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Derrick Rose's impact in the fourth quarter was key to Chicago's success.
Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images

Leadership in close games proves why Rose is MVP

By John Schuhmann,
Posted May 3 2011 5:26PM

Derrick Rose is the youngest winner of the Most Valuable Player award in NBA history, winning the award in the year he would be a college senior. Rose was clearly the best player on the team with the league's best record, but on the surface, there wasn't a strong statistical case for him as the most impactful player in the league.

Rose carried a huge load for the Chicago Bulls offensively, but the team's success came primarily from their defense and rebounding. Still, when you go deeper into the numbers and see how successful the Bulls were down the stretch of close games, it's easier to see why Rose was voted the MVP. StatsCube takes a closer look at Rose's statistical impact on the Bulls.

The Bulls had the 12th best offense in the league, scoring 105.5 points per 100 possessions, and the No. 1 defense, allowing just 97.4. With Rose on the floor, they scored 107.5 points per 100 possessions (equivalent to the ninth best offense) and allowed 99.2 (equivalent to the fourth best defense).

Bulls efficiency
Situation Min. Pace OffRtg DefRtg Diff.
Rose on floor 3025 93.5 107.5 99.2 +8.3
Rose off floor 940 91.1 98.9 91.5 +7.4
Pace = Possessions per 48 minutes
OffRtg = Points scored per 100 possessions
DefRtg = Points allowed per 100 possessions

The Bulls weren't just a much better offensive team with Rose on the floor because of his scoring. As it should be with a top point guard, his teammates were better shooters. Of the eight players that Rose played the most minutes with, six of them were more efficient scorers (higher true shooting percentage) with him on the floor than they were with him on the bench.

Rose's top eight teammates' shooting
Situation FGM FGA FG% 3PM 3PA 3PT% eFG% TS%
Rose on floor 1627 3391 48.0% 265 715 37.1% 51.9% 55.0%
Rose off floor 446 990 45.1% 68 181 37.6% 48.5% 52.7%
Players: Keith Bogans, Carlos Boozer, Ronnie Brewer, Luol Deng, Taj Gibson, Kyle Korver, Joakim Noah and Kurt Thomas
eFG% = (FGM + (0.5*3PM))/FGA
TS% = Points/(2*(FGA+(0.44*FTA)))

Rose ranked second in the league in usage rate, which is the percent of his team's possessions a player uses while he's on the court via field goal attempts, free throw attempts, assists and turnovers. Rose's usage rate of 35.9 percent was second only to Kobe Bryant (39.5 percent).

Highest usage rate
Player Min. Usg% ASTRatio FGM (%AST)
Kobe Bryant 2778 39.5% 15.4 37.6%
Derrick Rose 3025 35.9% 22.7 27.4%
Carmelo Anthony 2751 35.2% 10.1 47.7%
Russell Westbrook 2847 34.9% 25.2 17.6%
Dwyane Wade 2822 34.6% 15.4 36.7%
LeBron James 3062 34.5% 21.2 32.3%
Amar'e Stoudemire 2869 34.1% 9.2 52.7%
Kevin Durant 3037 33.7% 9.4 62.4%
Kevin Martin 2599 32.8% 10.2 60.4%
Michael Beasley 2361 32.0% 9.1 45.3%
Usg% = Percentage of teams possessions used while on floor
ASTRatio = Assists per 100 possessions used
FGM (%AST) = Percentage of field goals that were assisted

Anyone who has watched the Bulls this season will tell you that Rose's impact is greatest in the fourth quarter, when he seemingly takes over the game. The Bulls were 17-8 in games decided by five points or less, and the numbers make it clear that Rose carried a heavier load in the fourth quarter than in the other three, and that the Bulls are better off for it.

Derrick Rose by quarter
Quarter MIN FG% OffRtg DefRtg Diff eFG% TS% Usg% ASTRatio FTA Rate
1 945 44.5% 105.4 97.7 +7.7 48.2% 53.5% 34.3% 23.3 .258
2 502 44.0% 109.2 107.9 +1.3 46.9% 51.6% 34.2% 25.2 .288
3 942 46.9% 107.4 97.6 +9.8 52.6% 58.9% 34.9% 22.7 .387
4 609 42.4% 109.8 96.3 +13.5 45.4% 55.1% 40.7% 20.8 .482

As a close game gets closer to the final buzzer, Rose carries an even heavier load, and the Bulls are even better.

Rose in close games
Timeframe MIN FG% OffRtg DefRtg Diff eFG% TS% Usg% ASTRatio FTA Rate
Overall 3025 44.5% 107.5 99.2 +8.3 48.5% 55.0% 35.9% 22.7 .348
5 min, 5 or less 166 40.2% 114.6 95.1 +19.5 41.3% 52.9% 52.9% 15.8 .535
3 min, 3 or less 71 43.1% 122.8 80.4 +42.4 45.4% 55.7% 57.7% 15.4 .554
5 min, 5 or less = Last five minutes of fourth quarter or overtime, with score differential of five points or less
3 min, 3 or less = Last three minutes of fourth quarter or overtime, with score differential of three points or less

Overall, the Bulls had the league's 12th best offense. But in the last five minutes with a score differential of five points or less, they had the league's sixth best offense. And in the last three minutes with a score differential of three points or less, they had the league's third best offense, with the ball almost always in Rose's hands.

In the last 30 seconds of the fourth quarter or overtime with the score tied or with the Bulls down 1-3 points, Rose was just 4-for-12 from the field. But no one got to the line more often than he did (6-for-7) in that situation.

John Schuhmann is a staff writer for You can e-mail him here and follow him on twitter.

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