Former New York Knicks point guard Derrick Rose is excited to take the floor for the Memphis Grizzlies once their regular season kicks off on Oct. 25, and he’s already noticed key differences in how the two teams run their offense.
Knicks: Derrick Rose Says More Freedom in Grizzlies Offense
Having played under Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau in two separate stints (the first as a member of the Chicago Bulls from 2008 to 2016) Rose elaborated on what he favors about the Grizzlies’ approach during day three of training camp:
Without taking a direct shot at Thibodeau, Rose spoke glowingly about how each player on the Grizzlies’ roster is given the liberty to play their own brand of basketball within head coach Taylor Jenkins’ scheme.
He doubled down on his raving remarks by noting how Memphis wastes no time in pushing the ball up the floor in transition. Known for being among the fastest players to grace the NBA hardwood, Rose built his career off of his blistering speed and explosiveness and has found himself in an offense that is conducive to his strengths.
The Grizzlies finished eighth in pace in the 2022-23 regular season and played even faster in the playoffs despite losing their first-round series 4-2 against the Los Angeles Lakers.
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Thibodeau has carried a reputation for being a hard-nosed head coach who favors playing a short rotation in a heavy amount of minutes. He came under fire after Rose tore his ACL in the waning minutes of Game 1 in their 2012 Eastern Conference First-Round series against the Philadelphia 76ers. The Bulls were leading by double figures and Thibodeau left Rose in the game when he had the option to rest him for Game 2.
Thibodeau has pulled back since his arrival in New York and it has allowed Julius Randle and Jalen Brunson to blossom as individual talents. Rose said tentatively that “his brand is different” when characterizing how Thibodeau draws up plays for the Knicks.
New York finished No. 22 among all teams averaging 12.8 fast break points per game a year prior. They also ranked No. 25 in points off of turnovers. The Knicks played a great deal of their offense in the half-court and when comparing their output to that of a Grizzlies team that makes their bones in the open court, Rose hit the nail on the head.
Regardless of how they get up and down the floor, the Knicks have excelled on the defensive end and found a way to remain an efficient offense en route to a second-round appearance for the first time since 2013.
Rose and the Grizzlies will host the Knicks on Jan. 13 before he makes his return to Madison Square Garden in the second and final matchup of their season series on Feb. 6.