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D-Rose and Iverson

Posted by Neil Paine on March 23, 2011

With Derrick Rose's 2011 MVP looking like a foregone conclusion, it seems only natural to compare his campaign to that of Allen Iverson in 2001, the year another popular guard won the MVP despite not being the game's most talented player.

Here's the numerical tale of the tape for A.I. and D-Rose, with Rose extrapolated to 82 team games: (Glossary)

Player G MP ORtg %Pos DRtg OSPM DSPM SPM
Iverson 71 2979 106.3 33.8 99.2 6.79 0.07 6.86
Rose 81 3025 111.5 32.6 102.2 6.16 -0.96 5.20

Statistically, the two players are incredibly comparable. If you translate Iverson from the 103.0 league-ORtg environment of 2001 to the league ORtg of 107.1 in 2011, his ORtg/%Poss/DRtg becomes 110.5/33.8/103.0, production that is basically equivalent to Rose's after adjusting for usage.

Offensively, both A.I. and Rose were roughly +6.5 SPM players (Rose is probably closer to +6, Iverson is closer to +7, but for the sake of argument let's call them even) on teams that were barely above-average offensively. The 2001 Sixers' offense was +0.6 relative to the league average; the 2011 Bulls are +0.9. Their styles differed, with Iverson scoring more (especially at the rim) and Rose placing more emphasis on passing, but the overall offensive impact was very nearly the same.

Iverson and Rose offered similar production on defense as well -- if you give equal weight to DSPM and DRtg, that is. SPM says Iverson was a 0.0 player on defense in 2001, dead on the league average, while it considers Rose a -1.0 defender (a sentiment shared by on/off +/-). But if you convert DRtg to its +/- equivalent, Rose looks like a +1.0 defender, while Iverson is +0.75. With equal consideration given to each metric, Rose would be a 0.0 defender while Iverson would be a +0.4 defender, a slim margin at best. And for what it's worth, Rose's Bulls (+7.2 on defense) outpace Iverson's Sixers (who check in with "only" a +4.1 D). In that light, I think it's fair to call them equal on defense as well.

All told, Rose and Iverson's MVP campaigns are almost eerily similar. Each player was worth approximately 6-7 points of on-court offensive rating above average for a middling offensive team, and each was essentially an average defender on a very strong defensive squad. Each man's role was to carry the offense (almost single-handedly -- with apologies to Luol Deng, Carlos Boozer, & Aaron McKie) and let his surrounding role players handle their defensive duties.

Both Iverson and Rose also capitalized on down years from more physically gifted MVP competitors, rivals who should have beaten them on pure talent but were diminished in the voters' minds for various reasons. When LeBron James is producing at a +12 level, as he had done in 2009 & 2010, an MVP snub is borderline indefensible; the same goes for Shaquille O'Neal, who was a +8 player in his dominating 2000 MVP campaign. But when James dropped to +8 in 2011 (a down year by his ridiculous standards), after committing the horrible basketball atrocity of choosing his next team on national TV, he basically disqualified himself from the MVP race. Likewise, O'Neal fell to +7 in 2001, and the media discounted him after he and his Laker mates got off to a slow start.

Enter the little guy (by NBA standards, at least), the underdog, the scrappy guard, all of which MVP voters find endearing. Enter the lone offensive threat on the unexpected #1 seed in the East. Enter the best story of the season. Whatever the reason, a decade after Iverson's MVP honors, history is repeating itself with the Derrick Rose campaign. I'll leave it up to others to argue the merits of his candidacy, but whatever your opinion, you can't say that his victory is without precedent.


183 Responses to “D-Rose and Iverson”

  1. Justin Kubatko Says:

    I actually think Rose should be voted Most Improved Player, but that will never happen.

  2. Jason J Says:

    So you're saying we should give the MVP to Tim Duncan as a make up for the one that went to Iverson in 2001 when Timmy probably deserved it? I'm onboard.

  3. Neil Paine Says:

    #2 - Actually, I was going to advocate giving it to Shaq as a makeup, but I guess Duncan would be cool too...

    (I'm kidding.)

    #1 - I'd love to see a 2011 follow-up with this methodology:

  4. dsong Says:

    I still remember seeing Iverson go off vs. the Lakers in Game 1 of the 2001 Finals.

    Rose is a very good player. He may even win an MVP this season. With that said, he's no Iverson.

    Iverson is a slam-dunk Hall of Famer and was an absolutely dominant force in his heyday. Rose isn't quite there yet, despite all the hype. He's had a good season though, and it's fair to say that he's among the top 10-15 or so players in the league.

  5. Jerry Says:

    It's really a bogus trophy because everybody has their own definition of `most valuable player', but going by what happened in the past it should really be Nowitzki instead of Rose. He's on a good team AND we know (through on/off, RAPM, Dallas Win% when he's not playing) that he is really important for his team.

  6. BSK Says:

    Are we sure Rose's win is a foregone conclusion at this point?

  7. Joe Schaller Says:

    Most overlooked MVP contender-- Pau Gasol. I would certainly put some big money on Rose as a foregone conclusion. Most Improved would be more appropriate. In the end Rose will likely be far more Hall of Fame worthy than Iverson.

  8. Greyberger Says:

    Re:6, you didn't happen to catch the first half of that Bulls-Hawks game, did you? That ship has sailed; it's a total fait accompli that Rose is going to be MVP this year.

    You don't really think he'd tell you his master plan while you still had time to prevent it, did you? He did it thirty-five minutes ago. (Sorry, Geek moment).

    Rose won't be the worst MVP in recent memory - as far as I'm concerned, only Lebron and D-Howard have a _much_ better case than Rose does. He's likable as a player, and the Bulls are amazing this year. It's not a complete travesty, and even if it was, who can get worked up about an MVP award with the playoffs right around the corner?

  9. ElGee Says:

    I'd love to see the MIP analysis again from Justin. I agree Rose will win MVP, but I have him as MIP.

    #7 - I'd say Steve Nash is the most overlooked MVP candidate. Outside of Kobe, Bynum has been huge in LA in the last 2 months, not Gasol.

  10. Ryan Says:

    The error that is taking place is the idea that the MVP is most talented player in the league or the best player in the league. That has never been the case. It has never been awarded based on PER, win shares, or any another "advanced" statistical metric.

  11. huevonkiller Says:

    #5 He's really important, and? He's not the most important in the league going by whatever standard.

    Hopefully people will stop denying Rose is like Iverson. This is pretty solid proof they are nearly identical players, with the same kind of impact.

  12. huevonkiller Says:

    #10 I don't think this website exists to validate stupid customs or ideas in the NBA.

  13. Ryan Says:

    Sure it does. When Rose wins the MVP and his measured HOF probability increases significantly it both validates and confirms his status as a great player.

  14. Neil Paine Says:

    #13 - Ironically, MVP selections don't actually increase a player's HoF probability in the current model:

    This is why we've caught so much flak for Steve Nash having a 40% p(HoF).

  15. Ryan Says:

    lol nice

    My mistake I always assumed Tony Parker's probability was artificially high from his finals MVP

  16. AYC Says:

    I don't think you needed to pro-rate Rose's games played, since his actual total of 69 is closer to Iverson's total of 71 in 2001. Anyway, it seems like you cherry-picked stats that favor AI in this comparison. Here are some stats that favor Rose:

    DR .540 TS%, .480 eFG%, .201 WS/48, 39.3 ast%, 1.4 Ast/TO
    AI .518 TS%, .447 eFG%, .190 WS/48, 23.0 ast%, 2.3 Ast/TO

  17. AYC Says:

    Oops, got the ast/to turned around; that should be 2.3 for Rose and 1.4 for AI

  18. Gary Busey Says:

    James is obviously a great candidate...

    Howard... imo Howard is MVP this year... elite production/efficiency combined with a defensive impact that is likely underestimated by his defensive rating

    Paul is like Rose except more meaningful to his team's offense and a better defender.

    All of the other players besides the above three are second-tier MVP candidates IMO.

    Rose has taken a huge step this forward this year but Chicago's suprising success is being mistakenly attributed to him. He certainly makes their offense better, but their team ORTG isn't that great overall... it's their elite team defense that's made them a championship contender this year.

    The effects of coaching are WAY overstated by sportswriters, but I think you could make a case for Thibodeau having the highest win share total of any "member" of the Chicago Bulls this year because he has taken a bunch of okay defensive players and created the best defense in the league.

    Consequently, Chicago has taken a gigantic step forward in the wins/point differential column.

  19. Gary Busey Says:

    Another thing that's lame about the undeserved pimping of Rose is that he's now the de facto "greatest point guard in the league..." it's like everyone forgot CP3 existed

  20. Neil Paine Says:

    #16 - Only one of those (WS/48) is an all-in-one summary stat on the order of SPM or the ORtg/%Pos/DRtg slash combo. So, no, I didn't cherry-pick. I just left out component statistics.

  21. ccarpcertified Says:

    Not to deviate from the topic too much but how would Rose's 2011 season compare to Chris Paul's 2008 season?

    Many objective observers would say that CP was robbed in favor of Bryant because there were no strong MVP candidates that year. The perception for this season is that there are no strong MVP candidates and Rose is being touted as this year's MVP because of it along with the Bulls' success.

    I was wondering what your thoughts were because Paul had a better season statistically when compared to Rose who is supposedly a runaway winner. The Bulls will probably finish with 4 more wins as a team than NO had.

  22. Neil Paine Says:

    I like what Gary Busey is saying so much that I will only bring up 'Bulletproof' once.

  23. Neil Paine Says:

    #21 - "how would Rose's 2011 season compare to Chris Paul's 2008 season?"

    In a word: Unfavorably. 2008 Paul crushes 2011 Rose in almost all of the advanced stats.

  24. AYC Says:

    I just thought it was weird that you wouldn't include WS in the analysis.

    Excuse me for saying so, but while catch-all metrics are fun for ranking purposes, they don't tell you very much specifically. A single number that tells you how "productive" a player is doesn't tell you what areas he is productive in. So I think the component stats are very relevant to this discussion. Rose is a more accurate/efficient scorer than AI, and he's much more of a true point guard, as the assist numbers I provided show. I think he's already a better player than AI ever was.

  25. DWarner Says:

    Because 20 of the last 20 MVP's played on a team with one of the four best records in the league,history basically narrows the choice considerably.

    With that said, if standings remain as they are, regrettably, Rose is probably the MVP, and this was a great piece that illustrates how wrong the process is. Sticking to the top 4 theory, you would think they would go with the Star with the least help. Based on PER, that's Dirk. 24.3 PER where Chandler is next best at 18.7 and Marion 16.5. Rose has a 23.3 but Boozer is a 19.4 and Noah's a 18.8. So he has 2 teammates better than Dirks best.Then throw in Luol who averages 18 per game at a 15.7 PER rate and Rose has all types of help. Plus Thibadeaus Defense is why Chicago's winning. Not just Rose.

    If we throw out the top 4 theory, DHoward would be MVP as he has the least help of any superstar with a 26.2 PER and Sub, Ryan Anderson his best teammate at 18.6. Little used Brandon Bass is third at 16.3 and Former All-Star Jameer nelson is below league average at 14.9 this year.

    If the best player won the award regardless of team position, LeBron would win his 3rd straight and probably should've won 1 before he did...

    To this point in NBA history, probably the least deserving MVP'S were Iverson, although I loved the guy at the time, Unseld as a rookie, and Dave Cowens. It looks as though this young man Rose is about to join the list...

  26. Neil Paine Says:

    #24 - The WS/48 complaint is fair, I should have included that, even though it's already basically covered by ORtg/%Pos/DRtg. It tells the same story, though -- they've essentially had the same season, production-wise. In fact, Rose is not a particularly more efficient scorer after adjusting for the difference in league efficiency levels between 2001 and 2011. Translated to 2011, Iverson had a 110.5 ORtg on 33.8% of possessions; Rose has a 111.5 ORtg on 32.6% of possessions. Account for skill curves, and they're at exactly the same level of productivity. Rose passes more, Iverson scores more, but stylistic differences aside, they had practically identical seasons.

  27. Belize Says:

    Anybody hating on rose is just mad he tapped that ass this year. Lakers? pfft woooped. Spurs? Asskicked in the mouf. Celtics? check back in a week folks

    :::::::::::and im out haters

  28. AYC Says:

    The difference in passing is a big one. IMO stats and advanced metrics tend to undervalue assists, and playmakers in general

  29. Jason J Says:

    2.3:1 is actually not a great assist to turnover ratio for an All-NBA point guard. A good uptempo passer like Nash will get a 3:1 and a control passer like Paul will get a 4:1. 2:1 is what you see from off-guards masquerading as points like Westbrook.

  30. Neil Paine Says:

    #28 - Charlie Ward's career +3.05 SPM begs to differ...

    Seriously, though, the OSPM coefficient for assists is huge (especially if you standardize and look at relative importance):

    Rose's assists aren't being undervalued. If anything, his passing gives him a built-in advantage in SPM. And yet he still lags behind Iverson in that category.

  31. ccarpcertified Says:

    'Another thing that's lame about the undeserved pimping of Rose is that he's now the de facto "greatest point guard in the league..." it's like everyone forgot CP3 existed'

    Which is why I asked for the comparison between CP in '08 and Rose in '11.

    CP had a much better season then and he wasn't the MVP so why is Rose being touted as MVP now for less production? The only advantage Rose would have is the fact that his team should win more games.

    From an advanced statistical perspective, you could say that '11 CP is better than '11 Rose

  32. Neil Paine Says:

    #31 - I think if you trade the two teams straight-up (New Orleans '08 for Chicago '11), and Chris Paul is the 22-year-old breakout star PG on the breakout Eastern Conference team in 2011, with LeBron "abdicating" over the previous summer, CP3 wins the MVP. And if Rose is the 22-year-old breakout PG in the 2008 Western Conference, he finishes 2nd behind Kobe Bryant in the voting.

    Nobody said life was fair.

  33. ScottyKCMO Says:

    Everyone seems to be ignoring the most important factor in the MVP conversation. Wins. Stats don't mean sh*t without wins. Just look at all the MVP winners throughout history. It starts with which team is the best, and then goes to the player that is clearly the most important to that team. The reason Rose is the clear-cut best choice for MVP right now is simply because the Spurs don't have a player that is clearly the most important to their team. Same goes for Boston. Bulls are currently the 2nd best team in the league, and Rose is BY FAR the best player on the Bulls. (If you all want a stat, Rose's scoring+assists account for a larger % of his team's total points than any other player in the league.) LeBron and Dwight can rack up all the stats they want, but the bottom line is, they have not won as many games as Derrick has. Not to mention, Rose is 5-1 against the Heat and Magic. It's the same reason Jordan didn't win about 10 MVP trophies. His teams didn't always have the best regular season records (see Barkley's Suns and Malone's Jazz). If you all the sudden start awarding the MVP based mainly on stats, then it invalidates a large portion of the MVP's awarded in the past.

  34. Dan Says:

    Another factor in MVP balloting - voters tend to get tired of voting for the same player multiple years in a row. Look at Jordan vs. Barkley: even though Barkley was/is my favorite player, it's crazy that MJ didn't take the award that year. Same goes for LeBron...he's won it the past 2 years, so it's "time" to give it to someone else. Not to mention that he's public enemy #1 for "The Decision"...

  35. Jason J Says:

    #33 Jordan's Bulls won more than the Jazz (a staggering 69 games) in 1997 when Malone won the MVP. Jordan was the best player in the league (by metrics and by eye test), and the Bulls not only had the most wins but also were the defending champs. But Malone hadn't ever won the award before. It's all storyline and sympathies.

  36. Ryan Black Says:

    To be fair, Rose plays along side Keith Bogans.

  37. Jake Says:

    This site is always interesting and these statistics have their place in terms of importance, but it's more important, particularly when discussing MVP candidates, TO WATCH THE GAMES. Rose is virtually impossible to guard. He's playing out of his mind lately. He's unselfish, but can take over games when he needs to. All he cares about is winning. He's beloved by his teammates. I'm piling on cliches, but these are all facts.

    The Bulls would be, at best, an average team without him (and I don't want do see BS stats that refute this, it's not the same), while with him they have the best record in the East.

    I find Rose to Iverson comparisons laughable, and I LIKED Iverson's game.

    It's not always about advanced metrics. Watch the effing games. Look at the big picture. This is Rose's year.

  38. Jason J Says:

    Here's the problem with ONLY trusting to your eyes. Your eyes say that Rose is practically unstoppable because they don't remember when things go wrong. The stats tell us that he shots under 44% from the field for the season. So he is no 2000 Shaq when it comes to being unstoppable - and actually Iverson also seemed unstoppable because of his ability to get to the paint at any time (and AI was one of my absolute favorites).

    I do think there are plenty of good reasons to vote for Rose (Leadership not least among them), but dogging on his teammates who have played very well in Coach T's aggressive defense and getting carried away by how visually impressive his offense has been isn't convincing. To me at least.

  39. k Says:

    It's rather sad, all the hype that guards are currently receiving, and yet no one will simply state the obvious: that the hand-check rules have precipitated a huge amount of this.

    I look at Rose and I wonder, 'what kind of player would he be in 1998?'

  40. Caleb Says:

    I basically don't trust my eyes (or my brain, really - as its doing the value judgements) AT ALL. People always say "WATCH THE GAMES." I do, and I make my judgments... but if statistical analysis invalidates those judgments... great, I learned something. I have basically no faith in the human ability to judge these sort of things. Almost all observation-based arguments (particularly for MVP) end up being cliche-ridden, non-quantifiable and entirely subjective. So, screw my eyes. They suck, and so do yours.

  41. Walter Says: put out a very similar article at almost the same time as the blog.. just and FYI for those interested.

  42. Ray Says:

    "Jake Says:
    March 23rd, 2011 at 5:16 pm

    This site is always interesting and these statistics have their place in terms of importance, but it's more important, particularly when discussing MVP candidates, TO WATCH THE GAMES. Rose is virtually impossible to guard. He's playing out of his mind lately. He's unselfish, but can take over games when he needs to. All he cares about is winning. He's beloved by his teammates. I'm piling on cliches, but these are all facts."

    I already do WATCH THE GAMES, and my eyes tell me that Rose is a talented but inefficient slasher on an average offensive team that is racking up wins thanks to a league-best defense (largely due to the work of new coach Tom Thibodeau) and gang rebounding (largely due to a bunch of young 7-footers, and Carlos Boozer).

    LeBron is even MORE impossible to guard. And all HE cares about is winning, hence sacrificing his popularity and risking his legacy to form the team he hopes can do what Cleveland never could (let's see how loyal Rose is in four years if these Bulls reach their peak like the Cavs did yet still have no titles to show for it).

    Personally, I think the award is a waste of time. We should just replace it with an Offensive Player of the Year award, because people ignore defense in their MVP voting anyway. Rose is NOT the anchor of the Chicago defense, yet that (and their rebounding) is why they're winning. They didn't sweep Miami by out-gunning them, they did it by stifling the predictable and simplistic Heat offense while crashing the boards.

    Of course, the Rose storyline has nothing to do with any of that, but it won't matter because the story just feels so good.

  43. AYC Says:

    #29, ast/to ratio has its limitations, because your TO rate is also related to your usage, not just your passing. If we compare Rose's assist% to his TOV% (12.9%), we have a better than 3 to 1 ratio. Btw, here are Magic and Stockton's career stats:

    EJ 40.9 ast%, 19.4 TOV%; 2.1 to 1 ratio.
    JS 50.2 ast%, 20.8 TOV%; 2.4 to 1 ratio.

  44. Danny Says:

    K makes a tremendous point. MVP or not, Iverson remains miles ahead of Rose.

  45. AYC Says:

    How many other times has a player had an ast% over 39, a tov% under 13%, and a usage% over 30%? Only 3 times: Lebron last year (2nd MVP), DWade in 09 (best statistical season), and Tony Parker in 09 (his best season too)

  46. ucapt Says:

    You said it best. Stats aren't biased. They don't care about flashy layups or crossovers. They care about turnovers and missed layups.

  47. Sean Says:

    jake (#37): "Rose is virtually impossible to guard. He's playing out of his mind lately."

    If Rose were virtually impossible to guard, he would be shooting better than 44%. In his last 5 games he's shooting 43%.

    Look, Rose is a very good player. He will probably become a great player. He may become one of the all-time great point guards before he's done. He clearly has many intangibles such as leadership, humility, and confidence. But the hype about him for MVP this year is over the top. This Bulls team has great defense, very good coaching, a MUCH better supporting cast than most people acknowledge, and great chemistry. Rose plays a part in that, a larger part than anyone else on the team. But it's a strecth to say he's the MVP this year.

  48. Adolfo Says:

    To everyone thinking Rose doesn't the deserver the MVP because the Bulls are a slightly above average team:
    Check the Bucks.That team is out of the playoff picture because of their TERRIBLE offense, and even though the Bulls wouldn't be that bad without Derrick, they'll be in a similar situation if it wasn't for Rose.
    Right now, I think the Iverson comparison is fair. However, Derrick has always been a more efecctive scorer, and his defense is improving (his DRTg has gone down 11 points since his rookie season).
    Bringing up CP3 2008 season is stupid, he should've been the MVP that year, as simple as that.
    BTW, my vote is for Dwight. He's having an INSANE season.

  49. Ryan. Says:

    Rose is improving as an individual defender when you monitor allowed PPP

    But DRTg? What would his DRTg be sitting at if he were on the Cavs? DRTg is scarcely indicative of individual defensive ability/performance IMO.

  50. Jason J Says:

    AYC - That's sort of my point. Rose's stats are shooting guard stats because of that super high usage (which is why the TO% is low while the actual TOs are pretty high - he's not setting up the offense for others. He's the primary scoring option. So all those extra shot attempts keep the TO% low). They compare to Iverson's moreso than Magic's because he passes less than Magic (hence the high usage).

    That's all I was saying. Not that he's a bad player, just that the comparison to AI works because their roles are more similar than we'd think. Wade had similar Asst:TO and Asst%:TO% numbers in '09 and '10, though he shot much better.

  51. AYC Says:

    Jason J, I don't think the assist stats back up that argument; Rose's 39.3 ast% is definitely in pure PG territory (part of what makes LBJ and Wade so great is that they are elite playmakers as well as scorers). AI in '01 was at 23.0 ast%. That's a huge difference. Rose has Usage and scoring like an elite 2-man, but he is also doing what an elite PG is supposed to do: making plays for his teammates.

    PS Woo Hoo! Let's hear it for drunk blogging!

  52. Owen Says:

    "This site is always interesting and these statistics have their place in terms of importance, but it's more important, particularly when discussing MVP candidates, TO WATCH THE GAMES."

    We do. In our mother's basement.

  53. Travis Says:

    Rose, 2011:

    39.3 AST%
    12.9 TO%
    32.4 USG%
    .540 TS%

    Iverson, 2006:

    34.9 AST%
    10.2 TO%
    35.8 USG%
    .543 TS%

    Iverson has a slight edge when you match up individual and team O/DRtgs.

    Just dropping that here.

  54. Kelly Says:

    First, Rose is not an "average" defensive player. According to Synergy his defensive points per play is the lowest of any starting guard in the NBA (around .74 last time I checked).

    People myopically focus on this +/- thing and on/off court thing as though it's the only reliable measure there is. When you study those things, you could make some pretty ridiculous sounding arguments.

    Second, there's this uproar from the stat-driven community that's getting more and more outraged at the notion of Rose winning the MVP. Bottom line is he actually does deserve it. It's looking more and more like Chicago is going to win 60 games and win the East.

    People make an argument based on how the award "should be" awarded and not how it "has been" awarded. Generally speaking (and that's about the best you can do with this) it's gone to the player that has done the most to help his team to be a top two or three team in the NBA.

    In all likelihood the Bulls will finish the season with the second best record in the NBA, have 60+ win, and win the Eastern Conference regular season. Of the teams that are likely to finish with the five best records, Chicago, San Antonio, LA, Boston and Miami, all but one of them had multiple All-Stars. Throw in Oklahoma City if you want too.

    The problem with all of this stat break down is you're doing what the voters aren't doing.

    On the Iverson and Rose comparison I think that there are similarities but as one commenter pointed out, there are some issues with the overlooking of shooting percentages (though probably that's a bit made up for with AI doing a better job of getting to the line.)

    I would counter though that the bigger difference between them is not statistical but lies in attitude. Iverson and coaching were mutually exclusive things. Part of the reason that the Bulls are so good is that Thibs is a great coach. That coaching though is pointless if the team doesn't take to it.

    Rose eats up coaching. Try and get him to say two full paragraphs without him talking about coaching. When the star player on the team is so eager to be coached the rest of the team follows.

    I think sometimes when people look at MVP and stats they only think of the tangibles. Rose has done as much off the court to help the team win as he has on it. I know this can't be measured and will probably enrage some people, but it's true. His attitude has been picked up by his team. He leads by example.

    Anyone that follows this team notices this. Vets like Boozer are completely enamored with him. Boozer said something along thee lines of "he's the best teammate I've ever played with." This is a guy who played with Deron Williams and LeBron James saying that. Now of course you can say, "well of course he's going to say that. The thing is though, it seems so genuine and it seems across the board.

    The synergy on this team. The way they get along and genuinely like one another, it all comes out on the court and it all starts with Rose. Rose doesn't deserve the MVP because he's the best player on the court. He deserves it because he's doing the most on and off the court to elevate his team.

  55. Kelly Says:


    You realize that Iverson didn't win MVP in 2006 right? His MVP year those numbers are a little different.

  56. Dan Says:

    Perhaps Rose should miss a few games so that we could actually see how the team does without him? I mean, that's what helped Steve Nash win at least one MVP, right? Eh, I guess Rose doesn't need any more help.

  57. Kelly Says:

    #50 "He's not setting up the offense for others."

    Statements like that are made by people who are paying attention to boxscores not games. I don't have an issue with stats like some people do. Sometimes though people commit post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacies when it comes to stats. Roes's high usage percentage does not automatically mean that he's not setting up offense for others.

    Let me ask you this. How many times have you heard Thibs complain about Rose? That right there tells you the big difference between him Iverson.

  58. Mike G Says:

    I wish people would open their eyes and realize how dominant Dwight Howard has been, on BOTH ENDS of the court. He is right there with LeBron in PER, and the dropoff after that is significant. His entire team was changed mid-season and Orlando is still headed for 55 or so wins.
    Night after night, Howard is taking over games in ways nobody else in the league can. The criticisms of his offense are outdated at this point, just watch an actual game. He's been labeled in the past, and it carries over even though it no longer applies.

    I think the talent around Rose is not getting enough credit, and inflating Rose's worth. And once the media latches on to a candidate, its over, everyone votes like brainwashed sheep.

    Howard deserves the MVP, he won't get it, and I don't know if he ever will, because of idiotic preconceptions about big men.

  59. Gary Busey Says:

    To #33... arguably, Manu is as valuable to the Spurs as Rose is to the Bulls...

  60. Kelly Says:

    "I think the talent around Rose is not getting enough credit, and inflating Rose's worth."

    How many people were mentioning this "talent around Rose" in the preseason? It's funny how there's this sort of twofold argument with the Bulls and Rose. When it comes to the MVP discussions the talent around Rose is "not getting enough credit." But when it comes to the chances for the Bulls to succeed in the postseason, the arguments tend towards, "when playoff basketball starts and teams key on Rose (as though no one's thought of doing that yet this year) who else is there who can score.

    So it seems like some people have this very strange and arbitrary line between Rose's teammates being too good for him to be an MVP but not good enough for him to win a ring.

    Orlando's payroll is 34 million more than Chicago's but the laughable argument lately has been how great Rose's teammates are while Howard has to do it all on his own. Uh huh.

  61. Anon Says:

    " I know this can't be measured and will probably enrage some people, but it's true. His attitude has been picked up by his team. He leads by example."

    Except the same can be said for EVERY OTHER MVP CANDIDATE this season.

    Which is why we use the numbers.

  62. Gary Busey Says:

    It's not the talent persay around rose, but the defense, that vastly overstates his worth

  63. Kelly Says:

    61: Actually it can't. LeBron James bumping shoulders with his coaches. Dwight Howard getting 16 technicals and calling out his teammates in public.

    The fact is that right now what can't be said about every other MVP candidate that the team has the same chemistry. You should quote me in context, not in part. The part you leave out is that there's been an effect on team chemistry that Rose's leadership has that can't be said by ANY OTHER MVP CANDIDATE this season.

    That's probably why you ignored that part of it.

  64. Kelly Says:

    Garey. That's right. The defense exists mutually exclusive from Rose. He doesn't exist on the defensive end.

    If you look at just starting units, Rose, Boozer, Noah, Bogans and Deng allow the fewest points per possession of any starting unit in the NBA. Why shouldn't Rose get some of the credit for that?

    I know people want to give these on court/off court drivel and say how the Bulls give up fewer points with Rose off court than on it as though that's even slightly reasonable. Guarding Deron Willaims for 38 minutes is hardly the same thing as guarding his backup for eight. That's why I say it should be compared to other starting lineups.

    People need to stop pretending that the defense is one thing and Derrick Rose exists apart from it. According to synergy his opponents' points per play is the lowest of any starting point guard OR shooting guard in the NBA.

  65. Gary Busey Says:

    Guards are way less important to a defense imo than big guys because big guys provide more of the help.

    DRose's defensive indicators (synergy, et al) suck and his DRTG on this site is inflated by the strength of his team defense.

  66. Gary Busey Says:

    Of course, the corollary is that because they set up touches more guards matter way more to a teams offense... and its true that the bulls' offense would go from mediocre to really shitty without Rose, who is their offensive lynchpin...

    Still, Rose doesn't impact the game on both ends of the ball like James, Howard, and Paul and is not a good choice for MVP imo

  67. Anon Says:

    "Actually it can't. LeBron James bumping shoulders with his coaches. Dwight Howard getting 16 technicals and calling out his teammates in public."

    No no no. Those things are PRECISELY the reason why Heat and Magic are among the best teams in the East. It fired them up! Especially in Dwight's case, it made that team "overachieve" and play better.

    ...the problem with subjective criteria, is that it's subjective. Depending on whom you talk to, one person's distraction is another person's motivation.

  68. AYC Says:

    #61, this post isn't comparing Rose to the other MVP candidates this year; it's comparing him to Iverson. Why? In order to knock Rose down a peg through guilt by association. We all know AI was a uncoachable ball-hog who refused to play his natural position of PG because he wanted to score, not get his teammates involved. We also know that he was the most inefficient big-time scorer of the modern era. This comparison implies Rose is similar as a player, because his stats are superficially similar. As I showed before, Rose is a much better playmaker, and a more efficient scorer. He's also a better leader, as others have pointed out.

    I'm sure Neil could find MVP caliber forwards and centers from the past who have similar SPM, WS, and Dean O stats to Rose this year if he wanted. That's because those catch-all stats are not very specific; you can't even guess what position someone plays by looking at those stats; you don't know if their offensive production comes from passing, accurate shooting, a high FT rate, or offensive rebounding. Only by looking at the "component" stats do we see whether the production is truly similar. I could compare Rose to, say, Moses Malone in his MVP season of 1979 using WS/48, and say their production was about equal (Rose is slightly higher, actually). Does a favorable comparison to Moses make him a worthy MVP candidate today?

  69. Brian Says:

    I'm a huge Bulls fan and I love Rose, but I agree with most of the arguments being made here: Howard should probably win it but won't, D. Rose will probably win it but shouldn't, and voters care much more about storylines than advanced statistics--I don't think I need to tell you that Rose's choir boy persona was always going to give him a huge leg up on LeBron's doucheyness. But I think you're all missing one big stat: Rose is 22 years old, whereas Iverson was 26 when he won it. They're clearly at different points in their career when they won it, where Rose is still trying to hone his awesome skill set while Iverson was seemingly content with shooting 25 shots a game at a 42% clip for the rest of his career. Add in Rose's veracity for learning the game and getting better--remember his 3pt shot, his distribution of the ball, and his ability to defend the pg position last year? In one summer he turned all of those negatives into at least average if not above average skills--and Iverson's historical lack of those attributes, and the comparison is kind of insulting. Don't give it to Rose this year; give it to him 3 years down the line when he's had 3 more off-seasons to develop his abilities enough to potentially be the true most valuable player in the league, statistically or otherwise.

    Oh, and while I do "get" advanced statistics most of the time, it still confuses me how Rose's 3+ more assists and 5+ less shots per game than Iverson don't somehow reveal themselves through the numbers. Oh well.

  70. Neil Paine Says:

    #68 - Broken record time: He's not a more efficient scorer than Iverson was in 2001. If you account for the different league environments and Iverson's slight edge in usage, they are operating at the same efficiency level. How many times do I need to say this?

    Also, for our purposes Iverson was 25 in 2001. But point taken.

  71. Brian Says:

    What I don't understand is why no one in Chicago is clamoring for Thibodeau to win Coach of the Year. That is a far easier argument make and something he's far more deserving of than Rose's MVP campaign.

  72. Kelly Says:


    People in Chicago are clamoring for Chicago to win Coach of the Year. Since when are the two mutually exclusive though? It's happened 11 times in NBA history that COY and MVP have come form the same team. The last time was all of two years ago.

  73. Kelly Says:

    "No no no. Those things are PRECISELY the reason why Heat and Magic are among the best teams in the East. It fired them up! Especially in Dwight's case, it made that team "overachieve" and play better."

    "...the problem with subjective criteria, is that it's subjective. Depending on whom you talk to, one person's distraction is another person's motivation."

    Actually they didn't. Objectively, it didn't and that's the problem with your subjective argument. The problem is that you can use objective criteria to measure the subjective argument. The objective criteria here is actual wins.

  74. AYC Says:

    I'd be willing to concede that Neil, if you and the haters would acknowledge that Rose is in fact an elite playmaker this year, and that he's significantly better than AI was in that regard. If you had compared Rose to Isiah Thomas, I wouldn't be so offended. But I think the AI comparison is being used to tar Rose by association, which is unfair.

  75. Sean Says:

    (#69) Brian - Right on. That's exactly how I see Rose and the MVP race. He's an outstanding up and coming player, the key offensive player on an elite team. But he's not the MVP, not yet. I'm not a Bulls fan like you, but I see this issue the same way.

    (#61) Kelly - You must be hearing different things than I am about the Bulls in the playoffs. Most of what I read is that the Bulls will have a tough time winning the title because they don't have the playoff experience or time together under their belts. And I think that's the most important issue, more so than "who will score when teams key on Rose?". Teams are already keying on Rose and they're still getting it done.

    In the preseason, the Bulls had a lot of talent and were young. Most analysts had them 3rd or 4th in the East behind Miami, and behind Boston and/or Orlando. The Bulls have played above expectations, but it's not like they've come out of nowhere. Do you know how many teams would love to have Joakim Noah? Luol Deng as their 3rd/4th best player? The Bulls' strong bench? Their coach?

  76. Mike Says:

    One thing that people MUST recognize is how drastically different the NBA has been since 2004-05. The most talented group of guards in the history of the league didn't suddenly emerge for no reason. You're not allowed to guard people anymore. A prime Iverson would average an efficient 30/game in this era, like he did right when the rules changes took effect.

  77. Anon Says:

    "The problem is that you can use objective criteria to measure the subjective argument. The objective criteria here is actual wins."

    No you can't. Points lead to wins; you can actually COUNT them and the team that has more points gets the W. How can you do the same for Rose's "intangibles"? You sure the Bulls aren't playing this well because Joakim's hideous face spooks them into playing defense?

  78. Jason J Says:

    AYC - I see where you're coming from. My take is still that a 30%+ usage player is probably not playing a true point role.

    Guards who've played at least 24 minutes and had a usage over 30 sorted by WS.

    Those players officially listed as PGs:

    To me (and it's really just my opinion), this list is not pure point guards. Playmakers to be sure, but they are shoot first guards.

  79. Kelly Says:


    Do you want to point me to the analysts who had Orlando behind Chicago in the preseason? No one was saying that. The most people were saying is fourth, and there were plenty that had them as fifth behind Atlanta. Heck, some people had the Bucks winning the Central. The preseason Vegas odds for Chicago were 46.5. Orlando was 54.5 Chicago's on pace to hit about 60. Orlando about 54. So Orlando's done about what they were supposed to do, but let's not pretend that Chicago has only slightly exceeded expectations. They've arguably exceeded them more than any team in the NBA.

    As far as what you're hearing about Chicago and experience that is another reason people are saying that Chicago might not win, but that's not the ONLY reason. If you haven't heard the "Chicago doesn't have a second scorer argument you're trying not to.

    And yes, lots of teams would love to have Noah and Deng on their teams. That didn't get them in the All Star game though did it? Yes, the Bulls have a strong bench, a coach and all of that. So did the Lakers when Kobe Bryant won, but no one was arguing that he shouldn't win because of those things.

  80. Kelly Says:

    "No you can't. Points lead to wins; you can actually COUNT them and the team that has more points gets the W. How can you do the same for Rose's "intangibles"? You sure the Bulls aren't playing this well because Joakim's hideous face spooks them into playing defense?"

    You aren't even making sense at this point. It seems like people are unreasonable dug into their position that Chicago is winning in spite of Rose. What are you arguing now, that Rose has nothing to do with the Bulls scoring points? Between his assists and points scored he accounts for the highest percentage of his teams points.

    You seem to be taking this hardline stance that unless something is measurable it's not real. Fine that's your opinion. Don't make it out to be an absolute truth though. That's your subjective opinion.

  81. AYC Says:

    Who says a true PG can't be both a playmaker AND a scorer? When I checked for seasons with a 39.0% assist rate or better, I found 127 such seasons (min 65g, 24mpg); 125 of those 127 seasons were from point guards; one season from LBJ and one from Wade were the exceptions. AI never did it, and neither did MJ.

  82. Anon Says:

    No Kelly. I'm saying that I'm more interested in this...

    "Between his assists and points scored he accounts for the highest percentage of his teams points."

    ...than whether Rose's "leadership" or "awesomeness" of his double-pump dunk "MAKES" his team win games. These things can't be verified either way. Rose's points can though.

  83. Sean Says:

    Kelly, here are ESPN's "expert" preseason predictions (this is Adande's; click on the mugs at the bottom for others'). I stand corrected: no one had the Bulls ahead of Orlando; however, no one here had them behind Atlanta either, as you claimed. Regardless of the quibbles, my main point remains: the Bulls did not come out of nowhere. Please don't twist my words: I didn't say the Bulls had "slightly exceeded expectations". I said they have played "above expectations".

    Also, I said that "most" of what I read is about the experience and jelling factors. Not "its' the ONLY reason" as you claimed. Of course there are others wondering who will score. But if you think that's the most discussed factor regarding their playoff chances, and the most critical factor, then I emphatically disagree with you. Boozer and Deng both average 18 PPG; the Magic have no one (other than Howard) over about 14. And the Bulls play a slower pace than the Magic. Now I know PPG is a crude stat, but the point is that the Bulls have other players besides Rose that can score.

    Finally, are you really comparing Rose (this year) to Kobe's MVP season (2008)? As a Suns fan, I have plenty of distaste for Kobe. But that coparison doesn't work. Yes, the Lakers had a great coach, good bench, and good D. But putting all that aside, Rose is not the equivalent of 2008 Kobe; statistically or otherwise.

  84. Jason J Says:

    AYC - I said specifically that, like Arenas or Wade, he's a playmaker but not a pure point guard. Where is the disconnect? I'm not saying he's the worst player ever. Just that a 2:1 assist to turnover ratio, and a 30% usage rate are not what you see in elite pure point guards. He IS in the same situation as LeBron and Wade have been where the offense is get it to Rose and let him do all the ball handling, take most of the shots, and make all the decisions.

  85. Ray Says:

    "Kelly Says:
    March 24th, 2011 at 1:11 pm

    You aren't even making sense at this point. It seems like people are unreasonable dug into their position that Chicago is winning in spite of Rose. What are you arguing now, that Rose has nothing to do with the Bulls scoring points? Between his assists and points scored he accounts for the highest percentage of his teams points."

    The Bulls might (and I think do) owe some of their success to Rose. They might even owe the biggest single chunk of their success to Rose. But they still owe the large majority of their success to their various other components. Their team is still very well balanced between coaching, defensive/rebounding bigs, and several good role-players. That's more than anyone can say about Orlando or Miami, who have numerous issues the Bulls don't have elsewhere on their roster and in their coaching staff.

  86. Brian Says:

    #72- I didn't say they were mutually exclusive. I'm just saying the calls for Rose being MVP are louder than the calls for Thibodeau being COY when Thibs is far more deserving of his potential award than D. Rose is of his. Like I said earlier, I'd probably take Howard over Rose for MVP; Thibs not getting COY, however, would be an atrocity.

  87. AYC Says:

    I don't see what usage rate and turnovers have to do with proving you're a pure PG. To me it's all about assists. A pure PG gets his teammates involved. If he shoots a lot, but still makes plays for his fellow players, who cares? Isiah,Chris Paul and Magic have had some high usage seasons too (I admit, not as high as Rose this year). And you realize Magic Johnson is the all-time leader in tov/g right?

    You're right that high usage brings your tov% down, but the opposite effect happens with tov/g; high usage brings your per game avg up. So neither measure (ast/tov or ast%/tov%) is perfect. The fact is, players who dominate the ball (usually the best players) are going to turn over the ball, whether they are primarily playmakers or scorers.

  88. Jake Says:

    What's the point of trying to define Rose's "true" position, be it PG or "playmaker." I've watched every Bulls game this year. He simply does whatever the coaches (or his instincts) tell him to do to win games. That's really it. If he could pass the ball and set people up all game, he would do it. Unfortunately, even with this ("out-of-nowhere, why haven't you been saying this the past 2 years, Noah and Boozer both missing considerable time") tremendous supporting cast, Rose has to score buckets for this team to win games. And they're winning a lot of games.

  89. Sean Says:

    (#88) Jake - The supporting cast is different this year. Noah is still improving and is still young. Boozer wasn't there last year. Many other players are either new or young. The coach is a huge upgrade, and his defensive philosophy has changed this team. Even Rose is a year older and better, not even approaching his athletic and b-ball smarts prime yet.

  90. Jake Says:

    I'm not disputing that the supporting cast is improved. They are, and considerably so. For instance, Rose's assists numbers are up this year because his teammates are hitting the wide open shots they routinely missed the past two years. Now someone may be able to mess with an excel sheet and dispute that theory, but that's what it seems like to me. The new coach, better roster, and Rose's personal improved have all contributed to this team's success. It remains my opinion that D-Rose is simply the most important player on the one of the league's best teams, which is what the MVP means to me. It's an opinion.

  91. Kelly Says:

    "That's more than anyone can say about Orlando or Miami, who have numerous issues the Bulls don't have elsewhere on their roster and in their coaching staff."

    That may be true but at least in Maimi they have some strengths over Chicago too. But really that's not the entirety of things either. If the teams were equally good then you'd have a point, but Chicago is the better team. They are probably going to win 60 games. They swept Miami. They own the lead over Orlando (for now) and will be about six games ahead of them at season's end.

    So if you say that there's been more help from Howard's teammates (who make 34 million dollars more) then you also have to take into account that there's less actual success. I'd also just point out that a lot of this is "after the fact" reasoning. Going into the season everyone was raving about Orlando's team. One third of the way into it they traded for a new group. Then they were going to be unbeatable. Now he doesn't "have anyone" again. And let's not make SVG sound like a dolt either. What's really funny is that by advanced basketball stats standards, he's the ultimate guru. The team that Orlando has and the style they play SHOULD be unbeatable. Just saying.

    Say what you will but the way voters traditionally think, team success matters a lot more than relative success. I think that realistically if you'd mentioned that Chicago was going to be without Noah or Boozer for most of the season, and that Chicago would win the Eastern Conference, and Rose would be the MVP and Thibs would be in the heavy running for COY at the beginning of the season, people would have sprained their nards laughing so hard.

    Maybe the Bulls, because of defense are a 50 win team without Rose. But without Rose and then having Boozer and/or Noah out for 2/3 of the season, do you really think they win 50 games because of Thibs? When people make these arguments are they taking into account the injuries?

    I ask because by virtue of that argument you have to consider how many games they DIDN'T win because of injuries. How many more wins do they have with Boozer and Noah in the full season? Five, six, seven?

    If the Bulls are pushing the mid to upper 60s in wins is there even a controversy here? I ask because when people mention that his cast is so good they don't take into account that the cast hasn't been all there.

  92. dsong Says:

    While all of you guys are arguing over Rose's merits as an MVP, I'm glad I'm a Lakers fan and have Kobe on the team. The Lakers will have a far greater chance of winning the championship than the Bulls and I would much rather have Kobe leading the team than Rose.

    Rose is a good player but he's neck and neck with Rondo for the best PG in the Eastern Conference. It'll be a great battle in the Eastern Conference Finals, should both teams make it that far.

  93. Sean Says:

    "Say what you will but the way voters traditionally think, team success matters a lot more than relative success."

    Kelly, I'm not disputing that Rose will probably win, and that voters usually take the best player on one of the very best teams. I'm talking about whether he *should* win or not. In the past all we had was storylines, media, and simple box scores. Now, we have more information (better stats) and more availability of that information, as well as more access to watch more games and highlights. And when adding in that additional, better data, Rose doesn't stand out.

    Your fellow Bulls fan Brian (#69) said it well:
    "I'm a huge Bulls fan and I love Rose, but I agree with most of the arguments being made here: Howard should probably win it but won't, D. Rose will probably win it but shouldn't, and voters care much more about storylines than advanced statistics--I don't think I need to tell you that Rose's choir boy persona was always going to give him a huge leg up on LeBron's doucheyness."

    Rose will win because of the storylines. And there's something to be said for that. I like Rose as a PG, as a competitor and leader, and he seems to be a good guy. But I don't think he's the MVP.

  94. Kelly Says:

    Sean, first I didn't say that on ESPN analysts that some had Atlanta over Chicago. Don't reference a select list that I didn't refer to and then use that to point out that no one put Atlanta over Chicago. I said, some even...suggesting that it was minority opinion. I was just pointing out that there was the so called "elite" teams, and Chicago was generally considered "not there yet."

    As far as the whole "experience" versus "who else will score thing" question goes, it's really moot as to which is discussed "more". The bottom line is that in the playoffs there are people who question where the other scoring is going to come form in the playoffs and that contradicts the whole "he's got so much help" argument.

    And no, I'm not comparing Kobe to Rose. I'm comparing the rest of the Lakers team to the rest of Chicago's team. Using the teammate argument against Rose is silly because players like Garnett and Kobe have won in spite of having superior supporting casts to what Rose has this year.

    Look, you've got a team like San Antonio or Boston, this year, where there's just no clear leader in the MVP discussion even on the team. Then there are teams like Orlando, where there's zero doubt who the MVP on the team is. Rose is much closer to the "Howard" end of the spectrum than the "Ginbobli" end of the spectrum.

    It's like people are trying too hard to sell the other components of the Bulls success to short change the Rose component. Do you really believe the Bulls are a 50 win team without Rose? I'm not saying you said that but if you think they are then that's a pretty bold statement.

    If you really believe that then you have to sort of take the inherent associated position that if there aren't injuries the Bulls have to be pushing the mid to upper 60s in wins this year if they aren't having musical injuries.

    Either way it makes a strong case for Rose being MVP.

  95. Kelly Says:

    Sean, I get what you're saying, but I think people are so absorbed in their advanced stats that they can get trapped by them. First, I think there's something to be said for story lines.

    When the Celtics came together and they determined, no one on one interviews and all of that. I think it had a great impact on the team and I think that played into them winning the championship their first year together. Can I prove that with advanced stats? No. Does that mean it's invlaid? No.

    I also think that sometimes when things defy the advanced stats sometimes people need to step back and evaluate what it is that is missing from them. I'm a firm believer that everything is measurable, but sometimes we don't know what to measure.

    When you watch the Bulls plays day in and day out, you see the value of Rose. When you look at the advanced stats you don't. Now there's one of two possibilities, either a) I'm seeing what I "want" to see, and that's wrong or b) the stats aren't adequately revealing what I actually see.

    Now there are some things that are consistent with what I do see and with advanced stats, when Rose passes out of isolation his teammates FG% goes up. Rose contributes the highest percentage of his team's points of any player in the league. Rose makes the most unassisted field-goals of any player in the NBA. Rose is the only player in the top 5 in creating his own shot and in creating shots for his teammates. All of these things are consistent with what I'm observing but they aren't factored into things like PER or WS/48. They are measurable, but for the most part, not measured or if they are measured, they are obscurely measured.

    The point I'm making is that what I don't see any of the advanced stats gurus doing is the thing they should be doing, which is asking, "If Rose shooting so much is inefficient, and overshooting inefficiently loses game, then why isn't Rose costing Chicago games.

    Now of course one has to include that maybe it is in their logic, but they should also include, maybe there's something we're not accounting for. Maybe there's a reason that it works. I just fill that there's a sort of one sided bubble conversation going on in the advanced stat community and no one is actually giving honest consideration to the merits of Rose's candidacy. They just sit around and tell one another what they agree with.

    Some of the arguments against Rose just end up seeing either closed minded, or lazy or both.

  96. Sean Says:

    Kelly, I only referenced ESPN because that's what I thought of first, and it had multiple analysts in one spot. You recall somebody somewhere saying Atlanta over Chicago; I recall somebody somewhere saying Chicago over Atlanta/Boston (and at least 1 on ESPN did have CHI over BOS). You're right that it's only 1 group of 10 or so predictions; it's not exhaustive. Just like your opinion, I said mine was in the minority. Anyway, I'm letting this one rest.

    I generally agree with your point here: "I was just pointing out that there was the so called "elite" teams, and Chicago was generally considered 'not there yet.'" But Chicago was considered the best of the rest.

    We're just going round and round with our opinions here, using different facts to support our beliefs. Do I think the Bulls are a 50 win team without Rose? Probably not. But I think the Bulls without Rose drop off less than:
    -The Magic without Howard
    -The Mavs without Nowitzki
    -The Suns without Nash (2005-06)
    -The Lakers without Kobe

    Finally, regarding how voters usually vote: are we on here predicting who will win, or claiming who should win? I don't care much about commenters' predictions (mine or anyone else's - sorry everyone!), and nobody's going to give me a prize if I predict the MVP or anything else. I'm on here talking about who I think should win and why.

    And this year, it's Dwight Howard. His team struggles more without him. His stats are better (box score and advanced). He's generally regarded as the best defensive player in the league. And his team has been through a makeover partway during the season.

    Would Rose winning be a travesty? No, not even close. He's a fine player who will be in the MVP running for many years to come. But is he the runaway winner this year, as many believe? No way.

  97. Sean Says:

    Kelly, I agree that there is something to be said for storylines and new candidates (who haven't won before) on strong teams. I'm a Suns fan, and Barkley in 1993 is a good example. I was thrilled that my team finally became elite, and he was clearly their best player. And he won over Michael Jordan! But Barkley also had better stats that year than Rose this year. It's tough to compare players from different positions, which is why advanced stats like PER and WS/48 try to do so. And they're imperfect stats, as you said. My main point is that I can't believe that Rose is forecasted as a runaway winner.

  98. Kelly Says:


    Then I guess we aren't really too far apart because I wouldn't be outraged if Howard won. I just think the PER and W/S do a better job of measuring what Howard does, which is why the statistics show that.

    I think that such universal stats leave out a key component, creating shots, either for yourself or for teammates, which is why guards who are high volume shooters are knocked down (and thus devalued in the Advanced Stat communities). The value of creating your own shot isn't just in making the shots though. It's in creating floor space.

    I'm a little surprised that Rose is forecasted as the runaway winner. I think the tide really started to turn after the Bulls won in Orlando and Miami back to back. I think Howard doesn't get enough credit (I actually had him number one in my preseason rankings and through most of the first half of the year).

    I think that the whole "Team X" would be worse without "Player X" argument can be a little tired though, because generally people speculate according to their position. I was more getting at if someone thinks that Boozer and Naoh bring that much to the team, and the Bulls are a 60 win team without them both for a bulk of the season, then how many games were lost on account of their absence?

    I mean if we conclude that the Bulls without Rose at all, and without Noah and/or Boozer for about 60 games are a 50 win team, then how many do they win with Rose, Noah and Boozer for all 82? There are four games that were settled by one basket or less, and two that were lost in OT. So let's just say that having the three of them makes a difference of two points, then that adds five games to their win total. Then what, maybe one or two more? Three of their losses came in Boozer's first two games back and Naoh's first game back. They were completely out of rhythm and played horribly. Give them the Toronto game.

    I'm just saying it's easy to start pushing them to an upper 60 win team if healthy. then is there a debate? I think that people base the arguments about how good the Bulls cast is sort of overlooks the fact that they haven't been healthy. It's not just that Bulls exceeded expectations, it's that they blew them apart missing a lot of games from Noah and Boozer.

    Does Rose benefit form better coaching and teammates? I can agree with that (though no one would have at the start of the season). But does Howard benefit from having a system which features him and have a pretty darned good coach too? Absolutely. All those three point shooters keep the lane open for Howard.

    I'd also point out that if Howard shot 70 percent from the stripe the Magic would be completely unbeatable and it severely hampers the Magic in crunch time and that affects value too.

    The thing about Rose being the front runner is everyone take shots at his game and not Howard's.

    I'm not trying to make a definitive argument here, I'm just sort of trying to present that there is an argument beyond "24 and 8" for Rose like some in the stat community make it out to be. When people start trying to make silly arguments like "Kyle Lowry is as good as Rose" (not that you have) it gets to the point where things are ridiculous.

  99. Greyberger Says:

    Okay, from the very top:

    I don't think we need to spend a ton of time defining MVP. 'Most valuable player' is clear, but the word value introduces a lot of subjectivity or room for interpretation. In order for us to be talking about the same thing we either have to agree on what's valuable (not gonna happen) or we're going to have to introduce another criteria that's not explicitly in the imaginary instructions for our make-believe MVP ballots.

    A criteria like "contributes the most towards team success" would fill in the missing common ground for comparison while still leaving room for differences of opinion.

    The team success part limits it to players on playoff teams and perhaps just contending teams. Most people seem to think of it this way anyway. But it also limits it to players you can identify as being central to a great success. The Spurs' offense in 2011 has been great, but no single player stands out as being responsible; Manu more than the rest but he shares credit with Parker, the Duncan/Dice duo, and the shooters.

    The Lakers and Nuggets offenses are pretty amazing. Kobe, if you had to pick a Laker, is the center of that offense, but he's got Gasol, Bynum and Odom - 6000 minutes combined of 18%-22% usage, 120 ORTG, 10% ORB big man. Quite the advantage. The Nuggets are perhaps an even better example of excellence without an MVP candidate than the Spurs. I don't see Nene's name floated much as good as he is.

    And the Bulls? The Bulls are on defense what the Nuggets are on offense, balanced and without any weak links. Their starting unit comes out and beats you with defense, and then the bench rotates in and it becomes nightmarishly hard to score. That's what makes the team stand out from the competition and history and gives them a chance to win the title.

    It's hard to make the case that Rose is the leader or person most responsible for the defense this year. He's their best player, but it's not a one-man band and as surprising as they've been this year that doesn't mean they have to produce an MVP candidate.

  100. Jason J Says:

    AYC - I guess it's just the way I personally see a point guard's role. I'm a traditionalist, and when a guy's far more comparable to DWade than to Rondo... I don't see a point guard. I see a ball-dominant scorer who is also asked to create offense for everyone else. Not to say that's the only way Rose could play, but for this team it's how he's playing, and it reminds me of a high usage, high assist rate wing, like Wade, LeBron, etc. I'm not even trying to say it's good or bad, just that it makes the comparison to Iverson make more sense if you look at Rose through that lens.

  101. AYC Says:

    But Wade and Lebron are the outliers more so than Rose; those guys dish the ball at point-guard-like rates. Every other player with a career assist% over 30 is recognized as a point guard(65 out 67 players with at least 200 g).

  102. Sean Says:

    Kelly, you bring up fair points. Howard is not perfect - like Shaq and some other big men before him, better foul shooting would help his team tremendously.

    And I agree that the Bulls have been without Boozer/Noah for much of the season, although not most of the season. I attribute some of their success to the coach and system, some to their chemistry (Rose plays a part here), and much to their players (Rose plays a big part here).

    I think we're in agreement on principle on the important factors, we're just weighing those factors differently. As much as anything, I'm claiming that the method used for choosing MVP can (and should) be improved upon, instead of relying mostly on anecdote, storyline, and 'best player on one of the top 2-3 teams' requirement. Rose just happens to be that guy this year.

    I really like Rose. He's just no runaway MVP winner. In some ways the spotlight on him is a comment on the celebrity and cool new thing' focus in our society; that's a discussion for another day and message board. In other ways, I like the spotlight on him because of his emphasis on teamwork, humility, and work ethic.

    Thanks for the discussion.

  103. huevonkiller Says:


    Well LeBron is playing at 2000 Level Shaq this season so no I don't think Howard has an airtight case. LeBron is the best perimeter defender in the NBA, and if not for November his statistical edge would be pretty obvious I would say. He's still +8 like Neil mentioned.

  104. huevonkiller Says:

    Kelly, give it a rest. Advanced stats work perfect for the truly elite players in the NBA history like MJ and Shaq. Rose is on a great defensive team and he's an overrated inefficient scorer.

    AYC, why do you continue to compare Rose and Iverson straight up? Iverson played in a more defensive orieted era, stop it dude. Adjust for league average, then compare whatever you want like Neil did.

  105. dsong Says:

    Rose is a good player.

    He's no Iverson.
    He's no Lebron.
    He's no Kobe.

    He's probably more similar to Rajon Rondo or Deron Williams in terms of impact he makes on a team - and if that's good enough to win an MVP award on a 60-win team, so be it.

    It's great if he wins but I'm not confusing him with one of the true superstars in the league. He may get to that level, though.

  106. Greyberger Says:

    Good point at the end, 105. And it raises a question to me, since Rose has left himself room to improve...

    If Rose wins the MVP this year, and his statistics improve next season, and the Bulls win 60 (again)...

    Don't we have to give him the MVP again?

  107. AYC Says:

    Rose is better than Iverson

  108. Greyberger Says:

    Comparing 2011 Rose to 2011 Westbrook is something I see pretty often, but there are others...

    Parker, Rose, Westbrook and Williams are all super-guards - high usage, high efficiency, high assist rate. Lebron and Wade are still the prototype super-guards. And still compare favorably to the above.

  109. Mike F Says:

    I don't know how you can compare the offensive tallent around rose to the 2001 76ers.

    Starting lineup around Iverson

    Eric Snow - decent getting to the rim, but couldn't shoot a 14' jumper
    George Lynch - Defender with no offensive game
    Tyron Hill - Rebounder, limited 10' range
    Mutumbo / Ratliff - No offensive game

    In fact, look at those players stats in that season as compared to the rest of their careers and you'll see how much Iverson elevated the rest of their games.

    Rose has Boozer who is a legit near all-star level post presence. And Deng, who isn't great, but would have EASILY been the 2nd most talented offensive player on the 2001 76ers.

  110. Jason J Says:

    101 - Agreed. Wade and LeBron are the most ball-dominant first option scorers I can remember (one of the primary reasons they took so long to get comfortable working with each other on the court). I think it's a combination of very advanced slashing scorer skillsets and the current rules making it a highly efficient to run play after play through super-athlete perimeter players. Plus the fact that neither has had a top tier second option on his team since the bottom fell out on O'Neal in Miami (not including this year obviously).

  111. AYC Says:

    I think they're the two best players in the league; I was disappointed they joined forces, because the games the played against each other were always season highlights. They could've had the best rivalry since Bird/Magic. Oh well....

    #109, it's true that these Bulls are more talented than the '01 Sixers. But it's also true that the East is much tougher now, especially at the top. After MJ retired from the Bulls, the East was HORRIBLE for several years. Just look at the teams that made the finals around that time: Sprewell's Knicks, Reggie Miller's Pacers, JKidd's Nets... better yet, look at the centers on those teams (Chris Dudley, Rik Smits, Todd MacColloch, Jason Collins). Today, the East has 4 teams better than any of those finalists: Boston, Chicago, Miami and Orlando

  112. ed Says:

    or maybe you should stop crunching numbers and watch basketball... and your argument doesn't match your intro. Most talented would still be Rose. Most productive would be someone else. So which do you want?

  113. Neil Paine Says:

    Huh. I thought we already addressed the lazy, cliched "you should watch basketball" argument about a hundred comments ago...

    Anyway, here's a fun thought experiment: imagine a team that has a great offense and an average defense. Imagine a player on that team who is great defensively, but average at best on offense. Should that player win MVP? Would that player ever even have a legit shot at the award? If not, why is this Rose situation different? Why should there be a pro-offense bias in the voting?

  114. AYC Says:

    I don't know, Neil. When the Pistons won in '04, I think most people at the time considered Ben Wallace the best player on that team. Anyway, splitting up the Bulls' offensive and defensive performance only obscures the fact that Rose has clearly been the most productive all-around player on the team

  115. Sean Says:

    AYC (114) - I'm not sure Ben Wallace was the best player on that team. Billups, Rip, Ben, and Rasheed were pretty similar in value. But none of those guys were in the MVP conversation. The Ben comparison doesn't work.

    What Neil's saying (and I agree with him) is this:

    Bulls = top tier team, avg on offense (O), great on defense (D); Rose = great on O, near avg on D. Many people think Rose is the MVP.

    So...switch it around:

    Team X = top tier team, great on O, avg on D; Player Y = great on D, near avg on O. Would player Y be considered the runaway MVP?

    Of course the answer is no. I think it's partly because offense gets more attention and highlights. It's the same reason the Bulls' great D gets lip service in the media and we talk about it generally speaking, but the players who play the great D get undervalued. Few highlights, certainly no MVP attention. Dikembe Mutumbo, anyone?

  116. AYC Says:

    You guys have contrived a double-standard for evaluating Rose: he doesn't get any credit for the team's stellar defense, but he gets the blame for the team's mediocre offense. But those same advanced stats you're using say he's the best overall player on the team.

    As for the Pistons, Chauncey has a much better reputation now then he did at the time. Ben Wallace was the DPOY and only all-star on that team if I remember correctly. Now, according to advanced stats, Hakeem Olajuwon was only a "mediocre" offensive player, so yeah, I think it could happen

  117. Sean Says:

    AYC (116) - I'm not sure what you're referring to. Nowhere on here have I seen anyone "blame" Rose for Chicago being an average offensive team. Without him, they'd be below average. he raises their offensive game a lot. The point is that you want to give the MVP to a guy who is average at what his team does best; would this be true if we switched the offense/defense of the team and player involved?

    What advanced stats show that Hakeem was a "mediocre" offensive player? He has the 16th highest PER (which incorporates mostly offense, some defense IIRC) in NBA history. He has the 49th highest offensive win shares in NBA history. If that's mediocre, then I'm Elvis Presley. Bill Simmons rates Dr. J as the 16th best player in NBA history; is he mediocre? He rates Elvin Hayes 49th; mediocre? I know it's just one man's ratings, but they illustrate what we're talking about here.

  118. Jake Says:


    I love the condescension of this phrase, "I thought we already addressed the lazy, cliched "you should watch basketball" argument about a hundred comments ago..."

    As if the comment section of a single post on a relatively obscure website can somehow settle the argument once and for all. You write for this site. We know you believe basketball is played out on excel sheets. Some of us, including many writers who vote for the MVP, also value intangibles, entertainment, and yes, a good story.

  119. Anon Says:

    "Some of us, including many writers who vote for the MVP, also value intangibles, entertainment, and yes, a good story."

    Of course. Actual evidence be damned.

  120. Al S Says:

    Sigh. Nobody is saying Rose is the best player in the game. Nobody is saying that Rose is having the best season in the league. What we are saying is he is the Most Valuable.

  121. Neil Paine Says:

    Yep, this is definitely a "relatively obscure website"...

  122. Jake Says:

    I worked in SEO for several years. A #1 Google ranking does not make a site the de facto authority on a subject.

    I read this site often. I don't know anyone else who does. That makes it "relatively obscure", at least in relation to me.

  123. Kelly Says:

    Neil when you say things like Rose is "average at best on offense" as though it's only by being generous one could describe him as "average," as though he's on the same level as Jose Calderon or Rodney Stuckey, and you try to make it sound like you're the authoritative one "in the know" because Rose's shot efficiency is just "average" it doesn't make your argument more intelligent. Anyone who says that Rose's offense is "average at best" just doesn't have clue what they're talking about, period. Say he's not the best player in the league, fine. Suggesting he's below average is moronic.

  124. Neil Paine Says:

    In our little analogy, the hypothetical player whose offense is "average at best" is an allusion to Rose's defense being average at best. And the player whose defense is "great" is an allusion to Rose's offense being great.

    The thought experiment is designed to create a bizarro version of the Rose situation -- instead of Rose being great offense/avg D on a great D/avg offense team, we flip things around and think about a player being great at D/avg on offense on a great offense/avg D team. Would that player be in the MVP hunt?

    Sorry that I wasn't clearer earlier.

  125. Jake Says:

    That player would be strongly considered for Defensive Player of the Year.

  126. Sean Says:

    Jake (118)-

    "We know you believe basketball is played out on excel sheets. Some of us, including many writers who vote for the MVP, also value intangibles, entertainment, and yes, a good story."

    I'd say that's a pretty condescending statement from you.

    Just because some people use statistics, and even advanced statistics, in addition to observation doesn't mean they think the game can be encapsulated ONLY in data. How to weigh all the factors together is what I think we're discussing here on this post.

    Al (120)-

    "What we are saying is he is the Most Valuable."

    OK, that's all good. But what does that *mean* to you? if you don't think he's the best player, or having the best season, then how are you defining most valuable? What factors are you weighing - your judgment, cool plays, most irreplaceable player on his team, stats, etc?

  127. Sean Says:

    Jake (125)-

    I totally agree; that hypothetical player would be a DPOY candidate. So is your definition of MVP equivalent to "Offensive Player of the Year"?

  128. Neil Paine Says:

    I don't think he would even be strongly considered for DPOY. Look at the history of the award, along with the team's defensive rating relative to league average (positive is good):

    Season Tm Player Defense
    2008 BOS Kevin Garnett 8.55
    2009 ORL Dwight Howard 6.35
    1989 UTA Mark Eaton 6.26
    2004 IND Ron Artest 5.70
    1996 SEA Gary Payton 5.58
    2005 DET Ben Wallace 4.87
    1994 HOU Hakeem Olajuwon 4.83
    1990 DET Dennis Rodman 4.67
    1985 UTA Mark Eaton 4.52
    1997 ATL Dikembe Mutombo 4.37
    2010 ORL Dwight Howard 4.32
    2001 PHI Dikembe Mutombo 4.14
    1992 SAS David Robinson 4.08
    1984 MIL Sidney Moncrief 4.07
    2003 DET Ben Wallace 3.74
    1999 MIA Alonzo Mourning 3.34
    1983 MIL Sidney Moncrief 3.33
    1991 DET Dennis Rodman 3.24
    2006 DET Ben Wallace 3.09
    2000 MIA Alonzo Mourning 3.05
    1993 HOU Hakeem Olajuwon 2.83
    1988 CHI Michael Jordan 2.56
    2002 DET Ben Wallace 2.12
    1987 LAL Michael Cooper 1.85
    1998 ATL Dikembe Mutombo 0.77
    2007 DEN Marcus Camby 0.54
    1995 DEN Dikembe Mutombo 0.06
    1986 SAS Alvin Robertson -1.02

    Only four played for teams within striking distance of league average.

    Btw, is Marcus Camby '07 is our Bizarro Rose? Or maybe he's the inverse of Dikembe Mutombo.

  129. Jake Says:

    I always found it odd that OPOY is not an actual award. I guess often times OPOY does win the MVP. Steve Nash being the most glaring example in my mind.

  130. Kelly Says:

    Here's the question I have that is frustrating about what some are seeing as the blatant inconsistency in the anti-Rose argument.

    The argument as I see it is this:

    1. The team's success is based on defense not offense.
    2. Rose is an "offensive player" and not primarily responsible for the team's defensive success.
    3. Ergo Rose is not responsible for the team's winning.

    Now there are a host of problems with this logic such as the fact that there are all kinds of Advanced Stats that suggest that Rose is a far better defensive player than anyone who is in the anti-Rose camp will acknowledge. Synergy has his opponents points per play as better than Paul, Williams, Rondo, Westbrook or Miller or any starting point guard in the league. So if you're going to argue stats, then don't just ignore the ones that don't make your points particularly when the ones you're using are pretty flawed anyway. Even those you cherry pick. Roes is a part of the best defensive starting unit in the NBA in terms of defensive rating but you don't credit him for that. It's because of everyone else in rotation because when CJ Watson is in for 10 minutes instead of 36 and gaurding backups instead of starters he gives up two less points per 100 poessessions. Let's just ignore that the team scores 15 points fewer or something like that. That doesn't make your case so you fail to point that out.

    Nope. The team is built on defensive success and the team's succeeding on defense in spite of Rose, not because of him right?

    So this is the question. Who do you have from Chicago that should be in the running for defensive player of the year? Certainly if not the MVP, then shouldn't the DPOY come from a team that's winning SOLELY because of their defense? Shouldn't the team that's yielding so many fewer points have even a candidate for DPOY?

    Where's the campaign FOR Joakim Noah or Luol Deng?

    Yeah yeah, I know it's because of Thibs system and has nothing whatsoever to do with the players that are in it. Of course that argument only applies to Chicago. No other team in the NBA has coaching. All of Chicago's success is 100 percent because of Thibs.

    But really Pops is COY right?

    Give me a break. You guys are disingenuous (some of you anyway). When you start saying stupid things like Rose is below average on offense, that he has no more impact that Rondo, and then pompously behave as though you're the only ones who "really" know what basketball is because you're just saying what the stats say, it's bogus.

    You aren't saying what the stats say. You're saying what you're cherry picked stats say. If you were saying "what the stats say" you would actually be looking to see what they say. Have a little courage. Challenge your own suppositions, don't just do enough lazy research to support them.

    Check Chicago's ORtg since the break and look at D-Rose's. I dare you. I dare you to check the difference in Roses's efficiency since Jan 1, look at the difference in Chicago's record, the team's offensive rating since then and tell me again that Chicago's "average" offense isn't the reason they're winning.

    The fact is that their offense has improved HUGELY over the year, particularly since Jan. 1. And part of that bad bad bad "storyline" is the reason why. Rose got tired of not getting calls and figured out how to get to the line. Before that they were 21-10. Since then they're 30-9. The team's ORtg has been over 111. So tell me again why Rose is average and the reason they are winning has nothing to do with him.

    Those are facts. Those are stats. Just drop drawer and urinate on them for all your "objectivity though." The FACT is that single thing is the difference between a below average offensive team (it was around 106ish at the time) and a very good offensive team.
    The fact is that it's the difference between a team that was going to win around 54 wins (where Howard's going to be) and a 60 win team.

    There's a literal, statistical straight line from Rose to winning to being the difference between 1st and 4th. That's an argument for Rose being MVP, but will anyone actually have the "objectivity" to even consider whether there's the slightest objectivity to that logic? No. Because the only way you can be objective is to agree with "whoever has the highest WS/48 is the MVP" sort of inane superficial hollow rhetoric

  131. Neil Paine Says:

    So the way to be objective and avoid cherry-picking is ... to cherry-pick the starting point of your sample (despite MVP being a full-season award)?

  132. Anon Says:

    "What we are saying is he is the Most Valuable."

    I really wish people would DEFINE what they mean by this so this award doesn't become worthless voting exercise based on subjective mumbo jumbo.

  133. Kelly Says:

    Neil, Rose is not average at best on defense though. That's weak.

    Rose is on the best defensive starting unit in the NBA.
    His DRtg is better than any starting PG but Paul and Rondo.
    His PPP according to synergy is points per play against is 0.76. Dwight Howard's is .80. So what does that make Howard?

    Or don't those advanced stats matter? Is it only the ones that you ascribe to that matter?

  134. Anon Says:

    "Synergy has his opponents points per play as better than Paul, Williams, Rondo, Westbrook or Miller or any starting point guard in the league"

    That's ONE piece of evidence. Combined with the others, the whole picture suggest he's not an above-average defender.

  135. Neil Paine Says:

    Those are all influenced by his teammates in addition to his own defensive ability. It's the same problem with counterpart PER -- basketball is not a series of 5 one-on-one matchups. That's why I think the best way to measure defense is to use the "with or without you" approach. Now, raw on/off is tainted by matchups, I'll grant that. But something like RAPM or APM isn't; those control for the quality of teammates and opponents:

    Rose is +0.5 this year, which is essentially average. In the multiyear data (the best at predicting out-of-sample) he's -0.1.

  136. Neil Paine Says:

    Now people will say, "why didn't you use RAPM or APM in the initial analysis?" Well, unfortunately they didn't track APM or RAPM when Iverson won his MVP. So we have to do the next-best thing -- use box score stats to estimate plus/minus, which is what I did with DSPM.

  137. Jake Says:

    I think that list settles it. Omer Asik for MVP.

  138. Anon Says:

    "I think that list settles it. Omer Asik for MVP."

    Once again, one piece of evidence to use.

    It's not that hard to understand.

  139. Neil Paine Says:

    Asik certainly has a more positive on-court impact on Chicago's defense than Rose.

  140. Kelly Says:

    No Neil,

    The way to avoid cherry picking is to be inquisitive. To actually challenge YOUR OWN assumptions. If the Bulls were playing like crap the entire season, you'd have a point. But the fact that they're going to win the Eastern Conference with a point guard who is inefficient on offense and average (at best) on defense who is far and away, their most emphasized player either means the team is so incredibly good to overcome the deficiencies that come with Rose OR there's something that the advanced stats you're looking at aren't telling you.

    I mean there's a baseline here. It's 52-19. That's taking the WHOLE season into consideration. Instead of just lashing back at a response why don't you actually challenge your own concepts.

    The stats you look at fail to take a ton of things into account, primarily how Rose impacts the game and how that impact helps the Bulls win. If you watch the games (and I'm not saying you don't) it's obvious that Rose helps the Bulls win. If anyone challenges that they're being obstinate.

    So HOW does Rose help the Bulls win? That's a pretty simple question that doesn't get answered in these bubble parties. It's obvious by watching his does. If the stats aren't telling you how it does then there's something wrong with the stats you're looking at, not Rose.

    There are some things that are pretty telling. His teammates FG% goes up when he passes out of isolation. He's only the second player in the NBA to have a 40 percent assist percentage, 30 percent usage percentage, less that 15 percent of his field goals assisted and less than 15 percent turnover rate.

    You put all of that together and you've got a player who commands the ball a tremendous amount, doesn't turn it over that often for as much as he handles it, uses his ability to move with the ball to open up his teammates, and then uses that ability. About 35 percent of his passes are jump passes. Over 30 percent of his passes are for threes on a team a team that doesn't make a lot of threes and aside from Korver (whom he doesn't actually play with that much) doesn't have a lot of three point shooters. Deng is getting good, but he's not great. Bogans, is Bogans. He's getting better too.

    But why are Bogans and Deng having career years from behind the arc? Gee. Some of it's coaching, but some of it is wide open looks.

    My point is that you're just looking at hard numbers and not the actual way that the game is executed. On the other hand Howard is surrounded by three point shooters to open up the lane to give him an opportunity to score. Howard needs his cast to make him better offensively, Rose makes his cast better.

    There are basketball arguments that the AS community either dismisses out of hand, or with an obnoxiously condescending attitude. When you discuss the numbers but NOT the game it gives the impression of a person who watches the numbers and not the games.

    When comparisons are made between Rose and Iverson and this sort of post hoc ergo propter hoc mentality with it, that ignores that there are similarities between the numbers but not in terms of how the player play and achieve those numbers.

  141. Sean Says:

    Kelly (130)-

    Calm down; enough talk about urinating and dropping drawers. You present several good points but have gone a little overboard. You're looking at this from a far too black and white viewpoint. I'll speak for myself here but I think others are making similar points:

    I'll start with these:
    "1. The team's success is based on defense not offense." - I'd say the team's success is based mostly on its defense. They have vastly improved since the new year, no doubt.
    "2. Rose is an 'offensive player' and not primarily responsible for the team's defensive success." - I'd say Rose is a better offensive player than a defensive player, and I'll agree that he is not primarily responsible for the team's defensive success.
    "3. Ergo Rose is not responsible for the team's winning." - You reach this conclusion rom two exaggerated, overly black and white fallacies above. I'd say Rose is the player most responsible for the Bulls' winning. But he is not as responsible for his team's winning as some other players, like Howard. We can disagree on this.

    The larger point is that this is a grey discussion, not a black and white one. Stats have their place, and they are relatively new (advanced stats anyway) to considering things like MVP. Storylines and observations have their place too. Each must be weighed.

    "When you start saying stupid things like Rose is below average on offense"

    Neil explained his analogy more clearly: he was not saying Rose is below average offensively. I'd say anyone who does doesn't know what they're talking about.

    "Who do you have from Chicago that should be in the running for defensive player of the year? Certainly if not the MVP, then shouldn't the DPOY come from a team that's winning SOLELY because of their defense? Shouldn't the team that's yielding so many fewer points have even a candidate for DPOY? Where's the campaign FOR Joakim Noah or Luol Deng?"

    Just because a team has the best defense doesn't mean they necessarily need to have the DPOY. Who has the best offense this year? The Spurs? Knicks? Warriors? There's really not a serious MVP candidate (since MVP seems to roughly equal offensive player of the year) in the bunch. (Some are mentioning Ginobili, but he's not a serious candidate to win). Another example: has Orlando has the best defense in the league the past couple years, when Howard was winning DPOY? No. So just because a team has the best offense/defense doesn't mean the MVP/DPOY (or even a leading candidate) should come from that team. You talked about logical fallacies earlier, but you are falling into them yourself now.

    "Yeah yeah, I know it's because of Thibs system and has nothing whatsoever to do with the players that are in it. Of course that argument only applies to Chicago. No other team in the NBA has coaching. All of Chicago's success is 100 percent because of Thibs."

    More black and white thinking here. I'd say Chicago's success is due to (in order, my opinion): Rose, defense, Thibs, chemistry. None of them is 100%; to say so is nonsensical.

    Rose is responsible for a lot of his (very good) team's success. Other players are responsible for their team's success. I'd say Howard is more responsible for his team's success than Rose for his. Stats, advanced stats, and observation inform my opinion. Just like they inform yours. Stats are imperfect, but they attempt to objectively measure something. You are right that there are some stats that show Rose in a better light than others do. Everyone has the stats they prefer for various reasons (I certainly don't understand the pros and cons of all the advanced NBA stats).

  142. Kelly Says:


    The problem with "with or without" approaches is that really just measures the difference between the player on the court and the player on the bench. It's relative between players. It also ignores who the players are guarding. If Watson gives up one less field goal per 100 possessions playing 10 minutes a night guarding Russell Westbrook's backup does that make him a "better" defensive player than Derrick Rose playing 38 minutes a night guarding Russell Westbrook? Sorry +/- is the most bogus stat to use. It means utterly nothing to me.

  143. AYC Says:

    "The point is that you want to give the MVP to a guy who is average at what his team does best; would this be true if we switched the offense/defense of the team and player involved?"

    And my point is that you and Neil are using a contrived line of reasoning. Why should we look at defense and offense separately, but ignore total production? If the goal is to determine who is the most valuable player, that doesn't make sense; it only makes sense if your goal is to discredit a particular player.

    Rose is currently 6th in the league in WS, with per game productivity about the same as Dirk's. His usage is higher than any of the players ahead of him, which is important if you believe in skill-curves (which WS don't account for). Why is it an outrage that he's an MVP candidate again?

    PS Hakeem in 1990: 82g, 104 Ortg (league avg of 108), 2.5 OWS, .038 OWS/48; if the Rockets had won 60 games that year, he would have been a leading MVP candidate

  144. Neil Paine Says:

    #140 - You sure love the Latin, don't you? Ironic that anyone would lecture about correlation and causation when their entire argument seems to be along the lines of, "the Bulls are winning, Rose is their primary offensive player, therefore Rose must be the only reason they're winning."

    Anyway, all of those "little things", including Rose making his teammates better, are captured in the advanced stats, whether in the boxscore or (especially) the +/-. They do say Rose is a great offensive player. They do say he carries the Bulls offense. Where did you get it in your head that the advanced stats say Rose is an "average offensive player", or "inefficient"? (His ORtg is > the league average, btw.)

    The advanced stats simply say that a small handful of other players have a bigger on-court offensive impact, and that a large number of other players have a bigger defensive impact. Add it up, and Rose has been one of the most positively impactful players in the league... but not the most positively impactful player. And that's why we're arguing he shouldn't be MVP.

  145. Kelly Says:

    Sean, sorry I wasn't addressing you. You've been a perfectly reasonable all along. I was sort of deliberately "responding in kind" to the general tone of the conversation. I also want to point out that Niel posted his response in the middle of my typing my rant. :)

    Really what I'm getting at it is (more calmly) there doesn't seem to be much curiosity. People seem camped on this whole issue. If things were presented in a little more balance then I'd be fine. I think that Howard is an honest MVP candidate. It's when people get so outraged at the notion of Rose being the MVP as though it were something ludicrous, it's annoying.

    I mean compare Rose's year this year to the year Kobe won, just statistically. Kobe's PER was 1 better. His WS/48 is .008 better. His ORtg and DRtg were both exactly three higher. He scored 2.5 more points per 36 mintues more, but had 2.5 fewer assists. He wasn't anywhere near the top in PER or WS.

    There are more positive arguments for Rose than get addressed in these things. That's what I'm saying. I'm not talking about you specifically I'm talking about the general discussion and the lack of the community to challenge it's own conclusions. It's a bubble. It's like a political party convention where everybody just sits around telling everyone how right they are.

  146. Kelly Says:

    Neil, you're kind of missing the point if you say they are "captured" in the advanced stats, because they aren't.

  147. AYC Says:

    Kelly is bringing it! #130 is great stuff

  148. Sean Says:

    Kelly (142)-

    "Sorry +/- is the most bogus stat to use. It means utterly nothing to me."

    That type of black and white thinking is one reason we're having a hard time communicating here.

    AYC (143)-

    "Why is it an outrage that he's an MVP candidate again?"

    I'm not making that statement; I'm pretty sure Neil isn't either. It's not an outrage that he's an MVP vandidate. It's disappointing and kind of an outrage that he's considered the runaway winner by the media.

  149. Sean Says:

    Kelly (145)-

    OK, that helps a bit. I think I read most of the comments but I know mine best, so I thought you were kind of addressing me.

    Kobe's MVP was kind of a makeup for several great years where he didn't win; almost a lifetime achievement award.

  150. Sean Says:

    AYC (143)-

    "PS Hakeem in 1990: 82g, 104 Ortg (league avg of 108), 2.5 OWS, .038 OWS/48; if the Rockets had won 60 games that year, he would have been a leading MVP candidate"

    You're making an assumption that may or may not have been true. But even if true, he would not have been considered the runaway winner by the media a month before the season ended.

  151. AYC Says:

    Sean, these things are always relative. Who are the other players putting up big numbers? Are their teams winning? Are their stats down from previous years? Are their teams exceeding the preseason expectations or underperforming? All these factors matter to voters, and the answers change from year to year.

  152. Sean Says:

    AYC (151)-

    I agree with you; these things are always relative, and several factors should be weighed. Are you claiming that Hakeem would have been considered the runaway winner a month before season's end in your hypothetical case? Becasue that's what's happening with Rose this year. And I am claiming that to be unfair. Rose is a valid MVP candidate, but he's basically already been anointed and that's a travesty.

  153. Neil Paine Says:

    Another thing on the "making his teammates better" idea...

    His teammates include Carlos Boozer, former all-star and a player I think we can agree has been a better-than-average offensive player throughout his career, in multiple offensive systems. They include Luol Deng, who I think we can agree has been (at worst) an average offensive player throughout his career. The other players are debatable if I'm not allowed to used advanced stats (Brewer was this efficient in Utah, and Noah was more efficient next to a rookie Rose), but I think conventional wisdom would say Deng and Boozer were solid offensive players, especially with Rose supposedly making them so much better.

    Yet, even though we're led to believe Rose has been arguably the best offensive player of the season, even though he's playing with two solid offensive players who are made that much better by his passing and leadership, even though he has other options who have generally been efficient players in the past, the Bulls are still just 12th in offense on the full 2011 season, less than a point of ORtg better than average. If you want to "challenge your assumptions", think about that.

  154. Neil Paine Says:

    Now, to play devil's advocate with myself, Boozer and Noah missed a great deal of games earlier in the season, and their offense has been better since they arrived at full strength. But the idea of a bare cupboard to work with seems... odd.

  155. ed Says:

    its a shame there offense is barely average with all of that talent huh?

  156. Jake Says:

    That's not playing devil's advocate with yourself. That's covering your ass after realizing you just wrote a weak argument.

  157. Neil Paine Says:

    We're all thinking out loud here, Jake, trying to rationally make sense of the Bulls' season. Or were we not supposed to "challenge our assumptions" anymore?

  158. ed Says:

    makes me think the coaching is kinda weak

  159. Andy Says:

    Kobe's MVP was truly a life time achievement award, Chris was Paul was having a ridiculous season. Rose leading the MVP race is not an outrage, what's an outrage is that no one else is whithin reasonable striking distance, at least according to the media. One reason i think Rose isn't a lock for the MVP is because he's only a 3rd year point guard whose offensive numbers have taken a spike because he developed a jumpshot. What this means to me is that if you give him an MVP this year then you surely must next year, because i'm quite positive his numbers will take another spike like they did from last year to this year. What this does is discount that others are having better seasons this year. OK, maybe im prematurely giving him next years' MVP, but who really doesn't see him getting better numbers next year.

  160. AYC Says:

    Nobody's been anointed. There are plenty of people out there making the case for LBJ, and the chorus for Howard is growing louder and louder. Rose is the frontrunner because his play, and that of his team, has far exceeded expectations. This despite a lot of games missed to injury by their 2nd and 3rd best players. LBJ and the Heat have underperformed relative to expectations; the Magic have too. Dirk is seen as soft because of the Mavs postseason woes. In other words, Rose is leading a weak field. He isn't facing MAgic and Jordan in their primes, like Hakeem in 1990

  161. Kelly Says:

    Neil, which team leads the NBA in MOV? Yes, they are "just one point" above average in ORtg (but improving).

    Let me put it to you this way. A week ago they were 16th. Two weeks ago they were 20th. If they finish in the top 10 is that enough for you? Where would they have to finish for you to be happy?

    And where did I say Rose was the best offensive player this season?

    Based on the way the Bulls have been playing since January the Bulls could finish well within the top ten on ORtg.

  162. Sean Says:

    AYC (160)-

    "Rose is the frontrunner because his play, and that of his team, has far exceeded expectations."

    This is the type of simplistic MVP reasoning that I think misses the full picture. It does and should factor in; but there are many advanced stats (not all - hat tip to Kelly) that suggest Rose's impact may be overstated by the media. But I will agree with you that your quote above is pretty indicative of how MVP voting has gone in the past.

  163. Kelly Says:

    Andy, I think that's where a lot of the conversations are people talking past each other. No one is arguing that Rose deserves it based on his numbers. The argument is he's led the team to the best record in the Eastern Conference in spite of the fact that Noah and Boozer have missed the majority of the Bulls games combined (and yes 53 games is the majority).

  164. Sean Says:

    Kelly (163)-

    "Noah and Boozer have missed the majority of the Bulls games combined (and yes 53 games is the majority)."

    I think you're exaggerating the missed games. Noah has missed 31 of 70 games (44%). Boozer has missed 23 of 70 (33%). I don't know how many were the same games. Let's assume none of them were. In that case, you could say "Noah OR Boozer has missed the majority of the Bulls games combined", but not and. Small word, but big change in meaning. Or, let's assume they missed all of the same games. Then the statement is false, using either 'and' or 'or'.

  165. AYC Says:

    I have made the case for Rose using stats, while acknowledging the fact that stats and the various metrics out there don't tell the full story. What's "simplistic" is thinking that one number, be it SPM, WS or PER, tells us everything we need to know about a player.

  166. Sean Says:

    AYC (165)- Where has anyone on this board suggested that "one number...tells us everything we need to know about a player"?

  167. Neil Paine Says:

    #161 - "Where would they have to finish for you to be happy?"

    I'm not sure I have an answer for that. If a top-10 or better offensive finish happens because Rose's production rises to a + 7-8 offensive level by SPM (which would correspond to + 3-4 RAPM), then he would certainly have a better MVP case.

    This whole debate is about accounting, anyway. If we had perfect knowledge, we could assign accurate credit for Chicago's point differential to every member of the team (and the coaches, for that matter). The sum of the players' offensive credit could be no greater than the team's offensive performance, and ditto for defense.

    We don't have perfect knowledge, but in our own way we're all trying to estimate the "credit" system I outlined above. Some are using stats, some are using feel. No doubt both styles are going to be inaccurate. With the Deng/Boozer comment, I just wanted to make sure the non-stats accounting is as internally consistent as the stats accounting is.

    That is, if Rose is an MVP-level player, Boozer is an all-star level player, Deng & Noah are above-average players, and Brewer is an average player, how bad do you have to set the other players to make sure it still adds up to a +1 offense?

  168. Kelly Says:

    Sean, I see the confusion. My meaning is that Rose has had to play the majority of the season without Boozer and/or Noah in the lineup. (I believe its' about five games without either).

  169. Matt Says:

    I have to call out this absurd statement that on one else did from #140.

    "On the other hand Howard is surrounded by three point shooters to open up the lane to give him an opportunity to score. Howard needs his cast to make him better offensively, Rose makes his cast better." (Since when did Bass become a 3 point shooter?)

    What Kelly is saying here is that if Howard were replaced with any other center in the league, that new center would put up similar offensive numbers because he'd be playing 1 on 1 in the paint the whole game.

    You (Kelly) are the one who says we should watch the games, and it's obvious that you do not in the case of Orlando and Howard. Those 3 point shooters are getting their shots because teams send the double team and that starts a passing drill until Orlando gets a good 3 point look. That would not happen with any other center in the league. When Howard is guarded 1 on 1 in the paint (i.e. by Perkins), the Olrando O sputters because the defense can stay home on the shooters.

    So, he's the focal point of their offensive attack. They're not great, but they're also above Chicago in that respect. If this were such an easy system to run, every other team in the NBA would be trying it out.

    Next, he's the focal point of the defense. Orlando has now moved up to the 3rd on defense, but Chicago has far more defensive talent on their team than does Orlando. Their great D all stems from hardly anyone even thinking about challenging Howard at the rim these days.

    Couple this with the roster upheaval Orlando has had (equally as challenging for Howard as Rose missing 2 starters for stretches) with Olrando's expected Pythagorean wins of 51 to this point (since wins in close games are random and Orlando has been on the short end of that one this year) and with the fact that Howard is both the best, most productive, and most value offensive and defensive player for his team, and that smells MVP to me.

    Against that, Rose has no real argument.

  170. Nick Says:

    There are at least 4 players in the NBA who are better than Rose on both offense and defense. Him being the MVP is a joke. That said, I'll gave 4 to 1 odds to anyone that he'll win it anyway.

  171. Kelly Says:

    Matt, close, but I'm not dismissing Howard from the equation. I wouldn't say that any other center could put up the exact same numbers. I don't challenge that Howard is the best center in the league either. He is.

    I am saying that there's more to what he's getting from his teammates than some seem are implying. He's not surrounded by "scrubs." He has some pretty good teammates offensively, and their talents are particularly established to help him.

    And no, Brandon Bass was not the player I was referring to obviously, but let's not pretend that Jason Richardson or the rest don't make threes. The Magic lead the NBA in three pointers made. That helps Howard's game and it is by design.

  172. Kelly Says:

    I forgot to mention, Magic not named "Howard" have one more 20 point game than Bulls not named "Rose." Only eight of the Magic's 42 such games came from departed players (Carter) too.

  173. Matt Says:

    This is a chicken and egg argument, but you are being disingenuous by suggesting that the offense is designed to allow Howard be more effective offensively instead of the offensive being designed to take advantage of his talents. You are the only one who will argue the former.

    And surrounded means on all sides. If one isn't a 3 point shooter, then he must not be surrounded.

  174. huevonkiller Says:

    Honestly Kelly, Rose is not special enough for you to be raving about. Enough, he's mediocre compared to recent MVP winners.

    Your arguments are terrible and at no point have you proved Rose is anything more than Deron Williams level on a great defensive team. The 2001 Lakers also only won 56 games and Shaq owns Derrick Rose.


    Rose is not dominating counterpart PER anyway, Neil. He is doing solid, but that metric would not vault him to the top either. It is still a useful stat.

  175. Kelly Says:

    "Honestly Kelly, Rose is not special enough for you to be raving about. Enough, he's mediocre compared to recent MVP winners."

    That's too ridiculous to merit a response.

    "This is a chicken and egg argument, but you are being disingenuous by suggesting that the offense is designed to allow Howard be more effective offensively instead of the offensive being designed to take advantage of his talents."

    If it's chicken or egg how am I being disingenuous? The point isn't what comes first, it's that he plays within a system that accentuates his talents and those players around him are designed to fit that system. Therefore he does benefit from the players around him.

  176. Matt Says:

    Howard could be getting 30+ points per night, but the system is designed for the team to get lots of open 3 pointers, many of which he doesn't get an assist for because of swing passes. That's taking advantage of his talents. They benefit from him, and he benefits in the form of wins, but no individual offensive stats, which MVPs are apparently built upon.

  177. DWarner Says:

    Here was Dan LeBatards take on it in the Miami Herald

    For Chicago Bulls’ Derrick Rose, winning alters all numbers



    These are the numbers/facts without manipulation:
    Through Saturday, Player X has averaged 22.2 points on .444 shooting with 4.6 rebounds, 8.3 assists and 1.8 steals. He has been his conference’s player of the week four times.
    Player Y has averaged 24.9 points on .439 shooting with 4.2 rebounds, 7.9 assists and 1.0 steals. He has been his conference’s player of the week twice.
    They are essentially the same player, in other words. Player X is more efficient and a better rebounder and thief, but Player Y scores one more basket per game. Yet Player X isn’t even considered the most valuable player on his own team. And Player Y is about to be named the most valuable player of the entire league.
    Why Y?
    Perception is not reality. Reality is reality. Player X (Russell Westbrook) isn’t viewed like Player Y (Derrick Rose) because winning alters all, even facts, even if one team is 53-19 and the other is 47-24. Exceed our expectations, and we’ll give you trophies you don’t deserve instead of admitting that our expectations were, um, wrong.
    The Bulls’ offense is statistically mediocre; Rose is that offense’s best player. The Bulls’ defense is best in the league; Rose might be that defense’s least important piece. But throw all the ingredients together in the Winning Pot, make a stew with a flavor that surprises us and you, too, can taste like MVP.
    Rose benefits from the greatness of his teammates, but Westbrook is harmed by the greatness of his more famous one (Kevin Durant). Would Westbrook be MVP if he simply had Chicago’s defense? Would he be a bigger scorer than Rose if he didn’t have to share with Durant? The only reason Rose scores 2.7 points more than Westbrook per game? He has taken 200 more shots.
    They should just rename the MVP trophy The We Didn’t Expect To See Rose Sitting Atop LeBron In The Standings Award.
    A million variables go into winning, but baseball is so much better at isolating and measuring those variables than basketball. Felix Hernandez won Cy Young with a 13-12 record in last place because baseball voters understand, after a mathematical paradigm shift called sabermetrics, how much Hernandez can and can’t control. And baseball is an individual sport masquerading as a team sport anyway. Albert Pujols is alone in that batter’s box, and it doesn’t matter if he listens to his manager or likes his third baseman. Hernandez controlled that baseball only when he held it; he couldn’t do anything about how terrible his teammates were at scoring.
    But basketball’s five are linked like fingers in a fist, and isolating performance is next to impossible, especially on defense. So intangibles get assigned to the winning instead of facts or data, and Rose has in his favor the Hey-I-Didn’t-Expect-The-Bulls-To-Be-Good metric that LeBron or Dwight Howard or Kobe or any of the Spurs or Mavs or Celtics can’t have. It is absurd that he will soon have as many MVPs as Shaquille O’Neal, but not as absurd as Steve Nash having twice as many as Shaq.
    The Bulls aren’t exceeding expectations because Rose is a “leader” or “knows how to win” or is “clutch.” They are exceeding expectations because no team in the league strangles the opponent better on defense. You want to give the Bulls coach of the year for that? Cool. Defensive player of the year? Fine. But MVP for the league’s 20th-ranked offense? The one scoring less than Indiana, Toronto, Philadelphia, the Clippers and Sacramento?
    Rose has been named the best player in his conference two weeks this season. Two. So, too, has LeMarcus Aldridge. How can you be the most valuable for the entire season when you were only the most valuable in your conference two weeks? Almost everywhere outside of sports and Visa commercials, “best” and “most valuable” are supposed to be synonyms. And try paying your Visa bill with a check that reads “priceless,” and see how that works for you.
    None of this is meant as an indictment of Rose.
    He’s just not the best one.
    Which means he’s not the most valuable.

  178. Naren Says:

    I dont understand the comparison. Rose is a scoring point guard. Iverson is an undersized 2 guard. They may have similar statistics, but their approach to the game is quite different. Rose is much stronger, a bit taller and has a lot more complete game. Rose runs his team with a calm and composed demeanor. He picks his spots, and while he may take a lot of shots, it is within the flow of the offence. Unlike Iverson who always had a point guard who brought up the ball for him, set him up with an iso on either the left or right side, rose brings up the ball for his team, gets calls out the plays and is one of the best floor managers at knowing when to push the pace vs slowing it down, knowing who is hot and getting the ball to them etc.

    I think iverson was a gambler on defense, and this resulted in a lot of steals. Rose is much more of a stay in front of my man defender, and this season he has been an above average defender. There have been few instances this season, where point guards have gone off on rose. With Iverson, it was a constant struggle to defend the other team, because Iverson could only guard point guards, and even then would get bullied by them in the post.

    So all in all, I dont think statistics tell you what type of player someone is and in this case they are completely different players.

  179. Kelly Says:

    Godwin's law of basketball arguments, The first one to quote Dan Lebetaard loses the argument.

  180. B Says:

    My opinion on this argument, after reviewing all the information posted, is that Derrick Rose would not be an egregious or terrible MVP pick. Although many people feel that Allen Iverson should not have won the MVP back in 2001, it is not like he was the 5th best player in the league. He was a top 3 player, and it was arguable between those 3, and he won over Shaq, another player who would have been deserving of the MVP in 2001.

    I think that it is hard to quantify how valuable a player is, and therefore, it is difficult to choose who is MOST valuable. Winning or not winning an MVP should not discount that person's season. Derrick Rose has had an amazing season, and so have Dwight Howard, Lebron James, Dirk Nowitzki. and Russell Westbrook. Although we should try to give the MVP to one who has had the best season, it is not always obvious, and this season is just one of those years.

  181. Pag Says:

    Keep in mind Iverson led the league in points/g 31.4, steals /g 2.5, usg 35.9, and minutes /g 42.0.

    ...Also, The 76ers next best two players were hurt during the season. Ratliff only played 50 games and 36 year old Mutombo 26, and even with them their team was mediocre at best.

    And to the people that are saying Derrick Rose is already better than Iverson, Let me know when Rose comes close to 33ppg, 7.4 apg, and 1.9 spg before we even sit down.

    Its one thing to compare one season but dont start crowning Rose a hall of famer.

  182. Greg Says:

    Have you guys been watching games or scoreboard watching? The Bulls have been obliterating teams in the last two months, Derrick resting on the bench in the 4th. They're shutting teams down and Derrick is doing whatever he wants to on offense. He's indefensible right now. Did you guys watch that span of games where he completely destroyed Deron, Chris Paul, Nash, Wall, Rondo, the Spurs and Miami. He takes over games in the clutch. He's taken care of Miami, the whole division, the Lakers. His peers have crowned him so let's not proclaim this is a media hype scenario. He's improved his FT and 3pt shooting immensely. His defense came under fire and he came out with a chip on his shoulder and led to team to the top of the conference. You guys are acting like people are double teaming Keith Bogans leaving Derrick free to roam..

  183. Greg Says:

    Oh yea, Lebetard and C. Cowherd challenged Rose's "leadership" earlier in the year.. Don't remember on which grounds, but pretty sure they've been rebuked.. There's a reason the Bulls sell out visting arenas .