Tuesday, May 10, 2011
Will bloom come off Rose during playoffs?
By Justin Havens
With Game 5 of the Eastern Conference semifinal Tuesday in Chicago, there have been whispers that Derrick Rose is shouldering too much of the scoring and ball-handling load for the Chicago Bulls.
The Bulls posted the best regular-season record with Rose -- the league's MVP -- leading the way, but he has carried an even bigger workload since the start of the playoffs.
How do we know just what sort of increase it has been and how it ranks relative to seasons past? Usage rate, which is defined as an estimate of the percentage of team plays used by a player while he is on the floor.
Rose's regular-season Usage Rate ranked second to Kobe Bryant in the NBA; however, it was not particularly noteworthy. Since 2000-01, Rose's 32.2 mark ranked 30th among qualified players.
What is of far greater concern to the Bulls and their title chances is how much Rose's Usage Rate has increased during the playoffs.
At 36.6, Rose is tied for the second-highest Playoff Usage Rate since 2000-01, behind Allen Iverson's 36.8 in the 2001 playoffs. What's more, only one player since the 2001 playoffs has gone on to win an NBA title with a Playoff Usage Rate that ranked in the top 15: Kobe Bryant in 2008-09 and 2009-10, when he ranked 15th (32.9) and 13th (33.2), respectively. Everyone else in the top 15 failed to win a title in that season.
No doubt the future is bright for the Bulls and Rose. Still, over the last 30 seasons (see second chart) even the highest postseason Usage Rates by point guards who went on to win NBA titles were well below Rose's 36.6.