The Minnesota Timberwolves’ season is over, which means it’s time to start assessing how each player on the roster performed this year. So far in this series, we’ve looked at seven Wolves’ performances. Up next is Derrick Rose.
There was a reason the Utah Jazz waived Rose after receiving him from the Cleveland Cavaliers at the trade deadline. First of all, he spent much of his time with the Cavs injured. When he did play, he managed to be largely ineffective. At one point, Rose even considered retiring from the NBA.
As one Cavaliers source tells ESPN about Rose: "He's tired of being hurt and it's taking a toll on him mentally."— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) November 24, 2017
When the Timberwolves signed Rose in early March, expectations were extremely low. His time in Cleveland made people question whether he even had a place in the NBA anymore. Instead, the move was thought to be yet another attempt by Tom Thibodeau to recreate his Chicago Bulls of yesteryear. Rose joined former Bulls Taj Gibson, Jimmy Butler, and Aaron Brooks in Minnesota.
Rose didn’t light it up by any means. He averaged just 5.8 points and 1.2 assists in 12.7 minutes per game.
🌹 DERRICK ROSE 🌹 pic.twitter.com/7pn4fJzSfy— Timberwolves (@Timberwolves) April 12, 2018
Granted, the situation he was put in wasn’t exactly conducive to success. He was often used in three-guard lineups, with some combination of Jamal Crawford, Jeff Teague, and Tyus Jones. Crawford, Rose, and Teague are already sub-par defenders. To make matters worse, none of these guards have enough size to defend small forwards.
Playoff D-Rose is real. He kicked it up a notch for Minnesota’s playoff return, averaging 14.2 points, 2.6 assists and 1.8 rebounds per game. Even better, he had an effective field goal percentage of 57 percent. This was in stark contrast to his play in the regular season.
In order to hang with the one-seeded Houston Rockets, the Wolves needed grit. Rose was a key source of mental toughness in this series. He hustled on every play and helped his teammates to do the same.
Rose was a crucial part of the Wolves’ Game 5 victory. He scored 17 points on 8 of 16 shooting, in addition to two assists and two steals.
Rose shot very inefficiently with Minnesota. While he finished at the rim well at 65 percent, jump shots are another story. He shot a whopping 22 percent combined on mid-rangers and 3-pointers. When combined with Crawford’s streaky shooting, the result was disastrous.
The most important takeaway from Rose’s time with the Wolves was his health. After struggling with injury for the past six years, many wondered if he had a future in the league. Despite missing a few games due to injury, he still played the majority of his time in Minnesota. He also showed plenty of athleticism and explosiveness. This means he should have a place in the NBA next year.