How Derrick Rose’s refined skills are keeping the Knicks afloat early in the season

Alexander Wilson
knicks, derrick rose

One of the Knicks‘ most valuable players is veteran point guard Derrick Rose. After being acquired from the Detroit Pistons at the trade deadline last season, Rose has carved out an important role with the second team. Despite the front office bringing in Kemba Walker to serve as the starter, Rose immediately took a backseat and handed the starting job to Kemba, who has been inconsistent this season.

However, Rose has been the pinnacle of consistency and leadership, providing fantastic performances with the second unit to compensate for the lack of starting efficiency. At 33-years-old, Rose is like fine wine, adding different elements and flavors to his game, something he prides himself in with a Tom Brady like approach.

Rose said recently he’s trying to play as long as possible, taking care of his body:

“Hopefully I’m going to try to Tom Brady this thing, play as long as possible, make sure I really take care of my body. And if I’m playing play with joy. I don’t have to score 30 points a night anymore to affect the game.

Rose is averaging 12.9 points, 3.5 assists, 3.0 rebounds, and is shooting 47.4% from the field and 44% from three point range. He’s only averaged 22.9 minutes per game, but his action proves to be essential on a nightly basis.

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Rose is the perfect example that an old dog can learn new tricks, considering his incredible three-point percentage this season. Compared to last year with Detroit and New York, Rose only hit 14% of his three-point attempts unassisted. This year, that number has skyrocketed to 35% over 14 games. In addition, 38% of his points are coming from beyond the arc, the highest mark in his entire career. Over the last decade, the second highest was 30%, which is still 8% percent lower than his current number.

Interestingly, 34.2% of his total shot attempts are from three-point range, another career-high for the veteran point guard. Rose has entirely redefined his game as a sharpshooter who also displays awesome aggressiveness in transition when defenders are lagging behind. His floor-general mentality but efficient shooting has given the Knicks a catalyst off the bench, and pairing him with young guard Immanuel Quickley has done wonders for a team that struggled to score in the first half.

The decision to extend Rose on a three-year, $43.5 million deal has proven to be essential in the Knicks’ success, and Thibodeau made it a priority to bring him back. In fact, Derrick is playing so well, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him combo with Quickley more frequently in a starting fashion.