For months, fans of basketball anxiously awaited it, wondering what it would be like. Now, after a handful of games, Derrick Rose is back, but there’s just one problem.
He hasn’t quite been Derrick Rose.
Through six games, Rose is averaging a pedestrian 14.6 points, 4.5 assists and 2.8 rebounds per game. In fact, Rose is actually averaging just 0.4 turnovers less than assists per game this season. According to ESPN Stats, Rose is currently sporting a True Shooting percentage of .407%. The league average last season was .535%. Rose, in his career, is also averaging a true shooting percentage of .533, which basically measures a player’s overall shooting performance from the entire court. Whether it’s three-pointers, free-throws, whatever. It’s obviously early, and just a small sample size, but Rose hasn’t been nearly as efficient as we have grown accustomed to seeing. His field-goal percentage is under .330 on the season, and doesn’t seem to be finishing nearly as well. It;s been frustrating for fantasy owners, seeing as he is an elite player in this league. He was also drafted in the first or second round, so owners are starting to become impatient.
Don’t be one of those owners.
Remember, this is a guy that missed a full, 82-game season. Some rust is certainly going to be expected to start. Rose looks as good as usual from a physical, athletic standpoint. He’s driving to the whole at will, averaging six drives per game. His ferociousness at the rack is still top notch, as he bruises his way into defenders. A guy who can soar in the air and plays at a speed that is difficult to match, Rose is still a physical specimen. It’s just going to take a bit longer for him to get back into that weekly rhythm, and once he does, watch out. Remember, just because he tore his ACL does not make him injury prone. This is a guy who missed just six entire games during the first three seasons of his career. As he gets more comfortable, he’ll become even more aggressive offensively, which will translate to better efficiency, which will then translate to fantasy success. The field goal percentage will certainly come up, but the problem is the Bulls offense as a unit right now. The Bulls are only averaging 92.3 points per game, which is the third-fewest in all of basketball. Too many times have I seen Rose try to create the offense by himself, while the other pieces stand around and watch. Rose is immensely talented, but you don’t want to see a guy have to do it all himself. Still, he is getting a strong volume, seeing 83 offensive touches per game, which is the 12th-most in the league. He’s also logging over 30 minutes per game, but that will likely increase as he shakes off some of the rust.
It’s very unlikely that many owners would be considering selling, but if you can attempt to buy-low on Rose right now, you are absolutely stealing. Give it a little more time, and Rose will repay you with that first or second round value the rest of the way. He’s too talented, too explosive.
Adam Pfeifer is a featured fantasy sports columnist for Rant Sports.
You can follow him on Twitter @aPfeiferRS.