New York Knicks: How Derrick Rose has become the Sixth Man of the Year

NY Knicks, Derrick Rose (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)
NY Knicks, Derrick Rose (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images) /
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New York Knicks: Derrick Rose is the experienced scorer the team didn’t have

Mike Breen said it on the MSG broadcast last night in the game against the Grizzlies, how Rose has seen just about every possible kind of defense imaginable: Double, triple teams, traps, whatever is thrown at him, he’s never frazzled. He’s as composed as any ball-handler in the NBA.

Young ball-handlers like Immanuel Quickley and RJ Barrett have had fantastic seasons but they’re still so early in their careers. They don’t have the experience that Rose does.

The reason why Derrick Rose is so dangerous is not his experience alone. It’s the composure paired with his elite change of speeds.

How many 32-year-old guards are moving the way Rose is? His burst is still elite. His drives to the rim are smooth and calculated. Every night, he shakes a defender out of their shoes. The Knicks did not have someone with this kind of blow-by ability prior to his arrival.

The Knicks’ slower offense has suited Rose perfectly. Yes, he can still do damage in transition, but Rose has been unguardable as the team’s halfcourt general. It’s either Julius Randle in the post or Derrick Rose slicing through a pick & roll – both plays are drawing double teams and both plays are leading to open looks at the basket.

Speed was completely absent from the Knicks before Rose got here. Although this team prefers a slower-paced half-court game, they can now keep up with opponents who want to push the pace. We saw it last night with the Grizzlies, who relentlessly tried to speed up the game. It didn’t bother Tom Thibodeau’s team.

Derrick Rose’s game has completely transformed this team from an upstart squad to a top-10 team in the NBA. The number of statistics available to back up Rose’s Sixth Man of the Year case is bottomless.