Recent New York Knicks acquisition Derrick Rose is a great point guard, but is he what Kristaps Porzingis needs to take the next step?
If there’s one position that the New York Knicks have lacked for years, it’s point guard. Since the somewhat good old days when Stephon Marbury started at the point, the Knicks have put out a staggering 27 players at the position in the starting lineup.
Seeking to upgrade quickly and efficiently, they traded for Derrick Rose. Now Rose is an upgrade, and nobody is denying that, yet something about his game must be addressed; the pick and roll
New head coach Jeff Hornacek’s western-styled offense plans to use a fast paced, pick-and-roll heavy game plan. Rose can run the point well, but the stat that’s concerning is the fact that he passed the ball just 23.3 percent of the time on drives last season.
Among qualifying point guards who took the ball to the hole at least five times per game, that ranks sixth-lowest in the league. Take a look at the video below and check out how Rose, in a pick and roll situation, will oftentimes take the ball to the hoop himself.
Teams figured this out and often started setting traps for him, thus causing turnovers
That’s a concerning stat seeing as the Knicks have a promising young big man in Kristaps Porzingis. Porzingis had a point guard in Jose Calderon last season who rarely, if ever, drove to the basket. Rose, on the other hand, tends to drive to the basket often, yet not pass
Why doesn’t he pass though? Well, lets take a look at the big men Rose had last season.
He had new Knick and old teammate Joakim Noah, as well as Pau Gasol and Taj Gibson. While all three are great players, they don’t necessarily fit Rose’s style of play.
Porzingis, on the other hand, might.
He offers a unique style to complement Rose, in which he can not only put the ball on the floor and drive, but he can also go beyond the arc and shoot. Having a big man as a shooter opens up many holes in the paint, allowing Rose to drive in and score with more ease then he could before.
It also will collapse the defense, allowing him to kick it out to a shooter on the wing.
Besides Porzingis, the Knicks have Carmelo Anthony, Lance Thomas, and new addition Courtney Lee as 3-point shooters. In a nutshell, Porzingis could not only help Rose return to form, but he can actually help his game improve—and vice versa.
Again, this isn’t an attack on Rose; he’s a great player. This is just pointing out flaws in his game that will have to be addressed if Porzingis is to grow and not regress.
Coming into his sophomore season, Porzingis will need to show he wasn’t just a flash in the pan. While the Knicks are hoping to make the playoffs this year with ‘Melo as the star, their long-term success depends on Porzingis.
Having a talented group of veterans around him will allow him to experience what having a winning culture and season feels like. Having a talented veteran point guard will help him not only score more, but allow him to grow as a center.
If the Knicks are to have any shot at making some noise in the Eastern Conference in 2016-17, Rose will have to adjust his game to be in accordance with his new team.