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Derrick Rose saved his best for the best defenses

Jul 27, 2011, 2:19 PM EDT

Chicago Bulls v Atlanta Hawks - Game Four Getty Images

We get it, you don’t need to remind us Chicago — Derrick Rose is a stud. An MVP. One of the new faces of the game.

On top of all that, last season he played his best against the best defenses in the league.

Every summer over at Basketball-Reference Neil Paine does an interesting analysis — breaking out which players perform the best against the better than average defenses in the league? (With that, who fattens up their stats on the weak sisters of the league?) I won’t drag you into the math, but he uses advanced statistics to figure out the best defenses in the league, then uses a weighted plus/minus system to see who performs the best against the best.

This year Rose performed better than anyone against the best defenses (and he came out No. 5 against the worst defenses, too). It’s another testament to the best season Chicago has seen since that guy with the statue retired — while there are other guys who can score on the Bulls roster it was Rose who had to create a lot of those shots for himself and others. He carried as much or more weight for the team’s offense as anyone in the NBA. And he did it well.

Rounding out the top five against the best defenses are Dirk Nowitzki, Deron Williams, LeBron James and Kevin Durant. LeBron was the other guy in the top five against worst defenses as well, basically he gets his against everyone.

The worst players against good defenses? Jonny Flynn (something to note, Rockets fans) and then two Clippers — Eric Bledsoe and Al-Farouq Aminu. To be fair, Aminu struggled against everyone, good and bad. Bledsoe showed promise, but this reminds everyone that to key rookies to the Clippers future have a long way to go. (Rounding out the top five worst against the best are Kendrick Perkins and Stephen Graham, two guys nobody expects offense out of anyway.)

Who got fat on the low hanging fruit? Who did the best against the worst defenses?

The top five are Steve Nash, Dwyane Wade, Kobe Bryant, LeBron and Rose. As we said, Rose and LeBron were in the top five in both. Kobe was No. 11 in the league against the best defenses, Wade No. 12 — while they got some points against the softies, they played well against everyone (although Paine notes that Kobe’s gap is increasing, he’s not done as well the last couple seasons against good defenses).

As for Nash, would it be different if he still had Stoudemire and other elite scorers around him? Or is this a sign of age? The answer likely sits somewhere in the middle of those two statements.

  1. Reddy - Jul 27, 2011 at 5:10 PM

    As a bull’s fan, I know I wouldn’t trade Rose for anyone in the league. Anyone.

  2. neeciekay - Jul 27, 2011 at 5:25 PM

    I concur!! As a fellow Bulls fan and D.Rose admirerer. NOBODY’S worth this kids spot on our team. He’s the future of our franchise, and best part of it all is: he’s a Chicago native, born, bred and loyal to his hometown. Can’t say the same for that “other” Chicago native that plays for Miami. . .just as well, we don’t want anyone playing for us that doesn’t have the intestinal fortitude to stay true to not only his wife, but, his city as well. Can’t wait for this lock out to end, I’m excited about the Bull’s future. GO BULLS!!!

    • downtowndanny - Jul 27, 2011 at 11:05 PM

      how do you know if he cheated on his wife? cmon dude let’s stick to the topic. besides Robins, IL isn’t exactly Chicago and Richards High School is actually in Oak Lawn

      • sportsfan74 - Jul 28, 2011 at 1:00 PM

        your right dude lets stick to the topic and debate where robins Illinois really is and Richards high school is…
        i think the point neeciekay was making is its cool to see such a humble guy who “gets it” as the soon to be “star” in the nba opposed to these thugsor arrogant jerks

  3. dadawg77 - Jul 28, 2011 at 8:36 AM

    Uhmmmm…. a certain 23 more then likely cheated on his wife leading to the one largest and quietest divorce settlement in US legal history. As a Chicagoan, I am quite happy that he played for the Bulls.

  4. originalsmasher - Jul 30, 2011 at 3:33 AM

    As an all things Chicago fan (except White Sox, sorry) I think the best thing about this is D. Rose the man! It is so nice to see a super-star who is a class act as well! And yes, its a big pet-peeve of mine! “Anywhere” Illinois is NOT Chicago. Here is the thing to remember.. If your from New York city for example, your from the Bronx, Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn etc. If your from Chicago, your from the North, South ot West sides. Period!

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