An Ode To All 12 of Derrick Rose’s Assists

Derrick Rose has less assists than the number of total games the Cavaliers have played.

LeBron James should probably just put that on his resume at GOAT, Inc. “Led the 2017-2018 Cavaliers to a top three offense while starting Derrick Rose at point guard.” Forget the titles, this is a real sign of greatness.

And, yes, Rose has been injured. But his 10.2 percent assist percentage is the lowest of any guard with a usage rate over 25 that plays more than 20 minutes a game. So of players that get a lot of minutes and use a lot of possessions, he is one of the worstiest passers.

So let’s look at each of his twelve assists. I mean, there’s only twelve, it’s not like this will take that long. Maybe we can identify if there is some promise in the plays that Rose is creating, even if they are too scarce.

Assist #1

Alright, hey! Draws the defender and finds the roll man for an easy bucket. Good stuff. He threw a five yard pass to LeBron James so hard I had Derek Anderson flashbacks, but can’t complain about the result.

Assist #2

Everyone gets a few gimmes and it’s pretty hard to find one easier than this. The rebound bounces straight to Rose who just has to toss it to a streaking, wide-open LeBron James. Even still, he hits him in stride, which definitely did NOT remind me of Derek Anderson.

Assist #3

Alright this is a beauty. The spacing with Rose and Dwyane Wade on the floor was always going to be tight, but Rose can penetrate and Wade knows how to sneak along the baseline, so plays like this can help offset the lack of spacing. Perfect. I’m kissing my fingers and saying “MWAH” in a way that Italians should find vaguely offensive.

Assist #4

Passing it to Kyle Korver shouldn’t count as an assist. Especially if Korver has to take a dribble. This is as easy as an assist can be.

Assist #5

OK I take that back. THIS is as easy as an assist can be. Rose literally threw it to Kevin Love as Love crossed half court and he STILL almost screwed that up. Imagine deciding to pass it to your power forward as he crossed half court and then also throwing an awful pass. He screwed up with his brain and with his arms! And he still got an assist out of it. This is stretching the definition of “assisting” but they don’t keep a “hindering” stat.

Assist #6

Oh my gosh he screwed up an alley-ooo to LeBron James. He had a 2-on-1 with the defender in bad position and the most gifted athlete in the history of the universe and it didn’t end in a dunk. It’s almost hard not to throw an alley-ooo to LeBron James. I’m fairly certain Sasha Pavlovic used to shoot actual shots that turned into alley-oops on accident, and Rose couldn’t even do one on purpose. He’s a point guard!

Assist #7

The NBA was so pissed off about that last play that they didn’t even record a video of his seventh assist. It was a pass to J.R. Smith for a three pointer. J.R. Smith is pure and good and so I don’t want to sully his name by talking any trash about Rose here.

Assist #8

LeBron James was going to cut in the lane and dunk on the Washington Wizards so hard that Caron Butler would feel it. But instead Derrick Rose ran in his way and stole the pass. Derrick Rose stole that pass and he also stole that moment from us. He’s a hater of fun. A fun hater. He ended up passing it to Smith for a three which is worth more than the dunk in math but not in our hearts.

Assist #9

Nice play. This is the value of Kyle Korver; the entire Wizards defense is so worried about him they leave LeBron James wide open under the rim like a bunch of dumb idiots. But why does Rose jump whenever he passes? He was just standing there and dribbling, a jumping two-hand over-the-head pass seems a bit much. Rose is 6’3″ and was being guarded by Bradley Beal who is all of 6’5″. What is it going to look like when Isaiah Thomas comes back and our point guard is under 6′ tall? You know what, don’t answer that.

Assist #10

This isn’t an assist. LeBron took like eight steps after he caught that pass. You know when you walk through a door and then realize there is someone behind you and half-heartedly reach your arm out like you were trying to hold the door for them even though you actually didn’t do anything? That’s what this play was for Rose. If passing to LeBron James before he drives to the rim is worth an assist then Mo Williams was John Stockton.

Assist #11

The real person racking up assists is the Cavaliers’ home scorekeeper. Derrick Rose should buy that person a holiday basket.

Assist #12

Like so many disappointing possessions this season, this series ends with a Dwyane Wade fade-away jumper.

That’s it. That’s all of Derrick Rose’s assists this season. Somehow the third best offense in the NBA has been starting a point guard that has less assists on the entire season than LeBron has totaled in three different games already.

So when people try to warn that Isaiah Thomas might not be the same player he was before the injury? That there might be a learning curve? That his offense won’t matter because his defense is bad?

Show them these highlights. It won’t take long.