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Why I Don’t Want Derrick Rose to Win MVP

February 18, 2011

 

The Yin Seeesters are not impressed by these MVP signs. (Photo Credit: chicagonow.com)

Last night, Derrick Rose presented one of his best arguments for why he should win MVP. On his way to a career-high 42 points against the top team in the league, the San Antonio Spurs, the United Center crowd cheered D.Rose with chants of, “MVP”.

[Side note #1: this is one of several things that annoy Joyce about the United Center but let’s save that for another more entertaining post about the various things that my sister would do away with at the UC.] It’s hard to argue with evidence like shooting 18-for-28, 5 rebounds, and 8 assists, but you know what? I don’t want D.Rose to win MVP this season. Why? Because:

1. It’ll make the target on the back of his head even bigger.

On a nightly basis, I’m sure the Bulls’ scouting report reads something like this, “The key to winning tonight is to stop D.Rose.” He’s the key to engine that powers the Bulls’ offense. He’s strong and able to fight through contact (unless contact = Dwight Howard) to produce highly acrobatic shots at the rim. If you can defend the paint and force him into long 2-point shots, then you might have a chance, except he’s also learned how to step back and shoot 3-pointers. As the season has progressed, teams have amped up their defense, sometimes sending three defenders at him. They’ve also figured out that he can absorb so much contact that it takes a pretty hard foul to stop him once he’s in the paint. As a fan, I would like to be able to watch him play without having my heart drop into my stomach every time I see the giant arm of a 270-lb athlete swing down at D.Rose as he’s driving to the basket.

2. It’ll piss off LeBron.

After LeBron decided that he was over the Cleveland scene last year, critics jeered him, wondering how he was going to deal with the fact the public no longer viewed him as an infallible basketball demigod. I think it’s safe to say that LeBron has held up just fine and found the public boos to be a source of motivation. I want to avoid providing yet another source of motivation to the defending MVP, especially if we end up facing the MoHeatos in the playoffs.

3. I want him to win Finals MVP before he wins the regular season MVP award.

For some reason, people seem to think there is some sort of correlation between the regular season MVP and post-season success. While it doesn’t hurt to have an extraordinary athlete on your roster come April, it doesn’t guarantee that your team will still be playing in June. Just ask Dirk Nowitzki. Let’s keep our eyes on the bigger prize – Michael Jordan won 6 Finals MVP awards and only 5 regular season MVP awards. If forced to choose, which ones do you think he would rather keep?

Let us be clear – I don’t think winning the MVP award would go to D.Rose’s head. In fact, I think he’d be the first to thank God, then his mother, his brothers, and then go out and do whatever it takes to win the next game, whether it be 15 assists or 50 points. When D.Rose first entered the NBA, he was already hyped up as the number one pick in the draft, but people criticized his jump shooting, his defense, and even his floor vision. He’s steadily begun to address his weaknesses and today his arsenal includes a cleaner jump shot (including 3s!), a decent ability to stay in front of his man, and improved ability to feed shots to his teammates. Popovich praised Rose last night because D.Rose is probably one of the players who would fit into Popovich’s system of drive, discipline, and execution and at the age of 22, he’s only getting better.

[Side note #2: I was always ambivalent about the Vinny years. After word escaped about Thibs’ pre-Spurs talk with D.Rose and how it sprinkled a little extra motivational dust over D.Rose, I really wonder if Vinny even knew how to motivate the team during his time with the Bulls. Oh well, that’s the Clips’ problem now.]

This is all to say that I’m greedy. Before the season started, I thought the Bulls could make the conference finals and I’m still standing by that prediction. However, I’ve sipped some of that red-colored koolaid and I can feel the sugar rush running through my veins…I want the Bulls to win it all again. In order to do that, let’s hold off on giving D.Rose that MVP, ok?

-Jocelyn

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