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Saturday, October 19th, 2013 at 12:00 pm  |  77 responses

Top 50: Derrick Rose, no. 7

An improved Rose is ready to begin a new chapter.

by Ryne Nelson / @slaman10

The spotlight always shines bright on Derrick Rose, even when he’s not playing. It was especially harsh last season when Rose was going through the final, drawn-out stages of his recovery from ACL surgery.

For all his considerable talents, Rose’s greatest strength is quite possibly his ability to tune out the noise. To ignore drama and prove doubters wrong. And that’s exactly what he’s started to do again in ’13-14.

Rose spent the summer in the gym three times a day with longtime trainer Rob McClanaghan. He toured Europe and Asia, during which he made headlines by saying that he thinks he’s the best player in the NBA.

Let us not forget that Rose was once named the NBA’s MVP—at the age of 22—not only for his nightly dominance, but also his ability to lead Chicago and their League-leading defense to a 62-20 record during the ’10-11 season. This is the same man who rescued the Bulls from the Lottery and carried them to the Eastern Conference finals three years later.

This is the same guy who, during his one season at Memphis (NCAA be d**ned), managed to lead a team whose next-best players were Chris Douglas-Roberts and Joey Dorsey to the National Championship game and the most wins in NCAA history. This is the player who won two state championships and lost only 12 games during his four years at Simeon (IL) Academy.

The man is finally back on the court, but is he truly back? Or will he limp through the rest of his career as a shell of his former self?

Based on the six- to eight-minute stretches we’ve seen him play throughout the preseason, all signs indicate that yes, D-Rose has #Returned.

From the moment he drove straight at 7-2, 290-pound Roy Hibbert’s chest with his first shot attempt on October 5, 2013, Rose has been pushing the tempo and attacking the rim like it stole something from him. There has been rust—Rose committed careless turnovers and struggled from the line during his first two pre-season games—but he’s looked completely confident in his movements, unafraid to take contact and says he’s even more explosive than prior to his surgery.

There was the steal against Paul George and a breakaway two-handed jam on October 5. There was the coast-to-coast drive and layup where he outran two Grizzlies to the cup on October 7. There were the 18 first-half points against the Pistons on October 16. The crossover that sent Peyton Siva twirling like a ballerina and the falling flip off the glass over Andre Drummond on that same night at the United Center.

And of course, there was the soreness in his surgically repaired knee that caused Rose to sit out the Bulls’ third pre-season game in Rio against the Wizards on October 12. Whether that was due to, according to Rose, Chicago’s front office being conservative or the beginning of something larger, time can only tell.

And that’s why Rose comes in at only No. 7 in the SLAM Top 50. Our writers believe that Rose is back and will play like his former MVP self during the ’13-14 season, but returning from major knee surgery casts some doubt on how the knee will hold up as the season wears on.

Rose controls his own future—and that of the Bulls. He’ll be asked to lead the team and take over late in games, just as he did last night against Indiana.

In only his fourth game in a year and a half and his only fourth-quarter appearance this preseason, Rose played the final 5:50 and scored 10 points in the last 3:44 to close the game. He finished with a game-high 32 points and 9 assists to go along with 4 rebounds. Rose also showcased a reliable outside jumper—4-7 from the three-point line—against one of the L’s top defensive squads.

With last season’s soap opera thankfully over, Rose, and quite frankly everybody, is ready to put it behind them. A Championship is now all that lies between Rose and a Hall of Fame career.

Where should Derrick Rose rank in the SLAM Top 50?

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SLAMonline Top 50 Players 2013
Rank Player Team Position Pos. Rank
50 Monta Ellis Mavs SG 5
49 Luol Deng Bulls SF 10
48 Ricky Rubio TWolves PG 14
47 Greg Monroe Pistons PF 12
46 Kawhi Leonard Spurs SF 9
45 Mike Conley Grizzlies PG 13
44 Al Jefferson Bobcats C 9
43 David Lee Warriors PF 11
42 Jrue Holiday Pelicans PG 12
41 Anthony Davis Pelicans PF 10
40 Joe Johnson Nets SG 4
39 Serge Ibaka Thunder PF 9
38 Kevin Garnett Nets PF 8
37 Rudy Gay Raptors SF 8
36 Paul Pierce Nets SF 7
35 Ty Lawson Nuggets PG 11
34 Pau Gasol Lakers PF 7
33 Al Horford Hawks C 8
32 Andre Iguodala Warriors SF 6
31 Brook Lopez Nets C 7
30 Zach Randolph Grizzlies PF 6
29 DeMarcus Cousins Kings C 6
28 Damian Lillard Blazers PG 10
27 Josh Smith Hawks SF 5
26 Joakim Noah Bulls C 5
25 Roy Hibbert Pacers C 4
24 John Wall Wizards PG 9
23 Chris Bosh Heat C 3
22 Tim Duncan Spurs PF 5
21 Dirk Nowitzki Mavs PF 4
20 LaMarcus Aldridge Blazers PF 3
19 Rajon Rondo Celtics PG 8
18 Marc Gasol Grizzlies C 2
17 Blake Griffin Clippers PF 2
16 Deron Williams Nets PG 7
15 Kevin Love TWolves PF 1
14 Dwyane Wade Heat SG 3
13 Paul George Pacers SF 4
12 Russell Westbrook Thunder PG 6
11 Tony Parker Spurs PG 5
10 Stephen Curry Warriors PG 4
9 Kyrie Irving Cavs PG 3
8 Dwight Howard Rockets C 1
7 Derrick Rose Bulls PG 2

Rankings are based on expected contribution in ’13-14—to players’ team, the League and the game.

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  • Jeremy de Sa

    I feel like he will be ranked #2 next year..

  • Hum

    FIRST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Jeremy de Sa

    Second ain’t bad mate. I’m sure you’ll get the next one.

  • star

    is there any point guard in league history that finishes better then drose at the rim?

  • Fred Roy

    6-Harden
    5-Kobe
    4-Melo
    3-Paul
    2-Durant
    1-Lebron

  • shockexchange

    There’s only one PG spot left but two PGs in contention – Mario Chalmers and Chris Paul. It’s a shame CP3 won’t make the list.

  • Guest

    is there any point guard in league history that finishes better at the rim than drose?

  • Ben Ireland

    Too low. I’m a Lakers fan and even I think Roose will be better than Kobe… I also think he’ll have more impact than Harden and Melo next year. Harden and Howard cancel each other out in rankings a little bit, and I don’t like Melo’s game, tho he’s undoubtedly Top 10.

  • spit hot fiyah

    penny hardaway was very good at it pre-injuries

  • Jake

    I have a strong feeling that we’re all going to be reminded why he was the MVP a few years ago. The Bulls are going back to the finals baby!

  • spit hot fiyah

    “….but returning from major knee surgery casts some doubt on how the knee will hold up once the season wears on.”

    but apparently achilles surgery casts no doubt what so ever

  • shockexchange

    Fiyah you’ve got to admit that it is rather hilarious that Rent-A-Center wanted Horry Jr amnestied and SLAM has Horry Jr ranked higher. “The Curse of Horry Jr” continues.

  • AddingVelocityDontTellMe

    Why is Paul above Rose, Westbrook, and Rondo? Kobe is gonna get his but when he shoots more his team does worse reference espn. At the end of the season Top 3 will be Lebron, Durant (w/o Westbrook he’ll average 35 a game), Harden’s assists and steals will go up. And Melo and Howard will fill in the bottom 2

  • AddingVelocityDontTellMe

    Noah’s groin doesn’t hold it’s over

  • AddingVelocityDontTellMe

    Lebron on cavs in 1-3 yr.

  • AddingVelocityDontTellMe

    Nah Durant locked with harden 3rd

  • Jake

    If Noah’s groin doesn’t hold up I think you’ll see the team pull the trade trigger and try to get something for Boozer. Varejao maybe?

  • Dundler

    Oh my, you don’t watch the Thunder much right?

  • Dundler

    If you’d asked me a week ago, I’d have said Rose should fall about no.7, I’ve completely rethought this, and def place him in top five now. He is in way better form than I thought he’d be. Honestly, he looks faster than he did pre injury. Really going to be pulling for the Bulls this year (more so than before for Deng)

    I would love to hear any argument for why Kobe or Melo should be above him. I’m honestly wondering about Harden now too

  • i_ball

    I just don’t get it

  • AddingVelocityDontTellMe

    How many games did Durant play without Westbrook a few playoff games. In regular season Durant will be iceman Jr Gucci mane brr brr brr.

  • Dundler

    Yes, and what happened? Is there really much to say Durant’s scoring would go up (More than it would anyway if Westbrook was never injured). He had a green light before, its not like he needs extra opportunities. Westbrook took so much attention from him, got him open looks from being aggressive on the break etc.
    To be fair, I could see Durant scoring but being less efficient while Westbrook is out

  • Nick Holden

    Yes there is. Tony parker.

  • AddingVelocityDontTellMe

    Playoff intensity and adjustments for thunder in that situation were uncalled for. Why was Durant running point and Reggie Jackson playing off the ball. I agree with the Westbrook claim. But I am saying in regular season and with experience Durant gonna do what Lebron did with the cavs except more scoring and less playmaking because Reggie will be ready. Efficieny what is this the Carnot engine?

    Do you live in a predominantly Anglo-Saxon community where a most people are Protestant or Catholic. Also where does Dundler name come from. Is it a typo for dunder? Or are you a microbiologist/office fan

  • def80s

    PG bro

  • Dundler

    Durant will score a bunch against the lottery teams but struggle against the playoff, defensive minded teams that have something to play for, would be my guess.

    Yes efficiency. Fairly important in basketball.

    Well I’m from the UK, so yeah you could say its Anglo-Saxon lol, but no, protestant/catholic isn’t really concerned with here. Its not a typo.

  • Dundler

    Lebron entered as a PG

  • Drig

    Yes. AI and Magic.

  • AddingVelocityDontTellMe

    Have you seen the new dragon ball movie with goku and the multiuniverse?

    Lbj was a pg for 1-3 yrs of his career when Ricardo Davis and d miles were his Scottie pipped and kuckoc

  • AddingVelocityDontTellMe

    Then what do you think about Allen iverson as a scorer

  • Dundler

    That he was massively inefficient? Not knocking his scoring ability, his aggressiveness was something to behold, but there’s no arguing inefficiency, its a number, not an opinion

  • nybrolic

    Man this young dude is an incredible athlete. almost a year and a half off and the explosion is still there. if he remains healthy and plays at this level of efficiency this ranking would seem laughable by years end

  • Dagger

    I like this spot for my favourite player in the league. The writeup is pretty good too (minus the suggestion that the MVP automatically goes to the best player in the NBA).

    But: with Harden, Kobe and Carmelo presumably in the next three spots, this list is really a celebration of pure scorers. Never mind efficiency, defense, or all the other things that make a player great.

    I know that’s been repeated a thousand times, and I know that this should have been clear to me way back when Ellis went 50th, or when Duncan was 22nd.

    But still: ugh.

  • nybrolic

    I definitely agree, plus Kobe and Melo will play on teams that have no shot at competing for a ring, thus making Rose’s impact far greater this year…

  • Sergio

    I know that, when you SLAMers read this, you will argue about Kobes place in the list, but, egardless of that, Harden will go WAY too high.

  • spit hot fiyah

    not really, he entered as a forward but was made the de facto pg by cleveland because their other PGs sucked

  • http://SLAMonline.com/ Ryne Nelson

    Good point about the MVP. I made an amendment to the story.

  • AddingVelocityDontTellMe

    but would you rather have a inefficient high scoring guard or a low scoring efficient guard

  • cbranson05

    nuumber 7 huh? if you say so ..

  • Conor

    Are you Dwight Howard’s scorned lovechild?

  • shockexchange

    You know SE isn’t D12′s scorned lovechild. Quit joking around Connor. However, it is odd that Rent-A-Center was always thought of as one of the top 5, but after one year with the Lakers he barely even top 10.

  • Najee Fareed

    hahaha thts funny but of course CP3 makes it over Mario, and every PG on this list was better than Mario

  • Najee Fareed

    KB24 IS STILL ALIVE!!

  • danpowers

    lol, its getting better and better

  • shockexchange

    Not according to Mario.

  • 3Chainz

    I still remember when I first met SLAMONLINE. She made me feel like I should’ve married Bleacher Report or maybe went steady with ESPN. But no I just had to cheat…. now I’m still here dealing with this B.S!!

  • Conor

    Playing next to the best (Bean) tends to reveal flaws even amongst the most gifted.

  • Chester

    Thanks for the tip captain obvious!

  • shockexchange

    “Humor” – The Shock Exchange recognizes that.

  • WALL BALL

    This is blasphemous! I understand who Kobe is and what he’s DONE throughout his career. So, by default, he COULD be listed in the top 5. But for Melo and Paul to be ranked ahead of “THE ONE”, D-Rose is ridiculous. Put Paul on the Bulls and D-Rose on the Clippers. The Clippers would be in the Finals. You put Paul on the Bulls and they bow out earlier than the Bulls did last year like all of CP3′s teams have done throughout his entire professional career. I get that we have traditional so-called sports fans who like to see players play roles that were prevalent when they first began to lace up the straps. A point guard passes and makes his teammates better. Paul hasn’t made any player on the Clippers better. Yes, he doesn’t shoot first and pass second like Rose, Westbrook and Kyrie. But ask him who his worst nightmare on the court is. As a matter of fact, ask any point guard who they know they have to get an adequate amount of rest the night before that ball goes up. He has intangibles all of the time that makes him better. He has that innate ability to will his team, which he has done since coming into the league. Except for when Ben Gordon thought he would still be the man.

    Put Rose on the Knicks and they have a legitimate shot at the title. Melo shoots, shoots and more shoots! He does not lead his team. He should be either 6 or 7 on the list. I know many of you writers and or publications are on the east coast. I get it. I understand the hype machine but this time you got it wrong. They’ve doubted this guy since day one. Before he came into the league, my buddies from out of town were big on OJ Mayo. Today, they never mention Mayo. He sat out a year which will now be the trend for athletes who want to fully recover. You guys blasted his heart as if you’ve suffered an ACL tear and come back because TEAM doctors said it was OK. I worked a job and when I was injured, I didn’t allow the company doctor to assess my injury. Many of you hated him like YOU paid his salary. He did what was best for him and his team and his family. Maybe he didn’t translate his reasons as well as he could have but did he have to?

    Yes, the Heat HAVE beaten the Bulls in the playoffs the last few years but they’ve also beaten everyone else as well. Even the Pacers. So if you lose in seven or five, isn’t the outcome the same. We’ll see this year and once again D-Rose will prove his haters wrong.

  • house

    Sorry, but DRose is a better player than Carmelo Anthony. I’d even go as far as to say he is a “much” better player , especially when his defensive, offensive, leadership and clutch qualities are taken into consideration. But this list doesn’t really appear to do this. This list has a number of points and rankings that I don’t agree with and this ranking and the ‘logic’ which explains it is one of them.

  • ballislife

    Why does everyone hate Kobe so much ? I get respectful debate but anything that can discredit him is pushed down the throats of the slam community like propaganda. Let the season okay out and then complain about you’re supposed expert anaLysis being ignored. If Kobe comes back and sucks them so be it. Until then just wait and see because people talking like they know the future is counter productive to the debate like system that we have on slam. Kobe is better than Wade and rose when healthy. Thus, him being ranked higher. It’s not that hard

  • Evan Boland

    No

  • Jim

    Sorry, but Derrick Rose, if he is back to being himself–which it appears he is as he has 55 points in 55 minutes the last two preseason games– is the most dominant player in the league other than James. He took a dump on Chris Paul the last time they met, and he will continue to do so, so enough talk about how he isn’t the best PG. That’s absurd. Here come those people who will start defining what the PG is supposed to be…

    It’s 1. James
    2a. Rose
    2b. Durant

  • Jim

    LOL no.

  • Drig

    ……..yes?

  • Evan Boland

    No. James – Durant, then it’s up for debate between Rose, CP3 and Kobe.

  • Evan Boland

    Varejao is old and injury prone.

  • JML-G

    DRose isnt the “THE ONE”

  • Nick Holden

    Ermm yes, and it can’t even be debated. Parker might not be quite as athletic as Rose but he has far more finishing moves and creativity around the basket and the stats back it up.

    Check their stats at the rim.

    Derrick Rose

    http://www.hoopdata.com/player.aspx?name=Derrick%20Rose

    Tony Parker

    http://www.hoopdata.com/player.aspx?name=Tony%20Parker

    Rose’s best year yet has him finishing around the rim at a 60% clip. That would be terrible for Tony.

  • Kim Hargreaves

    I agree, but in my mind the Slam top 50 is simply about talent and tends to ignore winning and defence and the stuff that gets you All Star votes from the coaches. Roses injury is the only thing keeping him this low but it’s hard to argue against the talent of Harden, Melo and Kobe.

  • Dundler

    Depends if you’re qualifying talent as a talent for helping your team win games

  • Dundler

    You have to qualify your question. If I have to choose between Iverson and someone who only takes four shots a game but makes two of them then yes obviously Iverson (if we’re only concerned with scoring ability obv)

    But if you’re asking in terms of closer talent. Lets say Parker vs Iverson, then Parker every time (for a million reasons, but for this argument on scoring vs efficiency then yeah, the lower, more efficient one).

    I think you kind of underplay efficiency, but either way, you can’t symbolize someone as just scoring or efficient, theres too many ways to make a mark on the game, but yeah, essentially, go with the more efficient one.

  • Dundler

    Nah, he was listed as a PG, was well known beforehand thats where he’d play, he ran the ball on his v possession, but yeah, if they had a decent pg mebe it woulda changed

  • Cortez Mack

    The problem here is that he should have never been thought of as being in the top 5 in the first place.

  • WALL BALL

    sirens!!!shhh!stop, stop, stop! It’s “THE NICKNAME POLICE”

  • J Du Bois

    Not sure if that is true … Injuries, trades and stranger things have happen … I mean the Lakers did ship out Kwame Brown and somehow got Gasol; they also traded Lamar Odom and got Chris Paul! And no I am not a Lakers Fan.

  • shockexchange

    When he led the Magic to the Finals he was clearly top 5.

  • https://twitter.com/jasontichenor Mr. Wet

    does that factor in drawing fouls? which skews the fg% a lot. Also, Iverson.

  • burnt_chicken

    aren’t ‘the best’ the ones who make those around them better, not worse?
    stick with carrion, condor. SE will eat you alive

  • Jake

    He’s the same age as Boozer, and at least he tries.

  • Debra Stephen

    my Aunty Caroline just got a stunning yellow Nissan NV200
    Minivan only from working parttime off a home pc. Browse around here w­w­w.P­o­w­6.c­o­m

  • Cortez Mack

    Good job, as usual.

  • Respect

    D Rose is the best pg in the game, Im gettin tired of the people who say Chris Paul, he’s not nearly as dominant as d rose and cant lead a squad like d rose

  • DSupreme

    Bottom line is IMO at 100% health and at his peak, there are only 2 players def better than DRose (LeBron and KD (and that might be arguable). CP3 is good, but I wouldn’t take him over Rose. Rose has shown over the last 3 yrs when healthy, that he can out play any PG in the league head to head, while his team is also winning those games. Looking forward to him showing and proving that again this season and also his first match up with Kyrie.

  • pposse

    my gawd magic doesn’t count. When people refer to pg’s they aren’t talking about once in a generation talent such as Magic or Lebron. Both 6’8” or taller and you guys are comparing their abilities to finish with guys 6’2” and under. It should just be assumed Lebron or Magic are not valid on the list.

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