The 2009-2010 Derrick Rose Conundrum, A Shot Selection Story
The situation with Derrick Rose this season has been confusing for fans, teammates, and even coaches. The common belief for his struggles compared to last season’s success have been some combination of battling injury and a poor jump shot. But is that really what’s going on? The last week or so I’ve been trying to figure out what’s wrong. I decided to use Hotspots to take a look at Rose’s shooting, and I found some very interesting things.
Percentage of Shots Taken Close to Basket: 51.4%
Percentage of Shots Taken Away from Basket: 48.6%
Percentage of Shots Taken Close to Basket: 32%
Percentage of Shots Taken Away from Basket: 68%
There are two things that jump out at me from these stats. The first is shot selection. Last season Rose took over 50% of his shots from right near the basket. This season? Only 32% of his shots have come from point blank range. That is a huge dropoff. The stats can’t give the reason behind that, be it injury or just a general lack of aggressiveness and confidence, but I don’t think anyone realized how much more Rose was relying on his jumper this season.
The other crazy thing about these numbers is that they completely contradict the common belief that Rose’s jumper has not improved or even that it has regressed. In fact, he is hitting over 41% of his shots from outside a few feet this season, as opposed to around 39% last season.
So what does this all mean? Well it doesn’t tell us why he is being less aggressive and settling on jumpers more, but it does show that the accuracy of his jump shot isn’t the problem (its not great, but its not the problem). As much as I love Charles Barkley and Kenny Smith, they are incorrect in saying, “this kid just needs to figure out his jump shot”. In fact, he needs to stop shooting it and get to the basket more.
One quick sidenote: The rest of the Bulls aren’t exactly taking high percentage shots either. If you want to get really numbers with the numbers about the entire team’s poor shot selection, you can look here (via Hardwood Paroxysm].