An injury as bad as what Derrick Rose went through is going to take it’s toll in more ways than one. Since he’s going to be out for almost a year, he’s going to lose a lot of strength and conditioning that he’s built up for years. He’ll lose his explosiveness and jumping ability and many other things that helped him win the NBA MVP. He’s going to have to put in a lot of work to get all those things back to return to the player he was before he went down, but there is some good news.
During Rose’s first stages of rehab, he’ll be able to stand and walk a little, but not much else. That means he can take a lot of set shots and free throws. In the games Rose was able to play this past season, all his shooting numbers were down from his MVP year. His FG and 3-point percentage both dropped just a little bit and his scoring average dipped as well. Rose’s outside shot has really improved since he entered the league, shooting only 22% his rookie year but 33% and 31% the last two seasons. With a lot of shooting practice, he may be able to get his numbers even higher.
Former NBA point guard Tim Hardaway went through a similar injury during his career and he says it helped make his shot a lot better.
‘‘He can only do three things,’’ said Hardaway. ‘‘He can dribble — not run and dribble, just dribble walking up and down the court; he can shoot a bunch of free throws; and he can shoot a bunch of set shots like he’s playing H-O-R-S-E every day, all day. But that’s going to make him better. If you shoot 1,000 jump shots a day, 1,000 free throws a day, you’re going to get better. That made my shot better. It really made my jump shot and free-throw percentage better.’’
I remember in 8th grade when I broke my wrist on my shooting hand, I was forced to play left handed for a while. When my wrist healed, I was stronger than ever with my left hand. While injuries are devastating, it’s a good chance to find other parts of your game that need work.
If Derrick Rose can develop and even better shot, he’ll be almost unstoppable. He’s one of the most explosive players in the league and gets to the basket as good as anyone. If defenders have to play up on him because they’re afraid of his jumper, then he’ll be deadly.