This is my first post and it was inspired by a trend that I've noticed at the end of Bulls games this season, most notably against the Mavericks. There seems to be an insistence that Derrick Rose is the go to guy at the end of games and is by extension, designated to take the last shot of a game. My only question is... Why?
Let me start off by saying that I think Derrick Rose will be the second best PG in basketball in the next 2 years or maybe less. I love his approach to the game; I love his attitude, and his competitive nature. But somewhere this season it seems to me that it has been decided that Rose MUST take the last shot. It seems that somehow it's imperative for this rookie PG, who’s only 40 plus games into his career to be the closer. This would make a lot of sense if there wasn't anyone else on this team capable of taking that last shot but that's not the case on this team. Case in point, here's a portion of an article I just read from Sam Smith:
"I'm not a huge stat geek. But there's a guy, Roland Beech, who does an interesting job with some Bill James like baseball stuff on the web site 82games.com. It just so happened this week he looked at the best at game winning shots over the last five years. Here was the ranking based on number made: LeBron James, Vince Carter, Ray Allen, Kobe Bryant, Carmelo Anthony, Allen Iverson and Ben Gordon. Yes, BG right ahead of Dirk Nowitzki, Joe Johnson and Paul Pierce. And then when you calculate by percentage, the league-wide average is 29.8 percent with Gordon at 35.3 percent, better than LeBron, Kobe and Carter. Of the guys with at least 20 attempts, which included Gordon, Anthony was by far the best percentage with 48 percent. A game winner was considered a shot with 24 seconds or less with the game tied and your team down one or two points."
I’m not a huge stat guy myself but I think Smith verified something that I’ve been thinking all season. Why are we running last second Iso plays for a kid that hasn’t proven yet that he can be that guy? I know the next thing to say is that there’s only one way to find out and that’s to give him the opportunity but should Rose have every opportunity? Also as a PG, wouldn’t it make more sense to run offensive sets and to let Rose create an opportunity for Gordon or himself to take that clutch shot?
I know the common argument about Gordon is that he turns the ball over too much or that he hasn’t hit a clutch shot in a while (though I think the last second 4pt play against the Clippers would be considered a clutch shot) I’m trying to find the evidence that Rose will be able to hit a last second shot. That’s one thing Gordon did as a rookie better than Rose. At this time Rose isn’t a 3pt threat which means teams are going to sag defensively and take away his ability to get to the basket so it’s easier to defend him if you know as a defense that he is going to take that shot. This isn’t a slight on Rose and yes I do believe eventually he’ll be able to nail those shots but until then it’s a heck of a slight to one of the best clutch players in basketball to have him standing in the corner as the clock runs out.