The Detroit Pistons replaced point guard Ish Smith with Derrick Rose this off-season, signing Rose to a two-year, $15 million dollar contract.
Rose resurrected his career last season with the Minnesota Timberwolves, showing an improved jump-shot and that he still has the ability to break down a defense at an elite level. Rose averaged 18.0 points, 4.3 assists, and 2.7 rebounds last year, shooting 48.2% from the floor and 37% from three.
The Pistons lacked much shot creation last season outside of Blake Griffin and Reggie Jackson. The addition of Rose should help take the load off of Griffin’s shoulders this season, and help keep him fresh at the end of the season. I talked about Rose’s shot creation on my YouTube channel:
Two things will have to happen in order for Rose to build off his great season last year. The first is obvious: Rose must remain relatively healthy for the entire season. Last year, Rose played in only 51 games, and he hasn’t played in 65 games since the 2015-16 season.
The second thing is related to the first; Due to injury, it was a tale of two seasons last year when it came to Rose’s shooting. In his first 32 games, Rose shot 46 percent from downtown. However, an elbow injury forced Rose to miss 13 games from January to February. When he returned, he was not the same from distance.
In his final 19 games, Rose shot 12 percent from beyond the arc before he was eventually shut down for the season on March 12th.
Rose’s explosiveness and overall shot creation will help Detroit immediately, but if the Pistons are to get the most out of Rose, they’ll have to hope he stays healthy and continues his career renaissance from beyond the arc.
While Rose still is incredibly athletic, he’s not what he once was. His improved shot opened up the floor for him and made defenses respect him; which opened up more driving lanes for the veteran point guard. Health is always the main concern with Rose, but shooting will be what makes or breaks this season for him.
If Rose can shoot closer to what he shot in the first half of last season, the Pistons will reach their season. If he reverts back to what he’s been throughout his career from deep (29 percent), it could cause some issues for Rose and the Pistons.