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Derrick Rose Made It Clear Last Season That He's Back
As we recap the 2018-19 Timberwolves season, our Kyle Ratke and Julian Andrews will be taking a look at each player on the roster and how we'll remember their season. We finish our series with point guard Derrick Rose.
KR: Derrick Rose isn’t done yet.
It seemed like Rose’s career might have been over after the Utah Jazz released him when he was a throw-in trade piece in 2018. Rose could have given up. His career was solid, and people would have understood considering his injury history.
Rose did the opposite.
After having his first offseason without rehabbing from a major injury, Rose’s 2018-19 season was one of the best stories in the NBA.
The guard averaged 18 points per game in just 27.3 minutes per contest. What was more impressive as that Rose shot 48.2 percent from the field (second-highest mark in his career) and a career-high 37 percent from the 3-point line. Rose isn’t the explosive guard he once was (although he still has plenty of ups), but he’s found different ways to score.
Through the first half of the season, Rose was in the conversation for being an All-Star and the Sixth Man of the Year. After all, he did post a career-high 50 points against the Jazz on Oct. 31, which is absolutely insane when you consider most of the league probably thought his career was over. But Derrick Rose didn’t think so, nor did the Timberwolves. It takes two to tango, my friends.
Rose had four games with 30 or more points and 24 with 20 or more points.
Unfortunately, Rose did miss 31 games on the season. He missed some games to rest, but ultimately missed the final 15 games of the season due to bone chips floating in his elbow, which just from the sounds of, can’t feel particularly well.
While Rose’s season didn’t end on a high note, the 30-year-old guard showed us plenty and I’d be surprised if Rose doesn’t show those same instant-offense skills in 2019-20.
JA: This might be remembered as the year that Derrick Rose got his groove back.
With the way Rose plays, it’s not surprising that there were people who thought he couldn’t come back from the injuries that cost him the majority of the beginning of his career. He relies on explosiveness, getting to the rim, beating defenders to spots and taking contact in order to get his buckets.
Or at least that used to be the case.
While the explosiveness was often still there for Rose this season, most notably in his 50-point outing against the Jazz, he has also changed his game to better fit his physical abilities now that he’s at an earlier game.
As Kyle noted, Rose refined his three-point shooting and started turning more and more to his deadly pull-up midrange game. He’s a perfect example of a player understanding that your game has to change as your body changes. Not very many players are able to adapt as Rose has.
Rose also kept very close tabs on his body this year and has developed a routine for monitoring and improving his health that takes hours and hours of his time in addition to everything he does with the team. This is a player who is dedicated to continually building his career, whatever that may look like.
In Minnesota, Rose found a franchise willing to invest in him and help him rehabilitate his body and redefine his game. In Rose, the Wolves got someone who was willing to give everything to help his team. He was the ultimate team player this season and that stands above anything that he did on the court. It was a helpful thing for younger players to see the work that Rose put in and they won’t forget his work ethic.