The NBA season has begun and one of the best storylines of the first month has been Derrick Rose. Rose is off to a hot start in his newfound role with the young Minnesota Timberwolves lineup. His role coming off the bench even has basketball viewers thinking he is a future NBA Six Man of the Year award winner.
Rose is best known as the biggest “what if” in NBA history after becoming the youngest most valuable player in NBA history. In 2011, at the age of 22, Rose won the prestigious award after averaging 25 points, 4.1 rebounds, 7.7 assists, and one steal a game. The following season, Rose tore his ACL in his left knee during Game 1 of the first round of the playoffs. He sat out the 2012-13 season and returned to play the 2013-14 season. Barely a month into the season, Rose suffered another season-ending injury in a game against the Portland Trailblazers. Rose did manage to play the 2014-15 season but missed a chunk in the second leg of the season with another knee injury. This season, Rose played his most games (51) since winning MVP and made his return to playoffs. The 2015-16 season ended up being Rose’s final season with the Chicago Bulls, which did not include a playoff run.
The Chicago Bulls traded away the former MVP and homegrown star to the New York Knicks during the 2016 summer. Rose started 64 games for the Knicks but was not resigned the following summer. Instead, Rose signed with the Cleveland Cavaliers, which looked to help boost their chances of winning a championship. The Cavs season was a mess and Rose ended being a part of a three-team trade that landed him on the Utah Jazz. He was then waived making him a free agent.
On Mar. 8, 2018, Rose joined his former coach Tom Thibodeau (and several former teammates) after signing with the Minnesota Timberwolves through the end of the season. He played in nine regular season games for the T’wolves as well as all of their playoff of games. He averaged 14.2 points and 2.6 assists in 23.8 minutes. Rose shot 50.9 percent from the field, which included an unheard (from Rose) of 70 percent from behind the arc.
Rose left a solid impression on his Minnesota teammates and coaches during that short time; helping him earn a contract this past summer. On July 4, he signed another one-year deal worth around $2.2 million.
The 2018-19 season is still young and the 5-9 Minnesota Timberwolves have a lot of work to do but Rose appears to be in one of the bright spots. Much like last season, the Timberwolves have plenty of guards, which includes Tyus Jones and Jeff Teague. For Rose, he just wants to play and help wherever he can.
In a September preseason press conference, Rose expressed that sentiment when denounced negative media claims about going after jobs and instead of doing what he can to benefit the young Timberwolves. He said, “I’m just looking to do whatever the team needs me to do.”
His T’wolves coach has long been a Rose supporter and has always wanted to see Rose do well. Before the season, Thibs said, “As long as he’s [Rose] healthy, he’ll be one of the best players in the league.”
This season so far, Rose has played in 13 of the 14 T’wolves games and started only five. Rose is averaging 19.2 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 4.8 assists. He has already seen career highs in points in a game, threes made in a game, and 3-point percentage. His shooting has improved from years past as he is at 45.7 percent on all field and 48 percent from behind that arc.
One night that stuck out was Halloween when Rose dropped 50 points on the Utah Jazz. He shot 61.3 percent that night which included 57.1 from behind the arc. He also added to that with 4 rebounds, 6 assists, a steal, a block and of course, the win.
Shortly after this win, NBA fans of all kinds voiced their excitement over his performance. Some also included his teammates and even players in the league like LeBron James, Chris Paul, Dwyane Wade, and some many others.
Rose and the T’wolves have most of the season still to go with the normal bumps in the road. If Rose can keep this up and be a leader for this team, NBA Six Man of the Year could be his.