Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, or LeBron James could not match Derrick Rose’s most recent accomplishment. On May 3, Rose, 22, was named the Most Valuable Player of the 2010-11 NBA season. In turn, he became the league’s youngest MVP.
Rose dominated the season by averaging 25 points, 7.5 rebounds and four assists. Dwight Howard, James and Bryant all put up remarkable numbers during the season, but Rose captured the award because of his consistency and leadership.
The most impressive part about Rose’s season is that he led the Chicago Bulls to 62 wins despite being the team’s only legit NBA All-Star.
But Rose will need more help from his teammates in order to advance in the playoffs. Rose and the Bulls are currently in an Eastern Conference playoff battle against the Atlanta Hawks. The Hawks pose a legitimate threat and outmatch the Bulls at every position except point guard (Rose vs. Teague) and small forward (Loul Deng vs. Marvin Williams). Deng, arguably the Bulls second best player, has never been a consistent scorer and is prone to take bad shots at times. Joe Johnson, Josh Smith, Al Horford and Jamal Crawford present problems for Keith Bogans, Carlos Boozer, Joakim Noah and Kyle Korver, respectively.
Playoff experience could also become a determining factor. Along with the Boston Celtics and L.A. Lakers, the Hawks are the only team to reach the NBA semifinals three years in a row. Although the Bulls lost the first game in the best-of-seven series, they are still favorites to win. The Bulls supporting cast will have to take pressure off of the MVP in order to have a chance at keeping the upcoming games close. –a.r.