Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose has been the topic of some heated debate over the past couple of weeks. As the 2013 season began, everyone had expected Rose to come out guns blazing, taking the league by storm after his preseason looked as good as anyone could have imagined.
Rose’s shot, versatility, athleticism and vision appeared back to where it was in the preseason, but early on in this young regular season, he’s been just plain bad. With a PER (player efficiency rating) of just 6.76, everyone is wondering what happened to what we saw a few weeks ago during the exhibitions.
Rose is shooting a miserable 33 percent from the field and just 25 percent from beyond the arc. He’s averaged just 4.5 assists per game while turning it over 4.2 times per game — not a very good ratio.
His explosiveness has sure looked great, but aside from that, nothing else is of note. Rose is not only not himself, but also nursing an ankle injury this week which the team called “minor.” As the Bulls enjoy three days off and prepare for the Toronto Raptors Friday, there’s another game that Bulls fans can’t seem to get off their mind this week — Saturday at home against the Indiana Pacers.
The Pacers have gotten off to a phenomenal start at 8-0 and have two guys looking for some hardware at the end of the season. Paul George is playing like a league MVP and Roy Hibbert wants himself a Defensive Player of the Year award. There hasn’t been much not to like about Indiana’s season so far — they look like the best team in the league, and right now it’s not even close.
Indiana leads the league in defense right now, giving up just 84.5 points per game. That’s not good for a Chicago team averaging just 92.3 points per game, which comes in at just 27th in the league. Many thought Rose would be the motor of the Bulls’ offense, but he has yet to pick it up.
If the Bulls want any chance at making their second matchup with the Pacers competitive, they are going to need Rose to snap out of whatever funk he’s in at the moment. There’s no question this kid can play through injuries, so a minor ankle injury shouldn’t be anything to worry about. What I’d be worried about is his ability to score the basketball.
Rose will be heavily under the microscope until he finds himself in the midst of a breakout game, hoping he can continue that once it happens. If there ever would be a great time to have himself one of those games, it’s this Saturday against the rival Pacers.