Derrick Rose has become a newfound star in a Minnesota Timberwolves’ jersey, as he hopes it can stay that way.
In early May, Derrick Rose waited off on signing with a team after being released from the Utah Jazz (dealt from Cleveland), as he expected his first child – a now healthy baby boy.
When Rose finally decided to sign with the Wolves, he had this to say when asked if signing with head coach Tom Thibodeau would be a good idea, via Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune: “Who knows? So far he has been the best coach, but I still think I got a lot left. Who knows if he can spark something up…I don’t have to prove anything. I’m going to let my hard work do that.”
And when asked how D-Rose believed he would do after a disappointing stint with the LeBron James-led Cleveland Cavaliers earlier that season, Rose illustrated: “I’m wholeheartedly invested, even though I just got here. I just want to have the opportunity to show I can still play.”
Rose did just that, showing he could play by objectively being one of the better players for the Wolves’ down-the-stretch in their first post season entrance in 13 seasons. Rose ended up averaging the 4th most PPG (14.2) in a series where he was only averaging 23.8 MPG. And in points, Rose was only behind Karl-Anthony Towns (15.2), Jimmy Butler (15.8), and Andrew Wiggins (15.8), who all averaged 33+ MPG.
And while points per game isn’t everything, these are the statistical categories that Rose led in (compared to Towns, Butler, and Wiggins) during the Wolves’ 4-1 series loss to the Houston Rockets:
- FG percentage
- 3PT percentage
- FT percentage
- TS percentage
And 74 percent of Rose’s success with the Timberwolves in that series was from the shooting guard position, which was somewhat new for the former MVP. Ultimately, much to the disappointment of a lot of Wolves’ fans, the franchise took another chance with the injury-riddled All-Star this past summer.
With analysts or bloggers like myself thinking, “THANK YOU.” Not because I am a Rose stan, more so because he was objectively the second best player in that playoff series.
Thankfully, those Wolves’ fans were incorrect in their assumptions that Rose was nothing but bad for this team. Since his signing on June 30th for a minimum of $2.1 million, Rose has transformed into a re-imagined All-Star.
Rose, in the fourth best year of his career, is averaging 18.9 PPG with shooting splits of 48.6/46.2/83.3, slightly under 30 MPG (29.8) – all with four past knee surgeries.
It’s easy to forget of how grateful the Wolves should be to have Derrick Rose; maybe try and think about where the organization would be without him today in this alarmingly good western conference?
Our next moment is simple, PLAYOFFS?