Derrick Rose and Russell Westbrook are two of the brightest young stars in the NBA. Rose was expected to take the Chicago Bulls deep into the 2012 playoffs before suffering an injury in the first round. Westbrook helped lead his team to the NBA finals last season. If you had to pick one player, which one would it be?
Let’s begin the discussion with an overview of their statistics. Last season, Derrick Rose scored 21.8 points a game along with 7.9 assists and 3.4 rebounds a game. Westbrook had 23.6 points per game along with 5.5 assists and 4.6 rebounds a game.
Statistically, the two were fairly even. However, Rose missed 27 games during the regular season with various injuries. Westbrook was able to play in all 66 games last season. This shows that Westbrook was able to get it done for an entire season with consistency.
Rose and Westbrook have a similar playing style. They like to drive to the hoop, score a lot of points and enjoy taking as many shots as possible. The one knock on Westbrook is that he can become selfish at times.
When you have a player like Kevin Durant on your team, he needs to have the ball in his hands. Coupling this with the fact that Westbrook will shoot when he is having an off night can put his team in danger of losing more games than they need to.
Rose isn’t much better when it comes to distributing the basketball. However, he gets a break because his supporting cast isn’t as strong as the one that Westbrook has. When you are surrounded by guys like Luol Deng and Carlos Boozer, you need to take the game over at times.
Raising The Play Of Those Around Them
When it comes to making his team better, Derrick Rose clearly gets the nod. While the Thunder have the talent to make things work even when Westbrook is out, the Bulls certainly miss Rose when he is gone.
This was clearly evident when the Bulls lost in the first round to the number eight seed in the east. With Rose, they were contenders to go all the way to the finals.
Some may point to the 18-9 regular season record that the Bulls had when Rose was out during the regular season. However, the regular season provides for games against teams like Minnesota, Sacramento and Charlotte. Those games can be won with bench players and other lesser talents on the team.
If you had to choose between the two players, you couldn’t miss either way. With Westbrook, you get a player who isn’t afraid to take over games when he has to. If you choose Rose, you get a player who can elevate his team when he really has to. However, I would have to go with Westbrook as the better player. The simple fact that he can stay healthy gives him the nod. A player is no good unless he can be on the floor for his team.
Author Bio: Don Phan is a full-time marketing analyst at Fanatics Inc and a part-time sports blogger. His company sells licensed sports merchandise and runs several brands including FansEdge. FansEdge is one of the tops stops for official NBA merchandise for every NBA team.