Can Derrick Rose save the Knicks’ season?

Derrick Rose, NY Knicks (Photo by Mark Blinch/Getty Images)
Derrick Rose, NY Knicks (Photo by Mark Blinch/Getty Images) /

How long ago do you think Derrick Rose had ankle surgery? A month and a half? It has to be two months at least, right?

Derrick Rose has only been out a little over one month – 40 days to be exact (as this is being written).

It feels like the entire season has happened with Rose sidelined.

Kemba returned to the rotation and scored 44 points before falling back down to Earth. The entire team got Covid.

Randle told NY Knicks fans to “shut the f**k” up”. The team traded for Cam Reddish. RJ Barrett hit a buzzer-beater and put the team on his back.

Damyean Dotson even made a brief appearance.

So no wonder Rose felt like Odysseus returning home from war when he spoke to the media for the first time since his injury.

The soft-spoken former MVP echoed what all of New York has been thinking:

"“Right now it’s — we’ve been saying it the whole year — urgency…Just playing with a sense of urgency. I don’t know when we’re going to get it but it’s making sure we stay together.”"

He was optimistic about his ankle, predicting a return after the All-Star Break while saying he felt immediate relief following the surgery.

NY Knicks: Can Derrick Rose save the season?

As Rose and anyone who’s watched a game knows, the Knicks need him now more than ever.

On the court, his absence is evident.

The team lacks a true playmaking point guard.  The smorgasbord of the oft-injured Walker, ‘Point Burks’, and young Quickley was not built to withstand missing Rose.

It’s easy to see how Rose makes every teammate better.

In the bench unit, the most obvious candidate is Obi Toppin. Per Statmuse, without Rose this season, Toppin is averaging 6.7 points and 3.3 rebounds.

With Rose, he is averaging 8.5 points and 3.9 rebounds.

Perhaps more minutes is in fact what Toppin needs for development, but more importantly, he needs to share the court with a point guard like Derrick Rose.

There is another Power Forward on the Knicks who needs a hand.

Trigger Warning: J*lius R*ndle

We can go on and on about whether or not Randle can be on a winning Knicks team and whether the team is better off moving on from him.

But it’s clear that Rose’s presence, like with Toppin, is invaluable for Julius Randle.

Per Statmuse, Randle is averaging 16.2 points, 10.2 rebounds, and 4.6 assists while shooting 38.7% from the field and 23.4% from three without Rose.


With Rose, he is averaging 20.4 points, 9.6 rebounds, and 5.3 assists on 43.2% shooting with a 36.1% three-point clip.

Say no more.

This isn’t to say that with Rose, Randle should resume his status as a high volume first option next to a flourishing RJ Barrett, but rather that a transition from Randle to Barrett as the Knicks’ #1 is best guided by Derrick Rose, not by Randle and Barrett themselves.

Prepare to be underwhelmed at the trading deadline.

The Knicks may clear a rotation spot or two, but the easiest and most important change is the return of Derrick Rose (Additionally, it’ll be great to see what he and Grimes look like together).

The 33-year-old veteran is not going to lead the Knicks into the promised land. But for this season to get back on track, they need D Rose as soon as possible.

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