Phil Jackson got this one right. The acquisition of Derrick Rose from the Chicago Bulls immediately makes the our Knicks a much better team when they step on the court next season. Having a former MVP as your floor general will do that to a team. I think that Rose is going to hit it out-of-the-park here in the Big Apple.
Rose’s game has grit and attitude to it and that’s New York. Rose also doesn’t shy away from standing up to his critics when he is questioned and will give it to you straight. That mentality will hopefully help Rose strive on and off the court for the Knicks.
Over his first 7 NBA seasons Rose has been highly over criticized about being injury prone, taking plays (and games) off, and his relationship with teammates. Rose having a chance to explain himself said that after his second knee injury he was focusing more on finishing a complete seasons before turning his volume back up. Over that time, Rose has been able to steadily improved his shooting. You have to take the good with the bad and a lot of the bad Derrick Rose has been left behind in Chicago.
On the surface, the addition of Rose does lead me to believe the Knicks might have a formula that could sneak them in the playoffs next season. It’s going to be interesting to see how Rose (and the rest of the team) fit into Jeff Hornacek’s hybrid triangle offense. Eric Bledsoe and Goran Dragic were highly involved in the Suns offense under Hornacek and that alone is exciting to think about how big a role Rose is given.
Rose has had the headlines for the past week but let’s not forget this is still Carmelo Anthony’s team. Melo has a chance to prove to the Knicks fans he can win with another All-Star caliber player on the floor. The last time Melo had an All-Star at point guard was Allen Iverson from 2006-2008 as a Nugget where he averaged 27.3 points per game over two season.
Though this is still Melo’s team, I am more excited about the Rose and Porzingis dynamic. All things point to Hornacek experimenting to do what is best for his players offensively. With Porzingis going into his second season you can only expect that he will have a sophomore slump at some point next year. What will be the best medicine for Porzingis’s potential sophomore slump is a point guard who can get into the paint and pull bigs to the basket opening up guys for three pointers. So when Porzingis starts to inevitably get beat up by other bigs, Rose and Carmelo will presumably get in the paint to bang with opposing bigs and let Zinger leak outside.
Rose also brings a physicality to the point guard position for the Knicks. Standing at a broad and athletic 6’3” 190lbs, Rose is visually a clear upgrade from last years starter Jose Calderon. Adding a defensive guard to play alongside a player like Kristaps Porzingis who starts at the defensive end is only going to amplify the ignition of the offense. A block by Porzingis could now become a potentially lethal 2 on 1 fast break. A steal from Rose with the 7 foot Porzingis hustling down the floor are an easy bucket for the Knicks.
The NBA season did just end, but New York never sleeps and neither does its basketball.