Who's the MVP? I think it's Derrick Rose

This is one of the weaker MVP classes in memory which is partially why Rose has such a great chance to win, and right now, is probably the favorite.   Of course, winning an MVP in a weak class is kind of like being one of the more poor billionaires in the world.   It's still a mammoth achievement that I thought Rose would have no chance of winning this year and relatively little chance of winning in his career prior to this season.

However, when you look at the candidates, things stack up well for Rose to win the award.

The other candidates all have significant holes in their resumes

LeBron James and Dywane Wade play with each other.

On top of that, they haven't beaten good teams.   Besides the Christmas day game against the Lakers, the Heat have a big sack full of memorable losses and not a whole lot of memorable wins.   On top of that, both have specifically failed repeatedly in the clutch in those close games against good teams. 

Ultimately, they don't have a better record than the Bulls, have an elite third option next to them as well, and their stats are down from previous levels.   LeBron won the past two MVPs, and winning three in a row is a near political impossibility especially after you stack up the rest of the stuff going against him in this paragraph.  Wade is generally considered the lesser of the two players (and rightly so), so his odds of winning are basically none while LeBron is on his team.

Dwight Howard is in the midst of his best season but team success is not following

I think Dwight might be the most deserving candidate this year.  He's a legit defensive player of the year candidate, but he's also putting up nearly as many points as Rose (23.1) while scoring at a radically higher efficiency rating.  As such, he's probably more deadly on both ends of the floor.

Unfortunately for Dwight, his individual prowess hasn't translated into an elite year for the Magic.  The Magic are on pace for 52 wins after winning 59 the past two seasons.  Go back through history and the worst team record of an MVP I could find was 54 wins (not counting the shortened season) which was Steve Nash (2nd time), but it was the 4th best record in the league.  The Magic presently have the 7th best record in the league.

It's certainly not Dwight's fault, but the lack of wins hurts his candidacy, and the fact that you can't go to him at the end of games due to FT problems hurts him as well. Of all the candidates, Howard is the one I could live with winning the award though.

Kevin Durant's Thunder are disappointing and Westbrook's hype has lowered his star some

Durant suddenly looks like part of a big two with Russell Westbrook arguably being just as valuable or perhaps even more valuable than Durant.  On top of that, the Thunder, after expected to take a leap forward, are only on pace to win 52 games this season.  Presently 8th in the league.

Again, players from the eighth best team don't win MVPs as a general rule, regardless of how good he is, he's not elevating his team enough if his team isn't playing better especially given that he has a guy on his team playing as well as he is.

Durant's still a viable candidate, but his team failing to meet expectations despite tremendous growth of one of his teammates will count against him.  Dwight Howard has won more with less around him so far, so he has no case on Howard at the moment IMO.

Kobe Bryant fights against poor team expectations and arguments of selfishness

The old story about Kobe not sharing the ball causing losses has come back as the Lakers have disappointed particularly against the quality teams in the league, much like the Heat.  The Lakers are operating best when Pau Gasol gets a lot of touches, but Kobe actually prevents that from happening at times.  

Given that Kobe's year isn't particularly special by his standards and his team has disappointed, I think he's out.   He's still having an elite season, but it's hard to see him getting much groundswell of support IMO.

Granted, the Lakers have started a big run post all-star break, and if they can continue to ride that momentum, then Kobe's star might rise again. 

Dirk Nowitzki might be the most deserving, but his reputation kills him

It's not fair, but the fact that Dirk has already won an MVP and his team has been a perennial playoff disappointment sinks his chances at the award IMO.   People still remember the embarrassment of giving Dirk the MVP and then having him have to accept it after his team was already eliminated in the playoffs, a fairly unheard of event.

The Mavericks have only made the second round once in the past five seasons since Dirk's MVP, bowing out in the first round four times.   However, given the Mavericks under the radar record (3rd in the NBA) and the fact that they had the majority of those losses with Dirk out, he doesn't have a second legit star, his team had a major injury (Caron Butler), and Dirk's individual greatness I think he's very deserving of the award this year.

That said, because of past performance, and the fact that Dirk just doesn't feel like a multiple MVP type player, I think he's passed over. 

Derrick Rose has no secondary star next to him


Carlos Boozer's impact on the game hasn't been as big as I expected.   He's been okay, but I rarely feel that Boozer impacts the game much.  His best attribute is that he can create decent (not great) offense for the Bulls at times to give Rose a breather.

Joakim Noah hasn't looked like the same player since returning from injury, and the Bulls dominated while he was out as well.

Luol Deng has been solid, but he's certainly not a shot creator and much of his offense is due to Rose.

Rose has a great cast, but like LeBron in Cleveland, it's a group of guys who need Derrick Rose not a group of guys who are great on their own. 

All of the candidates except for Dirk, Howard, and Rose had a legitimate
second all-star next to them, and many of them are playing with a legit
superstar next to them.  As such, those three candidates have a
considerable advantage in my opinion.

The Bulls are presently on pace for the biggest win improvement of any team in the NBA

The Bulls are set to win 57 games this season, 16 more than last year.   That improvement is more than any team in the league including the Miami Heat who added LeBron James and Chris Bosh in the off-season.  They're presently on pace to have the fourth best record in the NBA when preseason expectations were universally about 7-8 games shy of where they're currently projected.

As such, the Bulls have a lot of positive momentum.  People often view the direction as even more valuable than the absolute.  This is why a guy like Howard is hurt more because his direction is down.  

Also, Rose's mammoth improvement deserves the lion's share of the credit for the Bulls improvement.  I know the defense has been awesome, but the Bulls an elite defense in 06/07, but they couldn't beat great teams and only won 49 games.   This Bulls team is on pace to be 8 games better than that team, and it's because of Derrick Rose on offense.

Rose has a money stat

People always want to book some type of accomplishment that a player has that puts them in an elite category, and Rose has one.   In the history of the NBA, there have only been 20 seasons of 24 points + 8 Assists averaged for the year.  

If you add Rose's 4 rebounds, then there's only been 17.

Of all of those seasons (whether you use the 20 or the 17), only two have happened in the past 20 years.   I note that because the average scoring was much higher as well as the average minutes per game for each player.   The players who did it in the past era likely would not have done it in this era.

In the past 20 years, Michael Jordan and LeBron James each did it once.  That shows how immensely difficult it is to do what Derrick Rose is doing as those are, in my opinion, quite possibly the two best perimeter players in the history of the league and they each only did it once.

It puts some context on just how unique the season Derrick Rose is putting up. The stat has also been becoming quite public and put forth over and over again on the national TV broadcasts.

Speaking of national TV games, the Bulls are doing pretty well in those

Let's face it, the voters probably only see each player only so many times.   I doubt most voters watch more than 15 games of each player, and the games almost every voter watches are the ones on national TV.

The Bulls have 17 total ESPN/TNT appearances this season.  So far they are 9-5 in those games, and the last loss was against the Knicks on Christmas.   The rest of the losses were early in the season when the Bulls roster wasn't healthy.

However, they've won their last seven such appearances (Celtics, Mavs, Heat, Spurs, Heat, Magic, Heat) which should carry forth a lot of momentum for them.   Their remaining three games are against the Hawks, Celtics, and Magic, and while the Bulls will need to do well in those games to maintain that momentum, they presently have a lot of strong team momentum.

On top of the quality national TV performance record, the Bulls have the 2nd best record in the NBA against teams in the Jeff Sagarin's top 10.  The Bulls are 13-7, second only to the Spurs 15-7.   Seems to me like the MVP should lead his team to victory against the best teams in the league on the biggest of stages, and Rose has done that more so than any player in the NBA (there is no one guy on the Spurs to pick).

So what is working against Rose?

Efficiency rankings and all in one metrics don't have him at the top

For those who are stat geeks and love PER or all-in-one metrics, they don't really favor Rose that much largely because his offense isn't super efficient like some of the other candidates.

I think those stats sometimes fail to capture how great Rose is on offense and what a difference his offense does make, but there's certainly a case to be made there.

He didn't have the preseason hype for the award

It's kind of like in college football, if you start the season ranked 25th, it's hard to get to #1 even if you go undefeated on the season.   Voters will tend to think that Rose is young, hasn't paid his dues, and that he'll get one some other year, so they don't need to vote for him now.

Steve Nash won the award without any preseason hype, but he's really the only guy in recent history to do so.

They don't like to hand them out this early in a guys career (I believe Kareem 2nd season) was the last guy to win one before year 4.

There's always this weird 'turn' political thing in the NBA for the award, and there's simply no way Rose would win the 'his turn' battle.    Michael Jordan won in year four, Larry Bird won in year four.  It's hard to imagine Rose winning in year 3.   It basically just doesn't happen, at least not in recent memory.

Final thoughts

I have to agree with Derrick's preseason statement now.   Why not Derrick Rose for MVP?   I don't think he's the runaway winner of the award, but I can't look at any other player in the league and say "this guy definitely deserves it over Derrick". 

Can he overcome the things working against him?   I hope, and think, that he will.

Comments

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  • Rose MVP, Thanks to Coach Thibodeaux

    Rose would be in the MVP discussion no matter who coached him.

    But Coach Thibodeaux has turned this team around. He is the most valuable person. Just ask Rose, he'll tell the truth and say yes to Coach Thibodeaux as MVP (most valuable person).

  • In reply to rkraneis:

    Well Richard, that's why Coach Thibs will just have to settle for the Coach of the Year Award.. He's neck and neck with Doug Collins(who almost was this team's coach) and one of his mentors, Gregg Popovich. I give Thibs an edge in that this award seems to go to the up and coming coach often, although Collins has an edge in that his winning would produce the best writing material, "Coach brings team back from 3-13 start through physical illnesses and injuries". I give Thibs and Collins each a 50% chance to win if Philly can keep it close with New York for the 6th seed.

  • In reply to jgingeri:

    I think Thibs should win the award. Adding 16 wins or so when you start with 41 is a much bigger achievement than adding 16 when you start with 27.

    Popovich is an interesting choice, because he revamped the way the team played to get them to play better while shifting focus due to Duncan's twilight years.

  • I disagree with Doug..It is not a weak class at all. I guess you feel that way because of LeBron and Wade playing together. But that has actually given them a lot of positive impact of being on TV all the time. The problem is their team is not winning against elite teams. If the Heat had just won 50% of their games against the top 6 teams, LBJ will be in the front of everyone. I think Rose has just gone up so fast that even Chicago fans cannot believe what he is doing. It is just incredible.
    I feel actually this is one of the strongest races in the sense there are so many teams with superstars and good records as you have listed. Rose has just taken over and the scary thing is he is probably not even playing at 75% of his potential.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    we're not seeing a lot of crazy numbers this year though

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    I agree schaum, you can't say the race isn't strong just because no one is averaging 32 ppg. The strength of the race, IMO, is determined by the starpower and national hype built up around it. There has been tons of talk, whether it be on ESPN, TNT, or any number of sports websites(Y! in particular) arguing who should be MVP? Rose for leading the Bulls lightyears beyond expectation? Lebron for being the most dominant player? Dirk? D Howard? Today in the aftermath of the Laker's drubbing of SA I'm hearing Kobe. Not a single day has gone by in the past few months in which I didn't hear/read some debate of who should be MVP. And that indicates to me the strength of the race, not points per game.

  • In reply to jgingeri:

    IMO, it's a weak race, because none of the really elite teams are dominated by a single player. You have the best players in the league struggling with big holes in their resume.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    LBJ would have needed to have a historical year to have had any shot at winning.

    They don't like to give out the MVP to guys 3 years in a row, playing with Wade, and failing in the playoffs both of the past two years would have been held against him.

  • As I said in the podcast thread, I think Rose has the hype now that so long as the Bulls keep winning he'll win the MVP. Sometimes it's about a good story and like Nash made a good story I think Rose does too.

    That said at the risk of being called a hater I really don't think he's in any way the most valuable player. The Bulls are a playoff team without him. They'd suck on offense, but unless they were a historically bad team on that end the defense is good enough to get them to the playoffs, and I'd say a good shot to be #5 seed.

    The Magic without Howard and the Mavs without Dirk would suck and be firmly in the lottery. Heck even in the East where the #8 seed might only involve winning 35 games I'm not sure the Heat make it without LeBron given how badly they've played without all three main guys on the court.

    Really I feel like it's a bit of an insult to the rest of the Bulls if Rose wins MVP since all the hype talks about Rose doing things single handedly. They might not have the star names but I feel like the Bulls are the best supporting cast any of the candidates (maybe you could make an argument for the Lakers if you think Kobe's a candidate, but as good as the Lakers bigs are they also have 75 minutes a game of the Fisher/Blake/Artest trio of suck).

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    I get that you don't want one player getting all of the attention but your opinion of Rose not being the MVP is dead wrong. This guy makes the team as a whole worlds better. If you take Rose off of the Bulls do you really think they would have 43 wins? I'm sorry that you feel that way and in saying that I have to question your outlook on the game of basketball.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    and the Bulls more than likely would not be a playoff team, maybe if you added another all star but not any others player.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    I disagree...The Bulls would be a playoff team without Rose in the East. Look at the Denver game on the road...they almost won the game if not for John Lucas III and this was without any preparation for CJ Watson. And they didn't have Boozer.
    The other thing about the Bulls is some of the players are there to complement Rose but are still pretty good players on their own. For all his great talents, Rose does turn it over a little more than a normal PG.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    I think that was a once in a season thing for CJ... We have all seen what happens to the Bulls offense when Rose goes to the bench...The bench can maintain and sometimes extend leads because of defense but they can't do that for a full 48 minutes..

    While I think that we would be a playoff team without Rose it would only be because we are in the East in the 8th spot is almost a gimmy.... I dont think we would be a 5th seed like other have said... IMO without Rose we are not better than anyone 1-7 it would maybe be a push with Philly....

    And that is a misconception about Rose turning it over more than a normal PG unless consider the following list of players below the level of a normal PG:

    Westbrook 3.8 TOPG
    Rondo 3.8 TOPG
    Wall 3.7 TOPG
    Nash 3.6 TOPG
    Williams 3.6 TOPG

    Rose is at 3.6 TOPG

  • In reply to UtahBullsFan:

    Not to mention that we have the lowest PPG starting SG in the league... Dont you think that have the highest PPG PG in the league hides that weakness??

  • In reply to UtahBullsFan:

    Agree...for the amount of handling he does, that's a low number. But, Rose has made some crucial turnovers to change the momentum of the game which the Bulls have lost or come close to losing. I am not sure when others turnover.
    Yes, I think the Bulls will make the playoffs(God forbid: if the Bulls lose Rose or had lost Rose earlier) as a 7th or 8th seed. But, it's all speculation anyhow...doesn't matter much.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    I think He wins this year. Doug outlined it perfectly... Really what it comes down to is Being THE most valuable player on your team. Without Derrick you can take 10-12 wins off the board. Maybe more.. Unless some unforeseen occurrence happens over the next 21 games i expect derrick to win. I so want the bulls to win a title.. I was 10 the last time they won and i want to see them get it done

  • In reply to Reese1:

    Has anyone ever won the MVP and Most Improved Player in the same year??

    If Rose doesn't get MVP this year then he def deserves Most Improved... If Rose takes MVP then Westbrook deserves Most Improved

  • In reply to UtahBullsFan:

    Nobody gets the Most Improved for making the leap from star to superstar, despite the fact it's the hardest leap to make, so I don't think he'll win it. Kevin Durant should have won it last year but didn't for the same reason.

    I think Love or Aldridge will win most improved.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    I think the one aspect you failed to mention Doug is that people in and around the league WANT Rose to win. He's a good kid, humble, respectful, calls journalists "sir" and "ma'am"...he's the anti-diva. After a year of The Decision, Dwight's tech suspension, and the Lakers mailing in the first half, the fans and media are enjoying seeing a hard-working kid bust his ass and bring his team close to the top.

    So if stats are similar, records are close, and teams are comparable...why not choose the hard-working, humble kid over the rest of the diva candidates?

  • In reply to DanFrystak:

    Great point, and the timing could not be better. The MVP is all about politics & timing

  • In reply to DanFrystak:

    It's true, and was the same for Durant when re-signed with the Thunder, Journalists were ready to give KD the MVP there and then. Bulls are being noticed more and more, the hype is getting bigger, and Rose is getting a lot of love from analysts (Exhibit 1: Hubie Brown last night). It's a good story, so why not?

    Doug, you did a good job trying to be objective - I'd go with Rose for MVP but I know I'm way to biased to call it.

    It's my first post here though I read every story, keep up the great work Doug - you getting paid for this, or is it all love?

  • In reply to DanFrystak:

    Doug, where would you put the odds of all of these events occuring together this year:
    -Rose wins MVP
    -Thibs wins COY
    -Bulls win title
    -Rose wins Finals MVP

    1.7%?

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    I think the percentage goes up considerably when you take out Thibs for COY... I think he deserves it honestly but I dont think he will get it, it will either be Collins or Pop

  • In reply to UtahBullsFan:

    I think Thibs is the front runner, but we'll have to wait and see.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    Great breakdown but I disagree with one thing about Boozer. I think Boozer would have been better for the Bulls than Amare or Bosh.

    He spaces the floor for Rose and draws an automatic double team (even after blocking him a lot Miami was still double teaming Boozer) and he has a much better post game than Amare or Bosh.

    Boozer was only out 15 games at the beginning of the season so the Bulls were able to tread water and that probably got the MVP for DRose. But things got a lot easier when Boozer returned he does a lot of things that don't show up on the boxscore. Boozer is an absolute beast!

    However DRose is still deserving because they are overachieving and without him they wouldn't be close to where they are.

  • In reply to Hendu0520:

    Watching Boozer, I think he has very little impact on the game. I think the biggest difference is that the team started to really buy in and get the defense as the season wore on.

    The Bench was just atrociously bad early, but improved greatly during December/January stretch against crap teams. Now the bench actually leads the Bulls out of holes rather than puts them in holes.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    I have to agree, Boozer has been a huge dissappointment, Kind of reminds me of Elton Brand, 20 & 10(although not really 20 & 10 anymore), but not impacting winning very much.

    I am at the point where I think Boozer might have more impact as the primary scorer with the second unit, just not sure that Taj is a legitmate starter, and you really can't start Noah at 4 with Asik at center, but it is a lineup that I would like to see just to find out.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    Rose deserves to be MVP. I don't believe it should always go to the guy with the best numbers. Most of us in Chicago aren't under the illusion that Rose is the best player in the NBA right now, but he's at least a top 10 player and he's on one of the top 5 teams in the league. According to Hollinger's rankings, the Bulls are #2 with the highest current odds of winning the title.

    In my mind, there is more to being an MVP than efficiency. There are efficient players who seem to disappear down the stretch. Your MVP should be a leader who inspires confidence in his teammates. He has to be able to turn it up a notch when the team needs it but yet still not expect to be the only guy who can win a game. A lot of winning has to do with confidence. Rose has it without being obnoxious or boastful. He does it quietly, yet it rubs off on his teammates. At this point, you have to think that Bulls teammates have more confidence in their star down the stretch than the Heat or any other team do. Moreover, his style doesn't hurt his teammates ability to help out during the stretch -- he doesn't try to eclipse them, and so when it's their turn to shine they've come through. We've seen Noah, Deng, Boozer, and Korver all hit big shots down the stretch this year. Rose seems to have a unique leadership quality in that he is not only able to carry the team on his back, but he has complete trust in his teammates down the stretch so that they too can hit the important shots and make the big play when called upon. That is the mark of an MVP.

  • In reply to walrus:

    Agree 100 %, but I think he is at least top 5. For the sake of argument though, who is the best player in the NBA right now? That 2nd paragraph seems to make a pretty good case that there is not anyone playing any better right now than him.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    I believe he's top 5 too, ChiRy. But I only said top 10 to leave little doubt, even amongst Rose's detractors. Using efficiency tools, those people can make a case that Rose isn't a top 5 player, but you'd have an awful tough time claiming he's not a top 10 player.

  • In reply to walrus:

    I gotcha

  • In reply to walrus:

    One stat that I just saw recently, Derrick Rose has scored or assisted on 45.2% of Bulls baskets, highest in league. LeBron is 2nd with 42.9%.

    Sounds like another stat to prove the value that Rose has on his team.

  • In reply to kayak0109:

    I wonder what the stats would say about how many possessions a defender is involved in getting a stop, I'd bet Howard leads the league in that category, it's amazing how he has the Magic as a better defensive team than last year despite the trade probably downgrading the other defenders.

    Really I feel like Rose is obviously very valuable to the Bulls but Howard means more to his team than anyone. The Magic would be fighting the Cavs for the #1 pick without him.

  • In reply to walrus:

    http://i56.tinypic.com/153br7r.jpg

  • In reply to Crowned:

    Best off season acquisition right there!

  • In reply to kayak0109:

    +1. In my opinion he is the biggest reason of chicago bulls succes. We all knew that chicago would be a good defensive team. But nobody thought it would be that good. I thought it would take at least one season for us to be the best defensive team.

    The success of chicago is definitly because of Thibs(COY) and ROSE (MVP) !

  • In reply to Crowned:

    haha nice!!

  • In reply to Crowned:

    about the schedule, I agree that we are over the hump, but its not quite as easy as it looks. Including tonights matchup (the 2nd of a back-2-back), their are 8 B2B's remaining, 5 road games against teams that have already beaten us, plus 1 more against another playoff team, 3 games against teams we have not beaten, and 5 home games against playoff teams including a huge, huge April 7th battle against Boston.

    The Bulls need some easy wins to rest their starters, but at the same time the starters have to play late to continue developing the good habits like putting teams away with a big lead.

    With that said I like 18-3 the rest of the way

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    and Boston ain't dropping any games any time soon. Don't think they are catchable, esp considering they will have the tie breaker over us even if we beat them in the 4th & final meeting

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    We would be 2-2 so why would they have the tie breaker if we are even on W-L at the end of the season?

  • In reply to adocarbog:

    conference record, Boston 4 games ahead in the loss column right now

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    Tonight's isnt as bad as you'd think... Hornets are on a back to back and CP3 got a concussion last night!!! But its one of those possible let down games...

  • In reply to UtahBullsFan:

    no I agree, tonight's is easy, but I can't say the same about most of the other 7 B2B's

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    energy is a must tonight, but Thibs should have them ready, and their confidence must be sky high

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    Haha, the man says the schedule isn't that easy than predicts we play at a pace where we'd win 70 games if we kept it up all season ;)

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    That's how good I think this team is, & is capable of playing down the stretch with the eyes on the prize & everyone healthy

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    I see Howard as Rose's biggest threat. As of late, he's been going in beast mode. Not sure how the T's will affect his candidacy though...

    Of course, the usual guys will be in contention like Doug mentioned (LBJ, Wade, Kobe, Dirk) but I don't think any of them have been putting up stats (or wins for that matter) that blow everyone else out of the water.

  • In reply to Crowned:

    God I love Thibs

  • In reply to Crowned:

    i was a bit surprised to see thibodeau showing up his emotion.

  • In reply to Crowned:

    John Schuhmann also said on his twitter than Rose is a one man crew on a below average offense

  • In reply to Crowned:

    haha THAT is awesome

  • In reply to walrus:

    I think for all his accomplishments, Rose left it up for a little debate with his turnover and air-ball. But that said, he is a leader as you say and that's what is good about him. I actually think Rose and Nowitzki are the top two candidates for MVP with Howard being a close 3rd.
    The great thing is he is improving and adapting his game...I think that's an MVP(pass when you need and hit shots/takeover otherwise). Since he is so young, is anybody else really near his level right now and we are afraid to admit that he is probably #2 player in the league after LBJ.

    BTW, if the Heat lose in the playoffs, does Wade do a Melo and demand a trade to the Bulls?(hometown and he is the missing piece)...

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    if Howard played the whole season like he has the past couple of weeks, he would hands down be the MVP and best player in the NBA.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    Wade should ;) Sam Smith believes he's regretting his decision right now a bit, but a lot can change from here until June.

    It'd be tough to do a deal, the only guy that would make sense to Miami would be a deal centered around Noah. And Wade has no leverage as he's signed for a few years, so the Bulls can't force them to take less.

  • In reply to walrus:

    John, I totally agree the D Wade must be thinking twice about "the decision" to stay in Miami. I've been to plenty of Heat games, including when he and Shaq won there, believe me it's a second rate product.

  • In reply to walrus:

    I think D Rose has captured the leagues imagination and the MVP. We shall see.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    From the NBA power rankings

    Here's the thing about the Derrick-Rose-for-MVP talk: If you were to look at the Bulls in a vacuum (not comparing them to other players or coaches), would you say Rose is a stronger candidate for MVP than Tom Thibodeau is for Coach of the Year? As you ponder that, note the offensive and defensive rankings above.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    Rose is definitly the MVP. The only thing which can prevent him is his age. But if he doesn't get it, there's no canditate who deserves it.
    Too good, too strong, too fast : This is D-ROSE MVP !!!

  • In reply to walrus:

    No, you're right it shouldn't go to the go to the guy with the best numbers. MVP is not about stat. If it was Jordan would have won it all his career. MVP rewards the player most important one of the best teams. Actually James has better number but isn'T as important as Rose for his team.

  • In reply to deewaves:

    Well said deewaves...I agree with you 100%. I don't think anyone has been more important to their team this year than Rose.

  • In reply to walrus:

    Agree..I just don't get the stats stuff. Kobe scores 81 against a Toronto team and that's probably three games worth of his scoring.
    I would go with stats such as scoring avg against good defensive teams, playoff bound teams, road games etc...to use stats as a basis.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    Stats have to be a big part of the equation -- but I think you're right in that they do have to be looked at in context.

    It'll be interesting to see how it goes down. Rose has some momentum right now but there's still a lot of basketball to be played.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    -Rose wins MVP (90%)
    -Thibs wins COY (70%)
    -Bulls win title (50%, Let's not overlook celtics, spurs, lakers)
    -Rose wins Finals MVP (50%)

  • In reply to deewaves:

    That's some serious optimism.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    The MVP race always makes for a good debate. People argue that it's LeBron because the Cavs are so bad this year. However, you can conversely argue it's not LeBron because the Heat are not as good as people thought and really all that much ahead of the Heat's record from last year when you consider Wade has added LeBron and Bosh.
    One thing seems certain tho, Rose is and should be in the mix if not the favorite by a slight edge at this point. While it's true the Bulls have have the best fitting supporting cast around their superstar its equally true that Boozer and Noah have missed extended periods. What if the Heat were missing Bosh and Wade for the same amounts that the Bulls were missing Boozer and Noah. Those types of what ifs are leaning in Rose's favor before you even look at the head to head matchups that the Bulls have been winning with consistency since December. Now if they can clean up their act against the OK teams on the road the sky is the limit.

  • In reply to bullswin60606:

    The thing about the Heat is that from a basketball standpoint it was foolish to put Bosh, James, and Wade on the same team. There's way too much duplication of skill set there and it just left them with no flexibility to add good enough players to complement them. I fully expect the Heat to trade Bosh for a couple of pieces in the near future.

    Now, from a publicity standpoint, it was brilliant, but they probably won't win anything.

  • In reply to bullswin60606:

    The thing about the Heat's record is that they lost probably their next 5 best players after Wade (O'Neal, Beasley, Haslem, Wright, Richardson) from last year. It's not a simple matter of them just adding LeBron and Bosh, they completely gutted the team to do so.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    I loved it when Michael won his first MVP in the late 80's. I liked it a lot more when he backed it up with trophys.

    Individually Mike was the best player in the league for years. The most competitive on an individual level. I know he was often a huge prick, ego etc. He just "had" to win!

    Reason I bring up Michael is because he is the best case study I have to go by. I watched Michael all the time. And to me he was the best. But not the best teammate. Not at first, not for a while. But yes eventually he got there.

    Jordan didn't have the talent around him to win. But at some point there was enough there that he should have tried more then he did. Because you win as a team. Even though you often win with the best player; you win as a team.

    You have to share the ball to win. To win it all. The secret(props to Bill Simmons who poigniantly noted this concept).

    Finally Michael learned, and guys like Pax and Horace Grant really bloomed. Michael used to make a point of it. How important and how good John Paxson was. It's as if he had to keep reminding himself that other players mattered though he could do whatever he wanted on the baskball court. At any time. But not all the time. And that's why it takes the secret.

    Which really for me is what an MVP is: an ultra talented guy.. who knows the secret. And if you have an ultra talented better individual player, but one that doesn't know the secret..? Then you give it to the next guy. The 1a guy.

    That guy this season is Derrick Rose.

    Now is that the voting criteria for most who cast votes for MVP?. I don't know. Sometimes you have the, "Well it's his turn" syndrome like when Karl Malone won it for example. There's no quantitative formula or criteria. It's sort of a situational, subjective cloud in a crystal ball that one peers through in their own mind's eye.

    The best player is the one who just wins baby, and you know the number one reason beyond question is him. And ironically it's the guy that makes the players around him better.

    They said Michael didn't win until he learned the secret. He had to share the ball. Coaches like Tex Winter used to get pissed at him because unecessarily at times(many times) he took over when involving teammates would have been the winning move. Michael won a lot more 30 point and low 40's games then high 40's and 50 point games. I don't have to look it up, I just remember all the games when his point total was too high(feels funny to say that), and they would lose.

    Now some would argue that the guy with the best stats, and regular season numbers should win. In that case your MVP is one LeBron James. But for me, LeBrons claim to last second shots, and just being a late game gagger and free throw gagger as well aside, he just comes across to me as to as to self-involved to know the secret.

    Look at James' assists. His numbers are high, but yet with a teammate like Wade who is a better end game shooter then he is, yet what does he do, take the shot. The losing shot time after time after time. They are an unconscionable 1-18(ironically Bosh's stats in that awful black hole showing in a Chicago loss) in end games of a three point margin or less.

    Yet LeBron keeps shooting. Is that a guy who knows the secret?

    As far as I'm cocnerned it makes me throw up just a little bit when they talk about LeBron. MVP, greatest player in the game, heir apparent to Michael. Well hardy f-ing har to that.

    And the same could have been said of Michael for some time. Talk about Jordan being a prick to his teammates. Yeah, he was a ruthless bastard at times. And in practice he just about broke the spirit of his Robin(Scottie Pippen). And I don't want this to become an argument for or against revisionost history as to whether Michael is truly a villian/anti-hero or a white hat so to speak.

    But Mike even though he picked on Toni, he also learned to share the basketball with him albeit grudgingly as hell. And looking back on many critical playoff games like one to take a 3-2 edge against the Cavs in 92', it wasn't Michael that won that game. It was mostly his partner to whom he deferred in that nearly erased Robin in Scotiie Pippen with 30+ points and stud D as well. And Michael never looked jealous to me or put on a phony front. He was geuinely happy they won that game. Scottie became like a wife does over time. His better half.

    Because in the end, despite being an overly competitive prick much of the time, Mike, he "just wanted to win."

    And where does that phrase sound familiar?? Mr. Derrick Rose that's where. Derrick just wants to win. If that means taking over, he'll take over. Though he's not the best final game player by a lonmg shot. He's missed just about every one he's taken, and turned the ball over way to much at the end as well. But now on that very last play of the game who has he turned to? Himself? Nope. Try Luol Deng and Kyle Korver.

    Derrick's a closer right now beyond compare other then that final shot/moment as far as I'm concerned. And on the end of game thing, you either have that quality or you don't, but I do think Derrick will improve somewhat because he has it so bad. That jones. That's all he f-ing talks about.

    "All I want to do is win."

    But let's not be phony and cannonize Derrick. He has his faults. If he ddin't he wouldn't be human. And then we couldn't love him. Like Mike. I loved the guy.

    Derrick beyond the aw shucks portrayal, is marked on the court often by his aloofness. He rarely looks at teammates when they congratulate him afte a huge play or coming to the bench. Honestly, much of the time he's very remote/aloof.

    I'd say that's more a personality issue then a wilfull choice. But that's not an excuse. It's something he needs to overcome. Just like Michael IMO overcame being such a prick. At least until he left the game. But leaving the mountaintop is tough on everyone. Look at past Presidents as an example.

    So why did/do teammates love Michael and now Derrick? Because all they want to do is win.

    That means more to teammates then anything. That's why Taj Gibson is hugging Derrick, after he pretty much clinches the game with that six point bust a move outburst against the games two greatest individual players, hugging him with the gut bursting grimace of someone who has just been recused him from being staranded on an island after twenty f-ing years.

    Micahel Jordan, "I just want to win." I'm sure he said it at some point. And Derrick Rose says it till you hear it in your sleep. And the fans and his teammates love him for it. Just like Pax and Kerr, and Scottie, and Toni give that mischevious grin about Mike when talking about him when they played together.

    Because to a character/competitive athlete running with Mike, Derrick, it's like a charismatic sex addict being comped by Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor, and more recently that Johanson babe etc. all in their prime.

    That's what having the ultimate winner as your leader, your guy on your team means to these guys. Winning is everything to competitors like Jo, Lu(that's why he's come to life under Thibs), Booz(he looks like he's on a quest for the holy f-ing grail in these ball games when Derrick and the team are playing on this elite level).

    And that to me is an MVP. Michael was the f-ing MVP every single year in my mind because he had the off the charts talent, and in his mind it was simply, "All I want to do is win..!"

    And now it's Derrick Rose. A convenient comparison since they both played for the Bulls. But that's the way I see it. LeBron has the better stats. But Derrick has the better heart, and it shows.

    How long he can stay healtthy and stay in this zone I don't know. But the way he played in that Miami game, sharing the ball, knowing when it was D-Rose time to take it home/score, and the bravado he showed in the latter stages where weaker hearts fall, but Derrick rose up and hammered the Heat, that's an MVP. As for being a closer, wasn't it even Michael who watched Johnny Pax and Stever Kerr hit the big time money shots(please I'm not referring to porn ha, ha).

    And now, stated like the closing line in the movie A Few Good Men, "Atten hut! There's an officer on deck!"

    Well, scrutinizing media because Derrick is shy or aloof from his teammates at times when he's excelling, and he looks like a lessor man and soft at times with his mellow, lost expression, but yet, he's really not that at all. He's genuine. He's not a frontin' phony like Wade, LeBron etc. After taking down the team of Wade and James, Taj salutes, " Atten hut! There's an MVP on deck!"

    Amen Chicago. Amen.

  • In reply to MarkNorman:

    I really do apologize for this length, but I just felt like it's something I had to say. Go ahead and zing away on the " thanks for the novel" shots. I've got it coming.

  • In reply to MarkNorman:

    RW,,,you have gone Hollywood with the Marilyn Monroe references and with the length of a love story script;-)

    I didn't read the whole thing...but I kind of agree that Rose is showing something new in almost every game i.e. showing elite level things like a MVP

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    I actually like that zing, "length of a love story script" that was a good one. I'm all in on Derrick now that's all I can say. I just hope that three ball starts droppin again/whatever little hitch/glitch in that distance release falls back in line.

  • In reply to MarkNorman:

    Yeah!! I am waiting for those 3 pointers to drop. We need a game where the Bulls are beating up some team by 20-25 points in the 3rd quarter...Rose can go off on those 3 pointers a few times with those pull-up shots. I think if he gets them, those can open up our offense big time...I am dreaming.

  • In reply to MarkNorman:

    Given that you spend the time and energy to make a coherent argument, and you do it every day, you really ought to be putting this in your own blog. It's a comment box, not a thesis box.

  • In reply to bullshooter:

    I agree. Again, I apologize. I started one on Blogspot, but I just haven't gotten motivated to put them there because I just feel like there's no audience.

    Mostly I think my comments have been at an acceptable limit, but sometimes I'v crossed the line. This length was ridiculous, and again I am sorry. I really didn't judge correctly how long it was when I scrolled through it prior to posting which is a mistake I have made before. I just felt it was on point with what in my mind was soemwhat of a coronation game for Rose in that Heat win.

    A lot of thoughts needed seperate paragraphs and that spacing added significant length as well. I guess it's time to stick these on my blog, and not here.

    Apologies to Doug as well.

  • In reply to MarkNorman:

    Alright. Here's my blog if anyone wants to check it out. So far it's just the same piece I posted here today. But I will start putting submissions/actual pieces on here.

    Hope you don't mind me posting my blog address here Doug.

    http://nbastarnews.blogspot.com/

    I know I still need to put in my personal info etc., but at least I put some kind of page design on there. So, anyway we'll see how it goes. Thanks.

  • In reply to MarkNorman:

    Hey RW...I went ahead and checked it out. Good stuff...left a comment for you under yet another one of my noms de plume.

  • In reply to walrus:

    Thanks JA. That site blogspot.com I don't even see an option to look up blogs based by category like sports. All I can do is scroll through blogs one at a time(?), and most of them are on cooking or just a family page for people to post their happenings to friends. I don't see much good/future in posting there.

  • In reply to MarkNorman:

    There's some pretty big sports blogs on that site. Blogs can be hit or miss. I've read good ones with few followers and average ones with a lot of followers. My way of thinking is...I love writing and I love the subject matter...so why not? I'm having a lot of fun with my Cubs blog right now -- even though I have nowhere near a Doug Thonus-like throng of followers right now!

  • In reply to MarkNorman:

    unfortunately, these are the type of sports writers that have a vote for MVP:

    http://espn.go.com/blog/chicago/bulls/post/_/id/3546/video-rose-for-mvp

    I don't feel too optomistic (in the future of humanity as well) after listening to these 2 ass clowns

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    Its hard to be subjuctive & unbiased since most of us are Bulls fans, but you can totally tell when someone is trying to make a case just to support the way they feel. Its like that quote you use John, about a drunk man using a lamppost as support as opposed to illumination. You can completely see through these 2 guys' arguments, and that they are just trying to back up treir predetermined view that Rose shouldn't win.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    I think these guys have any votes. I have seen these guys on TV sometimes and they are basically giving opinions like some guy here who does trades. They just keeping throwing opinions against the wall and a few of them stick. That's all. Their show will have no ratings at all if they don't do this. I think this guy is so loud mouthed and screws LeBron so much, that LeBron even follows him on his twitter.
    No wonder, LeBron is a mental case because he follows Skip Bayless and gets upset about his opinion.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    I think MJ won MVP after the 87-88 season when the Bulls only won 50 games, tying ATL for the 7th best record. And MJ's stats were ri-damn-diculous with 35ppg, over 3spg and almost 6apg and 6rpg. But that shows how off-the-charts a player's stats have to be to win MVP without a top 5 record. MJ's had better statistical seasons than that but even that wasn't enough to get the Bulls 50 wins or better during those seasons, so no MVP.

    But even with a top 5 record, it still usually comes down to stats. In my dumbed-down observation it seems like voters - with rare exceptions like MJ in 88 - look at the one of the top 3 to 5 teams and pick the guy with the most impressive stats from that group. The stats are usually some combination of points, assists and rebounds. If 2 or 3 guys are close statistically, team wins almost always seem to be the tie breaker.

    If that trend continues, D. Rose's best chance to win MVP with his current stats is to finish with at least a top 4 record, with only SAS, BOS, and DAL ahead of them. I like Dirk, but his stats don't seem to be MVP-worthy this season. The same can be said for the stars on the Spurs and Celtics.

    If LA, ORL, MIA or OKC finish ahead of Chicago, the MVP is likely to go to the star of one of those teams. But of course, if I had a vote, it would be D. Rose all the way!

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    Skip Bayless always makes me fear for humanity. He irritates me even when I agree with him.

  • In reply to MarkNorman:

    If I didn't hit the nail on the head then Wojo sure did in this piece:

    http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/news;_ylt=AjtglHS.Sk8iH0TdRtFJ9lK8vLYF?slug=aw-heatissues030611

    Chickens coming home to roost for D-Wade?

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    I'd say around 10% at this point.

    Obviously if the Bulls win the title Rose will be the finals MVP, so it's really just a matter of the first three things going down.

  • In reply to DanFrystak:

    I think Howard, Dirk and Durant are probably the guys he's really competing with, and all of them have great media reputations and attitudes as well.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Dirk is likely the biggest competition for Rose, especially when you consider they might still be in single digit losses if Dirk had stayed healthy.

    Though, he doesn't seem to be getting much recognition nationally

  • In reply to Reese1:

    Yes, I think the Bulls have a winning record without Rose. For them to not have a winning record means you believe that either the defense relies on Rose (hard to believe given it was fine without Noah), or that the offense would be the worst in the league without Rose (hard to believe given how bad the Bucks are).

    I'm crediting Rose for 15 or so wins on a season. That's still a really awesome player, and it's exactly the sort of player this team needs since they already do all they can on defense and need someone who makes their impact on the offensive end.

    It's just not the best player in the league.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    I have to disagree. Defense is all about motivation and desire and confidence. It's a hell of a lot easier to get a team playing good defense when they know that if they do they are going to win as opposed to a situation where a team knows that if they don't play good defense, they are going to lose. Rose wins games for the bulls when they don't play particularly good defense. There is no way this team is better than the Hawks or the Magic without Rose.

  • In reply to bullshooter:

    You are exactly right shooter, I just posted a similar response before getting to read yours. You are spot on.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    Boozer vs Deng
    At the beginning of this NBA season, I never thought I would say this, but for same salary, I would actually choose Deng over Boozer today. In the current starting line-up, I see three solid players: Rose, Noah, Deng. I think all Bulls fans had higher hopes and expectatons when Boozer was acquired last summer. What I see is a better than average NBA player who disappears when game counts the most. Not saying Boozer is a bad player, but he is definitely not a star caliber forward in NBA.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    I'm getting a little tired of the boozer bashing. He tried to do too much when he returned from injury, since has almost always defered to Rose, but still his offense is a huge component of the Bulls success. He is far from perfect, but we knew that going in. We need Booze to win. And he will play better.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    Actually, Boozer is doing decent on defense in the last couple of games(off-course he had to guard Dampier yesterday who is scared of touching the ball). Maybe he is spending so much energy on defense, he doesn't have it for offense;-)

    I think Boozer is actually attracting a lot of attention and that's what will help. It is just that Noah is still not right yet to trust his 10-12 foot shots. Give it a few weeks for Noah to be doing that and we will appreciate Boozer a little more. Noah and Boozer are still figuring out to play with each other. If Wade and LeBron are still figuring out after 60+ games, we need to give Boozer and Noah a minimum of 20, 25 games together.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    well said. I think a lot of fans are kind of setting up Boozer right now should the Bulls fail in the playoffs. Negative attention has shifted from Deng & Bogans to Boozer, and I don't really think its fair.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    Definitely agree, its as if negativity has its own mind and has a need to find place somewhere no matter what the situation.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    I think Boozer's been a piece for the Bulls, but I debate in my head whether I'd rather have Boozer or Gibson on the court at the end of games, and I'm not sure of the answer.

    Boozer isn't stopping the traps on Rose any, and he's rarely making them pay for them either (not that this is all his fault or anything, Rose often can't get him the ball).

    I like Taj so much more on defense though.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    IMO, Boozer was supposed to be more than just a piece, as in role player. Heck, when Bulls signed him Boozer was even considered as the potential top dog (Rose developed this season beyond expectations of most). For a PF, he settles for way too many jump shots. Let's hope he gets better than what he has delivered lately.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    As much as I would love for Rose to win it, I think Dwight Howard is having an incredible year. Best defensive player in the league, and he's much improved offensively. He makes their three-point shooting game go with his presence inside, and of course he scores and gets offensive rebounds too. The only negative is free throw shooting. I think I would give MVP to him - it's not his fault he's surrounded by the ghosts of Hedo and Arenas.

  • In reply to punkedgepc:

    But I think Rose will actually win it. He seems more humble than the other candidate in the Year of Hubris, I don't think this can be discounted.

  • In reply to punkedgepc:

    I think Howard's having a great year, but how often has the MVP come from a team that doesn't have a top four record in the league?

    I'm not sure if it's ever happened.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Not recently, but it used to happen fairly often:

    Jordan in 87-88 - Bulls were 7th best
    Moses Malone in 81-82 - Rockets were equal 7th best
    Moses Malone in 78-79 - Rockets were equal 6th best
    Kareem in 75-76 - Lakers were equal 9th best (in a 18 team league, they had a losing record!)

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    I think the criteria has evolved a bit in the past 30 years. With the possible exception of Jordan, I don't think any of those guys would win with the way the the voting is done today. Of course, there's absolutely know way of knowing that, but today it seems that being part of an elite team is central to the argument.

  • In reply to walrus:

    I agree, the rules have changed, but Kareem won it on a 40 win team, I didn't realise that until I went and looked it up. And that was after demanding out to get to the Lakers, they didn't even make the playoffs and their record only improved 10 wins.

    Kind of puts into perspective the "LeBron hasn't improved the Heat enough and we hate him for being a team traitor" stuff.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    Nice comparison.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    @Shakes - Kareem's MVP win in 76 & Moses Malone's win in 79 were voted on by players only.

    And MJ (35ppg, 5.5 rbs, 6 asts, 3 stls & 1.6 blks) and MM (31ppg & 15rbs) had ridiculous [individual] seasons when they won MVP (without their team's having one of the top 5 records in the NBA).

    No individual this season is having an insane year that warrants them winning MVP on one of the teams in the [bottom half] of the top 10 of the NBA.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    MJ did it in 88...but D. Howard doesn't quite the stats to pull it off. He'd have to average close to 30ppg to win it if the Magic doesn't finish in the top 5.

  • In reply to magestew:

    agree man. that year MJ made the all time record in scoring average in a season : 35 ppg !! it was special, he deserved it.

  • In reply to deewaves:

    The all time record is Wilt with 50 in 61-62 (and Russell still won the MVP).

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Just because it hasn't happened (and other commenters seem to indicate that it has) doesn't make it right. I'm not saying that Howard will win MVP, but that he would probably get my imaginary vote. Still 20 games left.

  • In reply to punkedgepc:

    dwight is good but isn'T the first offensive option of his team.(3pts are their first option). Besides Orlando isn'T in the top 3 team of the East !

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    If Boozer can get back to how he was playing before he hurt his ankle I think a lot of the complaints will go away. He really hasn't been the same since then, before that point even though he still had his defensive faults I thought he was awesome, he really wasn't even a second option, he was option 1b to Rose's 1a.

    No idea if we'll see that though, a rolled ankle can take ages to really recover from, even if he's been playing on it it might not feel fully stable for the rest of the year. I'm sure if it's bothering him Boozer wont be letting on given he's copped enough flak for not being willing to play through injury.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    Nice insight about Boozer possibly not letting on that he's hurting a bit. It's certainly hasn't worked for him in the past to be forthcoming about his injuries.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    That was a long time ago and he has had a big all-star break on top of it. That might have been true in the few weeks after the injury. Wasn't that the first Miami game? He also has played less minutes because of his defense.
    Well, the Bulls better start winning by big margins to give Rose, Boozer and especially Deng a break in playing time although Boozer needs to play with Noah to get into some sync.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    I don't have any inside information on it, I'm just speculating and maybe he's fine. But his performance has been down in all areas since he missed those games, so I just wonder if he's 100%. Rolling an ankle is exactly the sort of injury that you are mostly OK in a week or so but can take months to get to the point where your ankle feels right.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    Nah the Bulls wouldn't be a playoff team without Rose, in fact they wouldn't be the best defensive team in the league. It's not as simple as saying "well Rose isn't a great defender so they'd be as good defensively or better without him". The fact that Rose keeps the Bulls in games is what allows them to play with the defensive energy they do. You aren't going to be the best defensive team in the league unless you have a reason to put forth that much effort, and that reason is winning. "Winning anyone!?"

  • In reply to jgingeri:

    The Skiles teams managed to put great effort without the offensive talent to score. He still has the Bucks putting great effort in on the defensive end despite being abysmal offensively, worse than what the Bulls would be without Rose.

    Heck, even Vinny had the Bulls playing hard, even if they didn't exactly always look like they knew what they were doing. I'm pretty confident that Thibs would have the team playing hard without Rose (although I doubt Thibs comes here if it was a team without Rose, so I guess you could credit him for that).

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    I don't think the Bulls are a playoff team without Rose.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Care to elaborate? I'd love to hear why you think the Bulls would be worse than the Pacers without Rose, because that seems pretty improbable to me.

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