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Derrick Rose highlights: 32 points against the Wizards, but what about the defense?

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One bright spot in what was a pretty awful night was the play of Derrick Rose. Sure, a lot of it came from a likely-flukey night from three, but he also had some aggressive moves to the basket and his usual calling card of uniquely-difficult-made-to-look-easy floaters. Check the video above in all its glory.

It was interesting though that the Wizards seemed comfortable with this, as the Wiz blog TruthAboutIt discussed:

The wisdom of Washington’s defensive approach bore itself out in the long run, and Wittman (along with Paul Pierce) deserves enormous credit for keeping his players composed and engaged despite Rose’s outrageous first half. Again and again Washington refused to over-help on Rose, stayed more-or-less glued to his teammates, and controlled the defensive glass, and, sure enough, Rose was not able to score 106 points all by himself. And while he rained hell-fire and torched the net, Washington’s defenders calmly and decisively put the clamps on his teammates, holding all non-Rose Bulls to just 38.6 percent shooting from the floor, and a nightmarish 36.6 percent on two-point attempts.

You could even see in his sideline interview after Rose's 17-point first quarter, Wittman basically said "eh, we're doing what we can he's just hitting some right now". Rose didn't keep up a 60+ point pace but did stay shooting well for the rest of the game, but it just wasn't enough.

Taking a look at Rose's overall play, he's still lacking. Especially defensively, as commenter TheHungarianJordan pointed out in the last thread (and I was gonna do myself, but this is convenient):

I think we have to start talking about Rose's defense. You guys blame the bigs, but I think the two most glaring weaknesses from the defense are coming from transition D (we’re getting smoked here) and the defensive effort from the guards.

Rose is just not giving effort on transition D. I don’t know why. There was a fast break in the first game we played against Washington where Rose just escorted Bradley Beal into the lane for a fast break layup (credit to Paul Warfield for that youtube link). Last night, Rose had a similar play. He made a token effort to guard John Wall on a fast break but basically let him go the entire court. What made it even worse was he just stared at the ball instead of turning around and boxing out Beal, who ran the entire end of the court, beating the entire Bulls team, and rebounded the miss for an easy layup.

Here's another Rose defensive miscue, for good measure.

Rose made great strides in his defense over his first few years in the league, and it was even his calling card in the world championships as his shot wasn't falling. The shot was falling last night (Rose said it was 'normal' attempts and just going in, so don't expect the 3-point volume to stop...) , but we can't say Rose is totally 'back' until we see the rest of his game round into form.

For his part, he's not concerned.

We're not putting two halves together right now. I remember last year or a few years ago, offensively we were struggling. This year it's defense. We've just got to put two halves together on the defensive side. Just let them know that (defensive) presence is always going to be there. But right now we are not doing it. We lost two in a row; nothing to be down about. We've got another game Friday, Saturday and can just pick it up there.

I don't think we should be concerned too much either, but a change does need to come from him and the rest of the team defensively.