Since the beginning of January, Rose is averaging 19.2 points, 4.1 rebounds, and 4.3 assists per game, shooting 45.7 percent from the floor and 30.2 percent on three-pointers. In the five games he's played since Jimmy Butler went down with a knee injury, those averages are 22.0 points, 5.4 rebounds, 5.4 assists, 46.7 percent from the field and 45.5 percent on three-pointers. Both stat lines are built on small samples, but it seems safe to say they represent a level of efficiency that seemed doubtful Rose would ever be able to sustain again.
And the difference isn't so much that Rose has changed his playing style, it's that those drives to the rim are getting results again. The beginning of the year saw Rose's inside finishing and FT generation down in the 'should be in China' range. It's a lot better now.
(Image from The Sporting News)
Rose's FG% on drives since Jan 1. would be second only to Blake Griffin across the entire season— Ian Levy (@HickoryHigh) February 22, 2016
If we're considering this season a lost one in pretty much most reasonable aspects, seeing if Derrick Rose can sustain this kind of success through the season is a nice tertiary goal.
This means seeing how he performs when not receiving a ton of rest (or playing the Lakers) and whether he still needs to have reduce minutes or games sat.
It also means seeing how things are when Jimmy Butler returns, and some of the ball-domination is broken up a bit.