By Daniel Paiz
42 games in, Derrick Rose continues to show why he’s second in Western Conference All-Star voting for guards behind only Golden State’s Stephen Curry.
The resurgence is real for the 2011 NBA MVP.
Rose was out Saturday night in the 110-106 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans, due to an ankle injury that sidelined him for six games; he had suited up Friday night against the Dallas Mavericks. Despite this recent seven game absence, Rose is averaging 18.9 points a game, 4.8 assists a game, and shooting a team-best 46.8 percent from downtown.
Once Rose is back from injury, it will be interesting to see how he plays with new interim head coach Ryan Saunders.
Why the coaching change likely won’t change Rose’s production
Ryan Saunders is not former head coach Tom Thibodeau, thankfully. While Derrick Rose has had this resurgence in part because Thibodeau brought Rose to Minnesota, Rose is the one ultimately responsible for it.
Our first piece of evidence would have to come from the heartbreaking loss to Dallas on Friday night for starters:
Checking the numbers, Rose had a pretty good night: 50 percent from the field, 60 percent from downtown, and five assists to two turnovers. Factor in his 21 points, and the Wolves were in this game thanks in part to Rose.
One game is certainly not a large enough body of work to conclusively prove Rose will be fine without Thibodeau, but Rose himself has been vocal about his abilities:
“No teams was looking for me at all. I was basically out of the league. And even coming here, everybody didn’t know I was going to play this way. Like, he believed in me. I believed in myself. My family believed in me. And my little guy Art believed in me. And we got it done.”
Rose clearly believes in his play right now. After he comes back from his ankle injury, he has one more thing to work on: his word choice.
Your words can derail you just as much as an injury
It was likely said out of frustration with the always-looming doubt surrounding Rose’s career. However, Rose has to realize his words can harm in ways his injuries cannot.
Derrick Rose stated that those who think he can’t continue his resurgence to “kill yourself”. He later apologized via Twitter after realizing the gravity of his words:
Rose might not have meant to say something so heavy to those not used to the internet slang, but regardless it’s just better to not say certain things. Rose has apologized, and it’s understandable that this was a mistake likely made without malice.
Returning to one’s full potential can be tough, so it’s likely not lost on Rose statements like these can derail everything. Recognizing this moving forward will allow him to focus on the task at hand: helping the Wolves return to the postseason for a second year in a row.