Derrick Rose is getting MVP chants, and they might be deserved
This past offseason, the Detroit Pistons signed one of the perennial feel-good stories of the NBA. Derrick Rose inked a 2-year, $15 million contract after making a legitimate comeback last season with the Minnesota Timberwolves. After playing just 25 games in the 2017-18 season, it appeared that Rose was seriously considering retirement.
In 2018-19, however, Rose a jump in his numbers. He put up 18 points and 4.3 assists per game and was a candidate for the season’s Most Improved Player award.
The Detroit Pistons recognized that leap and added him to a fringe playoff squad that looks to make something out of a Blake Griffin and Andre Drummond tandem that hasn’t lived up to expectations.
So far this season, Rose has exceeded any and all expectations.
He’s put up 25.3 points, 5 assists, 2 rebounds, 1 steal, and 0.7 blockers per game. Those numbers hover around his MVP-caliber output prior to his devastating ACL injury.
What makes Rose’s output especially impressive this season is his efficiency. He’s converted at 64.6% from the field and 50% from three-point range.
It’s hard to expect that these numbers would remain consistent throughout the season. But that isn’t quieting the hype around Rose this season.
During Saturday’s matchup against the Philadelphia 76ers, Derrick Rose was having the best game of the season.
As he stepped to the free throw line with a minute left in the third quarter, the crowd embraced Rose with MVP Chants.
The former Most Valuable Players remained composed as he sunk both free throws.
Despite his 31-point performance, however, the Detroit Pistons fell to the Philadelphia 76ers 117-111. They are still feeling the absence of Blake Griffin, who is out with a hamstring injury.
Fans have understandably been supportive of Derrick Rose through his rollercoaster career. Aside from the MVP chants during Saturday’s contest, fans have clamored for his insertion into the starting lineup.
Coach Dwane Casey, however, has no intention of giving into those demands. He reiterated his intentions on how to utilize Rose to Rod Beard of Detroit News:
#Pistons Dwane Casey on fans' clamoring for Derrick Rose to start 🔥🔥🔥: "I understand the frustration of fans – and I’d be frustrated too if I saw this dynamic player who’s getting everything done going off the floor. But he’s not a machine; he’s a human being."
— Rod Beard (@detnewsRodBeard) October 27, 2019
Though Rose is not in the starting lineup, he’s found an obvious groove in his role coming off of the bench. It isn’t like he isn’t getting significant minutes—he’s playing nearly thirty minutes a game already.
On surgically reconstructed knees with over a decade’s worth of mileage, Casey’s point should be considered. Rose isn’t physically going to be able to play 35 minutes a night.
He can, however, continue to contribute as a spark plug off of the bench, similar to some of the other ideal bench players like Lou Williams. If he’s able to come up anywhere close to this production, he might wind up as a favorite to win the Sixth Man of the Year Award.
In any case, he’ll have the support of all basketball fans—and specifically Detroit Pistons fans—throughout the season.
And if he can keep on defying the odds and producing, it’ll be wholeheartedly deserved.