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Tuesday, January 31

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Bulls Wed Jul 27 2011

Derrick Rose Was Awesome Against Awesome Defenses

Thumbnail image for chicagobulls.png"Guns up, Bulls fans!" Sure, your team lost in a stunning fashion to the Miami Heat in five games ... Cough. 18-3 Miami run to close the cinching game, at the United Center. Cough. But, at least you can hang your hats upon the fact your point guard, Derrick Rose/youngest MVP in NBA history, was the best he could be against the league's best defenses during the regular season and the playoffs. Who says? Well, I saw this reported by the indomitable Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie and the story was first dropped by the --and stat heads/Bulls fans (a rare breed, I know) will mirthfully recall these kids-- big brained, number crunching squad at Basketball Reference [dot] com.

The Basketball Reference post itself is worth the read, BBR ranks all 30 NBA squads in terms of defense; Boston, spoiler alert, was numero uno, followed closely by the Bulls at the two slot. Chicago's divisional bunkmates, Detroit and Cleveland clocked in at 29th and 28th, respectively and just ahead of basement dwelling Toronto.

Upon determining/compiling the best (and worst) defenses of the 2010-11 season, BBR, then did us all the tremendous favor of ranking and ordering the offensive meteors (Derrick Rose, Kevin Durant, y'know, the usual suspects...for the most part) and clunkers (Ohhh, Johnny Flynn, won't you ever learn?) against the best defenses (there was a minimum of 520 minutes played against the best defenses) and Derrick Rose was number one. Who else cracked the top-ten? Well, Dirk "Newly Crowned NBA Champ" Nowitzki was two, LeBron "Not Yet An NBA Champ" James was four and, surprisingly to me, Kevin Martin was number six on the list, ahead of such considered offensive luminaries as Carmelo Anthony (#10) and Kobe Bean Bryant (#11). Martin, by the way, is an incredible offensive presence and I had always considered him as something of a volume shooter and, sadly, I paid far too little attention the Houston Rockets last season (I blame my square-ass job) to note his ability against the Association's best defenses. Or at all (except in my fantasy basketball league. #NerdAlert).

Of more value to the Chicago Bulls backers in the room, has to be the fact that, indeed!, Derrick Rose's evolutionary step forward in the offensive game was no fluke and (the holes that still exist in his game aside) the reigning NBA MVP can hopefully lead the Bulls even deeper in the playoffs whenever the lockout ends. Say in 2013 or 2014 [requisite frowny face emoticon].

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