After Sunday’s 32-shot performance in Game 4, there was the seemingly collective question raised by media: Is Derrick Rose trying to do too much? My reaction was “No, he’s the MVP and his next-best option is, most nights, Luol Deng,” but watching the game, it was understandable where someone could come to that conclusion. Until last night, when Game 4 of Thunder-Grizzlies showed what someone trying to do too much actually looks like:
That’s one of Russell “Jimmer” Westbrook’s 33 shots. You say the game went to triple-overtime. I say he plays with Kevin Durant, and nobody that plays with Durant – the two-time NBA scoring champion – should take 33 shots. You say he scored 40 in game his team won by 10. I say the game would’ve been won easily in regulation if Westbrook hadn’t frozen out Durant for an inexplicable stretch from the end of regulation into the first OT. It was like watching a chucker at the local Y, except if that chucker was playing with a guy who finished 5th in NBA MVP voting.
I’ve enjoyed the Luol Deng Renaissance as much as anybody this year, but his ceiling is “solid second banana” – if he’s not on, which he wasn’t in Game 4, then the right move for Rose is to make it happen offensively, and hopefully you get guys like Korver and Boozer getting good open looks. The latter didn’t happen. Some nights it won’t. That’s the deal. It is decidedly not the deal in OKC, where Westbrook is going entire possessions without involving a guy who’s ceiling is “top 10 all-time player who redefined what a forward is.”
So I’m hoping Rose doesn’t have to take 30 shots tonight. But if he does, go for it, #1.