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The Hoop Doctors

Does Derrick Rose Shoot Too Much For the Bulls to Win a Title?

March 31, 2011 – Kevin Burke

I can’t say enough good about Derrick Rose. I’ve repeated ad nauseam this season that if it were up to me, Rose would be the unanimous MVP because he’s the primary reason that the Bulls went from the 8th seed in the East last season to possibly ending up being number one this year. In fact, if you remove Rose from Chicago’s roster, the Bulls would have plenty of ping pong balls bouncing around come draft lottery time in a few months. And if I had to pick one Point Guard to start my franchise with today, he’d definitely be the guy. It’s no secret that he’s the focal part of Chicago’s offense, but as the playoffs near, I wonder how successful they will be with him shooting as much as he does.

Early on in the season, when the Bulls were still without Carlos Boozer, Rose had no choice but to keep shooting. With Boozer out and aside from Rose, Luol Deng is the best offensive weapon the Bulls have. Deng is solid, but I wouldn’t categorize him as a second scorer on a team that is to be taken seriously. I like him as a third option. Because of the lack of offensive fire power early on, I had no problem with Rose taking as many shots as he was. When Boozer finally came back, I thought Rose’s shot attempts would taper off, but they haven’t. Rose is still jacking them up with the same frequency. This formula appears to be working for the Bulls because, again, it looks like they will end up number one in the East and they have been consistent all season long.

I wonder how the Bulls will fare come playoff time because traditionally, teams where the Point Guard is the primary option on offense don’t typically win NBA championships. Rose leads the NBA in shots taken per game with 20.2 attempts per night (The NBA’s leading scorer, Kevin Durant, takes 19.7 per game). The next most shots taken on the Bulls is 14.2 by both Boozer and Deng. That’s quite a disparity. The last time a team won an NBA title where the Point Guard was the go to man on offense, Isiah Thomas was leading the Bad Boy Pistons to the promised land about two decades ago. This doesn’t mean that Rose and his 25 and 8 aren’t good enough to get it done come playoff time, but if history is an indicator, this isn’t a formula for success.

If the entire unit is healthy when the playoffs roll around, the Bulls are going to be a very tough out. Who knows, maybe this Bulls squad is different. Maybe they can win it all they way they’re operating. It will certainly be interesting to see if Rose can do his best Isiah Thomas impersonation. Or, perhaps it’s simply a matter of scoring Point Guards who happen to be from Chicago who have what it takes to get it done? If so, they will be hanging another banner in the United Center. We’ll see.

If you’re looking for your everyday, predictable basketball talk, then go somewhere else, because Kevin Burke of The Kevin Burke Project brings provocative, thought provoking content about basketball as only he can. Kevin also hosts The Hoop Doctors weekly podcast show, which you can subscribe to for free on iTunes. Follow Kevin on Twitter and Facebook

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