Reading all of the comparisons and rankings of point guards in the NBA got me to thinking. Many writers on this site and others have fallen in love with Boston's Rajon Rondo and rank him above Derrick Rose of the Chicago Bulls.
They are all wrong!
In fact, it's ludicrous to even compare them aside from the fact that they play the same position, because Rose is on his way to becoming a top five player in the league while Rondo is a complementary player on the Celtics, despite what anyone else may think.
Without the big three of Pierce, Garnett, and Allen, he's not in any discussion. He didn't become beloved in the eyes of critics until Garnett and Allen joined the team.
A much better comparison would be Dwyane Wade of the Miami Heat.
While Rose plays the point and Wade is a two guard, they both are the primary ball-handlers on their teams and everything goes through them.
Before anyone calls me out for being crazy, listen to my argument and you'll see what I'm saying is not so far-fetched.
I'm only going to compare their first two seasons because that is all we have to compare at the moment, but I will get into Wade's career and why in the very near future, I think Rose will be just as good as him, if not better.
Wade averaged 16.2 ppg his first year and jumped up to 24.1 his second season.
Rose was at 16.8 and followed with 20.8 in his sophomore year.
Not too big a discrepancy, but there is a huge one in one area... free throws.
While Wade had 762 attempts his second year on 1,363 shots from the field;, Rose only went to the foul line 338 times in 1,433 attempts from the field.
That's 424 more attempts for Wade, despite the fact that Rose drives to the basket as much as any player in the league.
If you add in the difference, Rose would have averaged over 25 points a game last year, bettering Wade in his second year.
To dramatize things even more, rookie point guard of the Sacramento Kings Tyreke Evans was 14th in the league last year with 465 free throw attempts while ranking 38th in field goal attempts.
Rose was 10th in shots, yet he had 86 less free throws than Evans.
What happened to the rookie bias by the refs? When is Rose going to get some respect?
Perhaps Wade received the respect he did because Shaq joined the team his second year.
But that doesn't explain his Shaq-less rookie season when he had 62 more free throw attempts on 410 less shots than Rose did his rookie year.
Wade will turn 29 next January while Rose turns just 22 in October. The arrow is pointing up for Rose while it's leveling off and will soon be on the downward arc for Wade.
Wade has also taken a beating, playing only 51 games in both 2006-2007 and 2007-2008. He also played just 61 games his rookie season.
Rose has proven to be more durable playing through injuries and excelling despite those limitations. He had a bad ankle for the first month and a half of the season last year and still ended up making the All-Star team.
Playing with Shaq also probably helped Wade gain a lot more respect his second year, while Rose has played with little help on the offensive end.
This year, he has an inside force in Carlos Boozer and a three-point threat in Kyle Korver. That will help take the pressure off of him and allow him to expand his offensive game even more.
And in more bad news for Chicago Bulls' opponents next year: Rose has developed a three-point shot after an offseason of practice. Just last week he said, "I have a consistent three-point shot now. It's past even my expectations at this point."
That's a very scary prospect for anyone trying to guard the explosive Rose because now if you lay off him, he'll pop in the three, and if you play up on him he'll go by his defender like he's standing still.
Last year he worked on his jumper in the summer and became a very good outside shooter with a .489 percentage. Now with his expanded range, there is no limit in sight to how high Rose can ascend.
It might be higher than some of the highlight reel dunks he displayed last year.
And adding defensive guru Tom Thibodeau as the head coach from Boston will make Rose a much better defender next year.
I"m not saying with Rose the Bulls will be able to beat Wade and the Heat, but I am saying in the not too distant future, probably in less than two years, he will be better than Wade.
With Boozer in the mix to offset Chris Bosh, the Bulls are only one player away from matching up with the Heat, and the Bulls have a winner on the team that the Heat can't match - Joakim Noah.
And speaking of winners, Rose led his Simeon team to consecutive state high-school championships in his final two years and was the best player in the state and one of the top players in the country.
He also led Memphis to within seconds of the NCAA title in his only year in college.
Wade was not highly recruited coming out of high school, also from the Chicago area, and was a surprise in the NBA, as he surpassed any expectations analysts had for him.
In fact, going one further, I would say Rose is going to be a better basketball player than LeBron James.
He will never be perceived as such because of LeBron's freaky combination of size, strength, and athleticism, but he's a better basketball player because he works at his game, something James has not done.
He decided to get by on his physical attributes and lacks the pride to want to be better. He has had to latch on to others to try to make himself a winner.
Right now, Rose is more of a man than James will ever be. He's also about to surpass Wade in excellence on the court. And for anyone who disagrees, let me be the first to tell you that you are wrong.
And please, don't dare bring up Rondo being better than him ever again.
Save your jokes for the "Last Comic Standing."
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