A Healthy Derrick Rose is Still Chicago Bulls' MVP

By Donnie Kolakowski
Rob Grabowski-USA TODAY Sports
Rob Grabowski-USA TODAY Sports

After another emotional win and another inspiring effort from Joakim Noah, the crowd wanted to show the appreciation for the multi-talented big man.

Noah was serenaded with MVP chants, and while he always seems to appreciate the love from the United Center, he said he didn’t like the MVP chants.

The Chicago Bulls‘ best player this season — and a candidate for a top-5 spot on an MVP ballot — said that the only MVP on the Bulls is the one who has barely played in the last two seasons. Noah indicated that despite everything he brings to the table, a healthy Derrick Rose is the one man who can be MVP on Chicago.

The fact that Noah would say this reflects how selfless he is, how he truly is about the team and how he is still loyal to his close friend and teammate.

It’s also the truth.

Noah is an unbelievable talent and has grown into one of the top 15-20 players in the game. His value may be even higher than that, since he is one of the few stars in the league who doesn’t need to take a ton of shots to impact a game.

But a healthy Rose is still the Bulls’ best chance at a title. Rose isn’t the youngest MVP award winner for no reason. And while it is unclear whether he will still be the same player after his two major injuries, it’s hard to imagine he won’t possess some blend of the quickness and power that made him such a unique talent. He is a wizard at using the glass, has a killer floater and has excellent court vision.

When Rose was healthy, the Bulls were the best regular season team in the league. The team’s defensive identity has kept it competitive while Rose is away, but he gives the Bulls the offensive creativity needed to be an elite team. Although Chicago lost to the Miami Heat in five games in Rose’s only full postseason under Tom Thibodeau, Noah is a much better player now than he was then. Taj Gibson is vastly improved as well, and Jimmy Butler has improved defensively enough to replace Luol Deng as the elite perimeter defender this team needs. It’s not hard to imagine the Bulls as title contenders with a healthy Rose.

Rose makes everyone around him better offensively. It wasn’t a coincidence that Kyle Korver led the league in fourth quarter three-pointers while with the Bulls. Like Noah on defense, all of his teammates benefit from being on the floor with Rose.

Obviously, it is still a question as to whether Rose will be the same player again. And Rose can’t be considered one of the elite players in the league until he can play for a long time and return to form.

But Chicago’s best shot at a title in the near future is with Rose as the team’s best player. Noah will be an enormous contributor as well, but he knows that Rose back as the team’s MVP means title chances go up immensely. And Noah would rather be hoisting the Larry O’Brien trophy than the Maurice Podoloff one.

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