Julian AndrewsWeb Editorial AssociateTwitter
Last night Wolves fans were treated to playoff Derrick Rose.
Rose was excellent off Minnesota’s bench, scoring 16 points on 7-for-14 shooting. He also had four assists and a pair of rebounds.
Rose’s strength and speed gives opposing guards, especially James Harden (who isn’t considered a great defender), trouble. Look how he puts Harden to sleep and blows by him for the scoop shot here.
When Rose gets a head of steam, he really has his defenders on their heels. There aren’t that many options with Rose—if you play him close, he’ll go around you, if you try to back off he’ll either hit the midrange or use the space to gather momentum and finish over the help defense.
Because he’s so hard to guard one-on-one, he collapses the court when he gets in the lane. Though he definitely has the ability to make tough finishes, Rose is also a good passer. Look at this assist to Jeff Teague for three:
By the time Rose makes his pass, he has drawn every single Rockets defender into the paint. Rose also head fakes Harden (Teague’s defender) into thinking he’s going to make the outlet pass to Taj Gibson. Nope! He hits Teague for the wide-open three. The Rockets have a good defense, but on this play, they looked downright flummoxed. It’s this kind of play that can be very effective against Houston, and it all starts with Rose getting inside.
After the game, Rose downplayed his performance.
“I’m just trying to be a professional, whenever I’m in,” he said. “I’m just trying to get better every game, try to make winning plays and play as hard as I can.”
Though the Wolves didn’t get the victory, we certainly saw some winning basketball from Rose last night. Minnesota gets another chance on Wednesday, and Rose will be right there with them.