Stein's ROY Pick = D. Rose
You wish you could hand out multiple ROY trophies because the Class of 2008 was so unexpectedly deep. We're so grateful because that doesn't happen very often any more.
The landscape here, though, looks a lot like the MVP situation.
Similarity No. 1: Lots of us media types have been trying to convince ourselves all season that this race is closer than it really was.
Similarity No. 2: A three-slot ballot is a problem because that doesn't leave nearly enough room for all the qualified candidates underneath our winner, starting with O.J. Mayo, Russell Westbrook, Brook Lopez, Kevin Love and Eric Gordon … and with several more under-the-radar rooks who've made you look.
Just to name one handful: Rudy Fernandez, D.J. Augustin, Anthony Morrow, Anthony Randolph, Marreese Speights and Marc Gasol. And another half-dozen: Courtney Lee, Jason Thompson, Mario Chalmers, Michael Beasley, Nicolas Batum and that Greg Oden kid.
Rose, though, stands out even as we comb through all that surprising depth. Playing the hardest position to learn and shouldering the biggest expectations/responsibility in the field as a No. 1 overall pick asked to start at point guard from Day 1, he's been fairly steady throughout the usual roller-coaster season in Chicago, averaging 16.6 points on 47.2-percent shooting to go with 6.2 assists per game as the Bulls suddenly find themselves surging into the playoffs.