CHICAGO — ESPN recently released their list of the best 500 active NBA players and Chicago’s hope, Derrick Rose, doesn’t crack the top 5 this year. Instead the reigning NBA MVP is ranked as the eighth best active player.
Rose tops all Chicago Bulls on the list with the next closest Bull to Rose being Joakim Noah ranked 29th. All of the Bulls starting five and all of the major Bench Mob players made the list as well with the White Mamba himself, Brain Scalbrine closing out Bulls on the list at No. 449.
But Derrick Rose is the focus here as he is the heart and souls of the Bulls. A year ago he was merely the would-be/could-be story out of Memphis where the biggest story about him involved his brother and SAT scores. Then he did something that everyone can take a lesson from: he practiced his unaccomplished, unpolished self into the eventual League MVP on the best team in the NBA record-wise.
The question obviously becomes this: does Rose deserve to be No. 8? Does he deserve to be higher or lower?
In the experts score of Rose, he got a 9.27 out of a perfect 10. That’s 13 hundredths of a point behind No. 7 Kobe Bryant and 29 hundredths of a point ahead of o. 9 Derron Williams. So at the very bottom of the conversation, Rose is in good company.
However, the discussion of where Rose should fit versus the other players ahead of him begins and ends with Chris Paul who finished a whole 4 spots ahead of Rose at No. 4. Both players are built the same and serve the same purpose for their teams: the sole changing force.
Rose and Paul change the faces and the ferocity of their respective teams. But where they differ is their results. Paul led a Hornets team that was otherwise not a playoff team to the first round of the very place they wouldn’t have been without him. But that’s all the further they got.
Rose, on the other hand, led his team three games away from the NBA Finals and snagged the MVP in the process. The Bulls did have the better team compared to the Hornets sans their superstars, but without Rose the Bulls don’t win 62 games and don’t face the Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals. At Best, without Rose, the Bulls get knocked off by the Hawks in the Semifinals and at worse narrowly miss the playoffs all together.
Rose is also the only major offensive force the Bulls have. Paul is the same but was far out performed by Rose last season. It gets a little harder to defend Rose against the other players ahead of him in the list such as Bryant and the Thunder’s Kevin Durant. But when directly compared to Paul, a player of the same position Rose is vastly superior.
So Paul had more assists per game than Rose last season: BIG DEAL!
Rose doesn’t have anyone to pass to that will create plays. The Chicago Bulls are a defensive minded team from head coach Tom Thibodaeu to the major players on the Bench Mob like Taj Gibson and Omer Asik. Rose’s 7.7 apg average last season should be even more impressive given his lack off offensive weapons.
Now this is not a knock on the Bulls, they’re probably the third best team in the NBA. They’re not an offensive team though and there is nothing wrong with that.
But Rose makes them an offensive team all on his own and that’s why he should be ranked higher than eighth best player in the NBA. He shouldn’t be number one, but he should at least have cracked the top 5.
Unless I’m wrong. Then I implore anyone to tell me that I’m wrong.
Check back all this week as we profile all of the Bulls who made the list of the Top 500 Active NBA Players as ranked by ESPN.