“He probably started this season maybe the fourth, third, fifth best point guard in the league, but right now, he’s definitely in the top one or two best point guards this season.” – LeBron James talking about Derrick Rose after Tuesday’s Game 5.
The NBA playoffs are planting a seed in Derrick Rose that’s going to grow into something the league won’t be able to contain.
Having now been bounced from the postseason in his first two years in the NBA, Rose is going to reach a point when enough is enough.
When that time comes, look out.
“These are things that you just learn from,” said Rose, who averaged 26.2 points and 7.2 assists against the Cavaliers in the playoffs. Cleveland won the Eastern Conference first round series, 4-1. “And if I get put in that situation again, I’ll know what to do.”
After watching this guy up close and personal do his thing for the Chicago Bulls in this season’s playoffs , the 2009 NBA rookie of the year is on track to becoming one of the best players in the league.
He showed enough improvement to have the game’s best player – LeBron James – praise him to the hilt.
“I love Derrick Rose,” James said. “He’s an awesome talent. He’s probably one of the best point guards we have in our league and he’s a tremendous competitor. You play hard for guys like that. You love guys like that. Just like you said, the sky’s the limit for him.”
FYI. He was talking to me. I asked him the question. Proceed.
“He’s going to continue to get better. There’s no point guard in the league that has the type of athleticism that he has and the speed and quickness that he has. So Chicago, they definitely have good one. Hometown kid and he’s great.”
Right now, Rose is so talented and gifted, he can make the most difficult shots. Contort his tremendously strong, yet agile body in mid air, take contact and finish the shot.
Or he’ll just run past people like they’re standing there. The problem is he makes simple plays too difficult. That was the case Tuesday night.
With the Bulls down three with 17.6 seconds left, Rose was being guarded by James. He had a chance to take a better shot, but because he can make tough shots, Rose tried to draw the foul on the play and missed it.
“He played great defense,” Rose said. “I thought he was going to jump and that I was going to jump into him. When I saw he didn’t jump, it messed me up a little bit. Messed up my timing. Usually I hit them with my left hand because I’m kind of good going to my left. (Tuesday night), it didn’t go in”.
As he sat there watching James make the game-clinching free throw to seal the series in Cleveland’s favor, Rose was just beating himself mentally.
Don’t count on him making those mistakes too often from this point forward. When Rose gets that 3-point shot to go down on a consistent basis, that will set up his drive and he won’t have to make such difficult shot at the rim.
I think he’ll be a Top 5 player within the next two years behind James, Dwyane Wade, Kevin Durant and Dwight Howard. I posed the question to another reporter and he said, “He might be in the top five right now.”
You know, he just might be.