Are the Bulls better off without Derrick Rose?

Are the Bulls better off without Derrick Rose?

HAHAHAH, no. Look, I know the Bulls lost a game with Derrick Rose to the Knicks only to win fairly easily without him a couple nights later. As we all know, any given day something different can happen. That's why two teams can play a seven game series and go to seven games even with the same players suiting up.

The Bulls did lose to the Knicks largely because Derrick Rose played poorly, but let's not confuse that with the Bulls being better off without him. There is even this subset of thought that the Bulls play more like a team without Rose even if Rose makes them better overall.

This second thought is also a load of crap, all apologies to those shoveling it. The Bulls do not have better ball movement without Rose, they are not better on defense without Rose, they are not better on offense without Rose, they are not better at all without Rose. There is no single facet of basketball that improves by taking Rose off the court and putting C.J. Watson or John Lucas on it.

I hope that is clear enough.

If you analyze the Bulls/Knicks past two games, then you'll come to a few conclusions as to why the Bulls lost.

1: They turned the ball over a crapload in game 1 and rarely in game 2.
2: They allowed a crapload of offensive rebounds in game 1 and almost none in game 2.

So if we examine these two points, and ask ourselves, are the Bulls better in either of these areas with Watson/Lucas vs Rose, the answer is a resounding no. Rose is the best rebounder of the three, his turnover percentage is in the middle of the two, but in aggregate the Bulls would average less turnovers with Rose 38 min / Watson 10 than Watson 30/Lucas 18.

Now I know someone will say the ball movement is better without Rose on the floor, but this is also a load of crap. Have you watched John Lucas play five minutes of basketball and come to the conclusion that this guy facilitates ball movement at all? He's the type of PG that would cause me to just sit down while my team was on offense if we were playing together. He dribbles 12-18 seconds off the shot clock every play and frequently launches shots without ever letting the ball leave his hands.

C.J. Watson always looks to move the ball to another player, but he's never threading the needle on a pass. He simply runs the offense and moves the ball around the perimeter. If you hadn't noticed, this was exactly what Derrick Rose attempted to do early in the season and at the start of the Knicks game.

In the Knicks game, the rest of the Bulls coughed up the ball repeatedly and missed shots to allow New York to get a 21 point lead early. Much of that was poor luck, but it still underlies the point that Rose is certainly a willing passer and has no problem sharing/moving the ball to his teammates. Was Rose rusty in this game? Yes. Did he turn the ball over like crazy in such a way that we wouldn't expect it to happen normally? Yes. Did he shoot well below his norms and lack his typical explosiveness? Yes.

It was not a great game for Derrick Rose, and the Bulls may have won that particular game if he didn't play, because he was doing so much to try and get back in sync after a long layoff. However, that's a situation brought upon by specific circumstances that won't be the norm after playing a few games.

Derrick Rose is the heart of this Bulls team. The Bulls championship hopes rest on him playing well, and while his teammates have truly been outstanding in carrying the torch while he's gone, the idea that they'd be better off without him is ridiculous.

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  • This is hilarious Doug. Sounds like you've been hearing this around the water cooler and it pissed you off. Well played.

  • I don't think Rose is a ball hog, and I do think the team plays better with him in all ways like you said. For 40ish minutes anyway.

    However at the end of games something weird often happens and he tries to become the hero, passes a lot less and shoots a lot more. Which results in the team playing worse. Rose is good, but he's not so good he can beat teams by himself when they know he's not passing the ball.

  • While I agree with your definitive statement about the Bulls with Rose vs the Bulls without him. It certainly is possible that the rest of the guys try harder, especially on offensive when playing without him. I would call effort a facet of basketball, or any sport and life in general.

  • This is probably gonna be one of those posts where everybody says the same damn thing but in their own way. Honestly, if the Bulls werent faced with such adversity, they wouldnt know their mettle. They wouldnt know that they could answer the bell in pressure situations. People would always say,"We are one Derrick Rose injury away from the lottery". Well ,now not only does that prove to be the absolute opposite- they LEAD THE LEAGUE in wins. These questions crop up in the midst of success.

    I am glad Doug left no doubt where he stood in regards to these watercooler questions. It is absolute lunacy to suggest we dont know what and WHO we have in Derrick Rose. The rest of the league knows and would gladly relieve us of our burden if become lunatics in the space of some short success.

  • The bulls are a great a team without DRose.
    They are an elite team with him. If for a minute you think otherwise you're an idiot.

  • We heard so often that Bulls could only win with Rose. Now we are hearing Bulls must ride Rose to advance in the playoffs. Both statements are false.

    The primary reason Bulls have performed so well for two season is Thibs, his defense and his teamwork concepts. Now we know Thibs has his flaws - overplaying Deng and Rose, not recognizing matchups, etc. Thibs is learning on the job when it comes to many head coaching responsibilities.

    But this Bulls roster does not fit conventional coaching cliches, such as 'shorten the rotation in the playoffs', or 'only superstars win in the playoffs.' These strategies would be a BIG MISTAKE with this roster. The Bench Mob and teamwork with different players stepping up in different games is the only way this Bulls team can win a title. That should be obvious to us who have watched these Bulls for two seasons.

    Yes, Rose will have some amazing performances in the playoffs and carry the team at times. But if Rose resorts to a constant diet of "Hero Ball" Bulls will be eliminated, just like they were eliminated last year. Rose must learn to pick his moments and allow his teammates to shine - and his teammates must learn to step up on occasion with Rose on the court, as they have shown they can step up without Rose.

    Teammates’ sharing the load becomes even more necessary with Rose playing at less than 100% which will likely be the case for this entire playoffs. Even Michael Jordan had to learn these team-play lessons in order to become a champion - as Jordan's teammates had to grow into their roles as well.

  • Bynum's 30-rebound game reminds me that Joakim's season-high this year is 18. Where's the old Joakim? I don't understand it. It feels this season like the only difference between him and DeAndre Jordan is that Jordan is a better shot-blocker.

  • In reply to Hunter:

    reminds me that Shaq's career high rebound total is 26, where is the old Shaq, besides retired.

    Get that 265 lbs of dead weight known as the HPOF, and Noah might not get 30 boards, but the days of 15 & 15 might return.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    Shaq was more of an offensive center. He was never the Moses Malone of rebounding or Bill Russell of post defense. If Noah picks up half the post moves Shaq 2000 had, he can grab three a game for all I care. As it stands now, Noah doesn't have a reliable 15 foot jump shot and he's abandoned the hooks. His rebounding, defense and energy are basically all that Noah offers. He's got to bring that with an intensity we haven't seen from him yet this season for more than a game or two.

  • Rose is a loser,face it. Imagine if we trade him for Rondo or CP, we win multiple titles. Just look at the Bulls record without him. Rose is the worst ball handler among all PGs, don't know how to make a good assist, never ever do a lob for easy dunk, like Lucas. Can't finish around the rim...enough said. get rid of the loser. BTW, he is not worth 19M/yr. take this money and get 4 great players.

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