see him as a 25ppg player, not a drive then pass guy. If thats the case Id rather see him play SG or something where its his job to play scorer not provider. I know I know lay it on me....

  • In reply to Dmband:

    By the way, whats up with Noah being such a sick dunker? Buggy Whip? Never ever ever ever thought Id be rah rah ing after Noah goes up for a dunk. Hell, I didn't think he could dribble until the now famous Peirce steal + drive + slam and foul.

    Ive got to hand it to the kid, he's shown himself capable of dribbling, and even throwing down some classy dunks. I had no idea. Also, ever since the pierce play, Ive constantly thought "Tyrus Thomas sure can fly, but if he had that ball he would have dribbled it off his foot wildly out of bounds in .5 seconds" Something about Tyrus being so spastic with the ball in his hands irritates me. Good to see Noah can actually dribble when needed : )

  • In reply to Dmband:

    "Hell, I didn't think he could dribble until the now famous Peirce steal + drive + slam and foul"..

    I was lucky enough to be at that game...believe it or not, I went online the day before and bought 4 tix bc I live right down the street, so I figured why not......we sat in the last row of the stadium, but it was one of the best sporting events I've ever been to...

  • In reply to Dmband:

    Your Lucky, is all Im going to say. I'd kill to go to a Bulls playoff game...Been a fan since I was in 1st grade (Im 30 if that tells you anything). If they keep getting better Im going to have to buy tickets / plane tickets and make the trip.

  • In reply to Dmband:

    I have to agree with Vohaul:

    I think the biggest issue with Rose when talking about will he be a great player or a star, is all going to come down to his assertiveness. I have no doubt in my mind he has the talent / ceiling. Its all attitude.

    I think Rose has so much natural talent that he could be a top 10 player in the league. Physically he's as gifted a Point Guard as this league has ever seen. I'm taking Magic out of the equation cuz he was a freak and could play any position. But I don't know about his killer instinct. I was wondering to a friend of mine the other day if his family, who kept him humble, kinda ruined this.
    I think we've seen flashes that he can be the man, and he isn't afraid of it, he's just so damn lade back, it drives me crazy sometimes. There have been so many times this year that I've been yelling at him to shoot when he's at the basket and he doesn't.

    On another note I think the ankle still bothers him.

    Oh, just for some perspective. Last year about this time I was really not happy with Noah, I'd say it's fair to say we all weren't. So hopefully a year from now we're saying similar things about Rose. Also, I don't think that first playoff game was imaginary.
    As well, I've always liked Jennings, at least what little I saw of him in High School, I differed from you (Doug) in this way, but remember it's only a few games. Let us see if he can sustain it. Personally I think he can, but remember last year there was a rookie on GSW who was putting up gaudy numbers, I couldn't even tell you who that was now.

    Doug where can I find some of these metrics, TS% for example? I know Hollinger releases them, but I don't want to give ESPN money.

  • In reply to Dmband:

    Vohaul-
    Its worth it...the playoff atmosphere is pretty good in that building..Been to several playoff games dating back to the dynasty years..I think the crowd is actually better now than it was in the late 90's because there are more actual fans there than bandwagoners/businessmen...

    I'd say save your money till next year when D wade is here...(wishful thinking) LOL

  • In reply to Dmband:

    Middle-Finger to whoever feel Rose should be traded. You so-call fans can't be true to the heart if you're doubting your own soldier. It's sad to see that taking place on a Bulls Forum. I know Chris Paul and other players are on most of y'all list but blood is thicker than water. No need to be throwing salt on the open wound of Rose. My sister hooped with him a lot a couple years ago and she told me he could [hoop]. I didn't think y'all could disconnect the Chicago blood for some foreign. After all, I know he's not from y'all neighborhood, but, still, give him a break.

  • In reply to Dmband:

    Arguably more than Wade, I would think his incentive is greater than any other player in the league for his hometown.

  • In reply to Dmband:

    Simeon, as far as I can tell, NO ONE is saying to trade Rose?

  • In reply to Dmband:

    My point is that Rose has a greater incentive than Bosh, Paul, and whoever else. Rose is from Chicago and us getting Bosh doesn't sure up anything. I feel fans should have patience and let the staff organize the right players around Rose. I think if you drop Salmons and replace, while finally getting a 4 that can supplement Taj Gibson like a Bosh or Stoudemire then we'll be fine. Until then, teams will persistently make Rose pass the ball around to the non-shooters in our starting lineup. I think Deng is the only one that helps Rose because of his skill-set. Salmons doesn't help Rose skill-set. People wonder why Rose was so effective last year, simple, Rose had Gordon beside him. All we know is that Salmons is a underrated player that can score. This year he's being exposed as the most underrated VOLUME scorer. To limit my point, here's my blueprint:

    PG: Rose
    SG: Xavier Henry
    SF: Deng
    PF: Boozer
    C: Noah

  • In reply to Simeon2UC:

    I like Bosh, but generally think he's soft.

  • In reply to Simeon2UC:

    Rose: Jay Cutler

    Rondo: Philip Rivers

  • In reply to Simeon2UC:

    Rose = Good Guy
    Rondo = a PUNK

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    MrHappy thanks for that reply. Well Put, D~Rose will pull through. Remember this is a marathon not a sprint race. He will pull through this road trip!

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    2k10 RoSe, will represent not only for his team but for his hometown as well.

  • Brandon Jennings has Andrew Bogut. He has the ability to put up 20/10 every night. That doesn't hurt Jennings stat-line.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    It's hard to compare Rose to Wade, LBJ and Carmelo. Those 3 guys are top five talents in the NBA.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    Like I said before, it's hard to judge Derrick Rose's progress because of his injury and the limited pre-season action. He's been playing 7 minutes a game less than last year, as well as taking 2 less shots. When you consider those facts, he's playing just as good as he did last regular season. I believe he'll break out and show his improvements, as soon as he knocks some rust off.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    It wouldn't hurt Derrick Rose's game to see John Salmons, Kirk Hinrich and Jannero Pargo shoot better than 35%.

  • True. I think its a little of both. Ideally, for me I excpected Rose to come out gunning with the loss of BG. Id prefer he be a true cornerstone, not just a nice PG for another star to play with. So you're right, if Im being honest my expectations of Rose are to become a STAR, not a very good point gaurd. And if he's going to do that he's going to have to learn to shoot the ball when he drive / draw contact rather than kicking out those passes for cruddy long two's.
    Still though, having some better post options would help Rose tramendously. Noah is a great rebounder, but teams ignore him for offense. That really hurts Rose.

  • Rose is just rusty IMO. I think we'll be seeing a much stronger competitor after a month. Injurys take a long time to come back from in the NBA. He'll turn it on after a bit. Like I keep bringing up, DWill went down last year early on, and my parents, huge jazz fans, were suffering about how horrid he was for 2 months. Once he finally got back it was on though.

    I think we need to really step back and let him heal up. Its slow, but its happening. Like Mr. Happy says, he's been riding the pine a lot more than last year too.

    Ideals and Expectations though, I think Rose needs to become a 25ppg player this year if Im being honest. I think he has the ability, he just needs to get it through his head that he has to become aggressive like Wade etc. Will I be fine if he scores 18? Probably, but if Im being honest again I will be let down by that. Maybe Im expecting too much, but if he's going to be our cornerstone he needs to be dumping 20 a night no ifs ands or buts.

  • I wish Rose had some of Cutler's instincts, like that he can do anything on a football field. I think Rose would be awesome if he felt that way. It also is a better way of being in basketball than in football.

  • When he was at Memphis I said Rose was a future super-star, this was long before he was with the Bulls or we had the first pick. So for the sake of being consistent I'm sticking to it. I'm not as confident as I was though.

    I forgot all about basketball-reference.com, duh.

    I love TS% by the way. I was having a conversation with a buddy about how great a season Chris Paul is/was having before his injury, his TS% is ridiculous.

  • I bet money if Bosh was from Toronto, their GM wouldn't have problems with the fact he could possibly lose Bosh in this upcoming FA. I don't think Lebron is leaving. I think Wade will come here if Miami lose their spark. I know how it's going to play out. I wouldn't even consider or entertaining the thought that Rose would leave his team. Rose understands what adjustments he has to make.

  • That's a different story. Eddy Curry priorities was suspect from the beginning. He was not, near, mature as Derrick Rose coming out of highschool.

  • Yeah, Im not for trading him at all...Its interesting the comparisons to QB's because I think you can certainly draw the parallel between QB and PG in basketball. In neither sport would you want to trade away a "Franchise QB" or in this case a Franchise PG...you have to build the team around his strengths, but to Doug's point, Im not so sure we know exactly what those strenghts are YET.

    For example, if Rose is not a vocal leader, bring someone here who will be...again, dont try and make someone something they are not...I hate to bring up the Cubs, but people give Derek Lee a lot of crap for not being an outspoken leader in the clubhouse...thats just not how he is...you build your team around the core groups strenghts/weaknesses

  • In reply to Dmband:

    +10

  • In reply to Simeon2UC:

    Magic Johnson, I presume is excuded from this observation since he was not the typical point guard.

  • In reply to Dmband:

    Doug-

    Meaning he's the one running the offense, calling the plays, distributing the ball...etc.

  • In reply to Dmband:

    Also from a decision making standpoint, if you think about a QB post snap and the PG at the top of the key...

  • I'll let you know after next season.

  • Rose = Parker
    Jennings = Iverson

    I'll take that.

  • Actually, it is relevant that Rose is from Chicago. Did you happen to see the list of quality NBA caliber PG's and/or ballhandlers that came out of the Chicago area?

    Isiah Thomas
    Tim Hardaway
    Doc Rivers
    Maurice Cheeks
    Dwyane Wade
    Will Bynum
    Shannon Brown
    Luther Head
    Sherron Collins
    Evan Turner

    ...and the this goes on.

  • He's creating open look after open look for his teammates.

    Salmons, Hinrich and Pargo need to knock down those shots. Or John Paxson and/or Gar Forman need to go out and get the Derrick Rose a big-man that can put 20/10 every night.

  • The way that this team is constructed today, for this season at least, the best way that Rose can improve is to become the #1 option on offense. He should look to score first, which will draw the defense to him and open up the floor for our role players to get better(Open)looks.

    Rose needs to attack the rim at every opportunity. He needs to relentlessly push the ball up the floor. His jump shot is good enough, in fact his mid range shot is probably the best on the team, and it will only get better as he pushes the pace and teams have to guard against his driving.

    I truly believe that the 2 things holding him back right now are, the achilles injury(lack of confidence in his physical abilty) and Del Bimbo.

    VDB is telling him to pull the ball back and run the offense, which if Rose is not attacking the rim consists of four guys standing around the perimeter passing the ball 3-4-5 times to make Del Bimbo feel good that they are running the offense, with Noah scrambling like a mad man to get an offensive rebound.

    I guarantee that if we had a coach with a clue Rose's development would be on a much higher trajectory. I don't know if having your first 2, hopefully not 3 years under Del Bimbo will permantly retard Rose's development. It might be sort of like a newborn baby, the first few years provide most of the growth upon which the rest of your life(career)is dependent.

    I believe that Rose has to average over 20ppg, I don't care too much about his assit numbers, they will naturally improve with aggressive scoring. I would like to see him become as good of a defender as he is an athlete(he should become a doberman, ala Michael, Scottie, and Horace) and finally I would really like to see him become a great rebounder(for a point guard)like the young Jason Kidd, the current Rajon Rondo or even Russell Westbrook. Rebounding is an act of aggression, one reason why Gordon never got one(except for getting his own,(money or shot), he is a pacifist)

    Bottom line, we have no alpha dog, just a bunch of role players who cannot create anything for themselves. Rose absolutely has to be the alpha dog. If he doesn't get this premise, somebody has to jam it down his throat. Unfortunately, I don't see that somebody in this Bulls organization.

  • You cannot be serious, that team has no shot in the playoffs against a healthy big 4 or 5, Lakers, Celtics, Orlando, Cavs, and Spurs. Kobe would just go into the post against Gordon every time down the floor, shoot 80-90% from the field and average 50-60ppg.

    Maybe no shot against the new look Hawks, revitalized Suns and most of the rest of the good teams in the west(Denver, Portland, and maybe Dallas)

    How is that team any better than Bosh's current team. Bosh himself is the only obvious upgrade. Well I maybe have to give you Gordon today(although I wanted the Bulls to trade Gordon to Washington to get the 5th pick for DeRozan, and I would make that trade today(Gordon for Derozan)for the future of this Bulls team.

    Bosh doesn't lead any team to a title, it is not his
    nature. He too is at best a number 2 guy, much like Gasol and not even at the level of Scottie Pippen. I don't see a Jordan, Kobe, Lebron or Wade on that roster.

    Hinrich is not a championship caliber starting point guard. Hinrich and Gordon are not a Championship calibre starting guard combination.

    Deng and Noah would be starters on a championship caliber team, if they are the 3-4-5th best players, and 1&2 are legitimate 1&2's, which Bosh and Gordon are not even close.

    As a full time back-up, even to Bosh, Tyrus would become a Mope a Dope, which would make him borderline useless, if not outright counterproductive.

    With both Gordon and Bosh we go back to being the team we were last season, and Toronto is this year, all offense no defense, no team chemistry, no effort, no rebounds, no rings.

    I usually find you to be a reasoned and astute observer of the NBA scene. With this one you appear to have gone off the deep end. Are your Gordon withdrawals poisoning your objectivity.

    This might be the single most hyperbolic statement that you have ever made on this blog. What is up?

    Never-the-less, on draft day, that is a trade that would have been hard to resist, if Toronto would have actully considered it. Just don't agree with your result.

  • I don't think that asking him to be the alpha dog on offense is asking too much for this season, especially when we have no other option and desperately need him to be. He showed micro-bursts of that ability last season.

    I realize that the other 2 are a pipe dream right now, but if Rose is the athlete that everybody says that he is, both are attainable goals for his career.

    If none of these are attainable then he is pretty much a bust as the #1 pick in the draft.

  • If the only thing that makes you an all star is your ppg average or even your favorite stat scoring efficiency then he is might be competing for an all-star berth. And that is only because the pistons 2 best players(Hamilton and Prince) are out with injuries. This is a dream come true for Gordon, the ability to jack up all the shots that he wants with no accountability for anything else or to anybody else. The guard playing for Detroit that I covet is Will Bynum, we should have signed and traded Gordon to Detroit for him, but of course the Pistons would never have done it even if they had to.

    However, if like me, and every coach that has ever won a title, you believe that ppg is the most overated and least important individual statistic in basketball, and that everything other aspect of the game affects winning more, and that Gordon does absolutely none of everything else then you realize that the only position that Gordon should ever be considered for at the allstar game is a spot in the 3 point shooting contest.

    By the way did you catch Mr. Clutches performance the other night against Dallas, 1-16, missed the game tying(or was it winning) 3 at the buzzer.

    There is nothing irrational about my dislike of Gordon. It is well founded in facts, by watching nearly every Bulls game over the past few seasons, and a lifetime of playing the game myself, being a great teammate, rebounder and glue guy, ala Noah.

    I have stopped by the NBA league pass to watch some Piston games and when not scoring Gordon does exactly what he has always done, stand around and watch his teammates play, he might as well be grabbing his crotch. Obviously there are no advanced statistics to quantify this enourmous deficiency in his game, thus you have to actually watch him with your eyes like I do, and focus on him when he is not shooting, which to an astute observer and semi-purist makes him absolutely, maddeningly useless, but not irrationally so.

    Why do you think the Bulls are suddenly playing defense this season, and act as if they actually like each other. While no one has said it directly, every single Bulls player has said it indirectly that the abscence of Gordon has brought them together as a team. We have won 6 games already this season with defense, we won none last season.

    Read Sam Smiths recent comments about the Bulls game against Sacto, specifically his comments about the loss of Kevin Martin(a 30ppg scorer who I would take over Gordon, a 20ppg scorer any day) and why the Kings immediately won 4 in a row when he went out with an injury. Something about the lack of value to a team of one dimensional scorers like Martin, Redd(and Gordon).

    I am not that good at searching the internet world for stats. But will somebody please prove to me how many games did Gordon actually win for the Bulls in the last minute with his great clutch shooting over his five years. I am certain that I have more fingers than he has game winning shots, probably on one hand. In order to be the games greatest clutch closer, you actually have to win some games for your team on a regular basis. So how exactly does Gordon qualify, where are the stats to support this irrational hypothesis.

    Furthermore, how many games did he singlehandedly lose because the opposing 2 guard outscored him and/or set a career high against him, probably more than he has game winners. So who is the irrational one, me or the Gordonophiles. I care about winning, not getting on sports center. Of course there is nothing wrong with doing both, but winning comes first, just ask Duncan, Popovich and the rest of the Spurs.

    Doug, I enjoy your site, I respect your takes, and I appreciate the style with which you conduct your site. I certainly don't want this Gordon thing to become personal, especially since he is gone, and soon to be forgotten(once we make a big splash in the summer of Lebron).

    But you still have to explain to me how that team competes with the Lakers, Celtics, Magic, Cavaliers, at a minimum, as well as San Antonio, Denver and Portland. I will grant you that they could compete with Bosh's current team, while not agreeing that they would be better at every position. For what it is worth, Calderon handily outplayed Rose in the game last week, unfortunately that isn't saying much this season.

    This type of debate, inspired by the passion for the game is why we love being fans and participate in these sites.

    Keep up the good work, don't really know how you do keep it up.

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