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NBA Chicago Bulls

Bulls Season In Review: Derrick Rose

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Flickr Photo via Keith Allison

Before the season began, Derrick Rose wondered why he couldn’t be the NBA MVP. Most scoffed at the idea and went right back to discussing names like LeBron James and Dwight Howard. But early on, it was clear that Rose’s question, which came across as arrogant to some, was a perfectly valid one.

Derrick Rose didn’t have a summer. After the Bulls were knocked out of last year’s playoffs, Rose went to work preparing to represent Team USA at the FIBA World Championships in Turkey. Rose may not have been the breakout start of the tournament (that was Kevin Durant), but he saw big minutes on the USA squad that cruised to the gold medal.

Literally the day the team returned from Turkey, Rose was back in the gym. Jetlag and all, Rose returned to begin working out and watching film with newly hired Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau.

It didn’t take long before Rose’s hard work turned into success on the statsheet, but more importantly, wins for the Bulls. Rose septn the tnrie regular season providing us with incredible body-twisting layups and highlight reel dunks not seen in Chicago since You-Know-Who.

All of Rose’s stats saw a jump in 2010-11. His PPG average jumped from 20 to well over 25 points per. His assists per game swelled to nearly eight a game and he also grabbed four boards per. Those numbers, those highlights, and those 62 Bulls wins culminated in Derrick Rose being named MVP of the league, beating out names like LeBron, Durant, and Dirk Nowitzki.

Rose began to show signs of wear in the postseason, but still proved to the world why he was named MVP. He will the Bulls through their first round series, with some spectacular fourth quarter performances. It was more of the same against Atlanta in the second round, before Rose ultimately succumbed to a top notch defensive team in the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals.

What we can really chalk Derrick Rose’s performance in the Eastern Conference Finals up, along with great defense, is a lack of help. Though Rose’s body was beaten up by May, it’s unlikely even a healthy Rose would have been able to best that Miami defense by himself. Sure, he probably forced up too many bad shots, but no one else looked to be stepping up consistently as a second option.

Despite the incredible year that Rose had, the 22-year-old still has plenty of doubters. Many question the choice of Rose being named MVP and criticized his shot selection at the point guard spot. It’s definitely true that Rose still has growing up to do as a basketball player. It’s an over-used term, but he can only get better. With a work ethic like his and a coach, how could he not? If the Bulls land a second option on offense for Rose this summer, watch out MVP.

And as for those who said Rose was undeserving of such an honor, yes there were other guys that were worthy. It was almost a crap shoot this year for who could have been MVP. But you’d be hard-pressed to find a guy who willed his team to as many victories and provided the consistent, all-around game that Rose did this year, and will continue to build upon in the future.

Many have compared him to Allen Iverson after this season, claiming that he won the MVP out of shock and awe, rather than success. But with a better work ethic, better character, and a better base behind him, this is a kid who is going to be up for the award annually, just like the Chicago Bulls are now going to be considered a perennial championship contender.