Phil Jackson got this one right.
The acquisition of Derrick Rose from the Chicago Bulls will immediately make the Knicks a much better team when they step on the court next season. Having a former MVP as your floor general will do that to a team, and I really think that Rose is going to hit it out-of-the-park here in the Big Apple.
Rose’s game has grit and attitude to it, and that’s New York. Rose also doesn’t shy away from standing up to his critics when he is questioned and will give it to you straight. That mentality will hopefully help Rose strive on and off the court for the Knicks.
Over his first seven NBA seasons Rose has been highly over-criticized about being injury prone, taking plays (and games) off, and regarding this relationship with teammates. Rose, having a chance to explain himself, said that after his second knee injury he was focusing more on finishing a complete season before turning his volume back up. Over that time, Rose has been able to steadily improve his shooting. You have to take the good with the bad, and a lot of the bad Derrick Rose has has been left behind in Chicago.
On the surface, the addition of Rose does lead me to believe the Knicks might have a formula that could sneak them in the playoffs next season. It’s going to be interesting to see how Rose (and the rest of the team) fit into Jeff Hornacek’s hybrid triangle offense. Eric Bledsoe and Goran Dragic were highly involved in the Suns' offense under Hornacek and that alone is exciting to think about when it comes to how big a role Rose is given.
Rose has had the headlines for the past week, but let's not forget that this is still Carmelo Anthony’s team. Melo has a chance to prove to Knicks fans that he can win with another All-Star caliber player on the floor. The last time Melo had an All-Star at point guard was Allen Iverson from 2006-08 in Denver, where he averaged 27.3 points per game over those two seasons.
Though this is still Melo’s team, I am more excited about the Rose and Porzingis dynamic. All things point to Hornacek experimenting to do what is best for his players offensively. With Porzingis going into his second season, you can only expect that he will have a sophomore slump at some point. What will be the best medicine for Porzingis’ potential slump is a point guard who can get into the paint and pull bigs to the basket - opening up guys for 3-pointers. In addition, when Porzingis starts to inevitably get beat up by other bigs, Rose and Carmelo will presumably get in the paint to bang and let Zinger leak outside.
Rose also brings a physicality to the point guard position for the Knicks. Standing at a broad and athletic 6-foot-3, 190 pounds, Rose is visually a clear upgrade from last years starter in Jose Calderon. Adding a defensive guard to play alongside a player like Porzingis is only going to amplify the ignition of the offense. A block by Porzingis could now become a potentially lethal 2-on-1 fast break. A steal from Rose with the 7-foot Porzingis hustling down the floor should equal easy buckets for the Knicks.
The NBA season did just end, but New York never sleeps - and neither does its basketball.