By David Schuster–
(CBS) Where are all those Derrick Rose detractors now?
Apparently, they’re in hiding or bad mouthing somebody else who they have little knowledge of, because Rose has sure shut the ignorant up. He knew he would eventually, because he had faith in his talent and also in those who were tending to his injuries.
The Rose story, unfortunately, played out as a broken record. Once again this season, Rose got injured, Rose had surgery and Rose took his time coming back because it was his body and his career. Some fans and media members thought they knew best and doubted Rose, calling him anything from lazy to soft and questioning his dedication. All those were laughable, because Rose busted his tail to rehab his right knee injury after Feb. 27 surgery, and his biggest backers were his teammates, who saw how hard he was working.
Now we’re seeing the fruits of his labor. Rose still isn’t back to the form of his 2011 MVP season and may never be again, but he’s once again a dominant player who’s so crucial to the Bulls success. How crucial? You don’t need the sabermetric numbers to tell you because you can see it with your own eyes, but the stats reflect well on Rose — he’s averaging 24.0 points on 47 percent shooting and 8.0 assists in the first three playoff games. Chicago also has a plus-17.6 net rating (plus/minus per 100 possessions) when he’s on the floor and a minus-13.2 net rating when he’s on the bench this postseason.
In other words, the Bulls are once again significantly better with Rose at the helm.
And as far as being soft? That’s laughable. Soft players don’t have meniscus surgery and come back and play 48 minutes after little game action under their belts, as Rose did Thursday night at Milwaukee as Chicago grabbed a 3-0 series lead. Soft players don’t go to the rim like Rose did at the end of regulation knowing that they are going to get clobbered from all angles. And soft players don’t back down from all challenges put forth in their paths.
Nope. Derrick Rose isn’t lazy or soft or a bad teammate. He’s none of those. What he is, though, is a fierce competitor who has the hunger to win — and hopefully some ignorant people have been shut up for good and can recognize the real story.
David Schuster is a reporter, update anchor and weekend host for 670 The Score. Follow him on Twitter @Schumouse.