By Dan Bernstein–
CBSChicago.com senior columnist
(CBS) There’s nothing the Bulls can do about their best player becoming their worst player.
No lineup change or strategy, no play calls or tweaks to the rotation, no team meetings or effort or energy or leadership can make up for it. Nothing fixes that, and that’s what’s wrong with the Bulls. Jimmy Butler can plant his flag wherever he wants, but nothing he says or does really matters.
Derrick Rose isn’t just something less than what he used to be. He’s now only a marginal NBA player who’s nevertheless still allowed full opportunity to affect games negatively.
Basketball Reference calculates win shares, an all-encompassing statistic to determine objective value. There are 434 qualified NBA players this season, and Rose is 425th, at -0.3. ESPN uses RPM (Real Plus/Minus), which assesses on-court impact on team performance, measured in net point differential per 100 offensive and defensive possessions, taking into account teammates, opponents and additional factors.
Of 422 qualified by that metric, Rose is No. 417, at -5.37. Among point guards, he is 81st out of 83.
Butler feels empowered for a reason, with the numbers backing him up. He’s ninth in the league in win shares at 4.0 and 12th in RPM at 5.06 — that’s second among NBA shooting guards, only .06 behind James Harden.