Ranking the Top 10 Point Guards in the NBA

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3. Derrick Rose

April 15, 2012; Auburn Hills, MI, USA; Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose (1) drives to the basket against the Detroit Pistons during the second quarter at The Palace. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

While Derrick Rose’s absence continues to be the focus of attention of every basketball fan in Chicago, that won’t stop us from raving about the talents of the 2011 NBA MVP.

Rose may not ever hold the top spot in any given statistical category, but anyone who watches him play can see the impact he has on the game.  There’s no other guard in the league right now that can match his ability to get to the basket, and the attention he demands from defenders on that penetration allows him to create open looks for his teammates.  Much like LeBron James, Rose’s insane hang time draws in defenders when he leaves the floor, after which he can find a man cutting into the lane or spotting up in the corners or on the wing.

His much-improved defense also makes him an invaluable part of Chicago’s scheme.  His speed allows him to get around screens and recover when he does get caught up on pick-and-rolls, and his relentless will leads to YouTube highlights like this.  Tom Thibodeau is a big factor in all of this as he’s always been a defensive minded coach, but good NBA defense starts with effort, and you can tell that Rose makes it a point of pride to take on whoever he’s matched up against and keep them from scoring.

In essence, Derrick Rose is an athletic freak who’s been barreling over people since his time at Simeon High School.  The obvious question for him moving forward is how he’s going to bounce back from the torn ACL that crushed the Bulls’ title hopes last season.  It’s going to take time for him to re-acclimate to the speed and intensity of game situations, but the fact that he’s taking his time getting back on the floor can only benefit his health in the long run and he’ll be in a better position to help his team when he does decide to make his return.

One element that has always been lacking in Rose’s NBA game has been his three-point shooting — he’s never shot higher than 33 percent beyond the arc.  It’ll be interesting to see if he uses this extra recovery time to work on his shooting, and if he comes back with an ability to play off the ball and spot up for jump shots, he’ll be that much more dangerous, which is a very scary proposition for the rest of the league.

Anyone who’s a fan of basketball is hoping to see Rose back on the floor soon, and there’s no telling what they can accomplish when that happens, no matter what his brother Reggie thinks of their roster.