Coach Treal | November 1st, 2018
Derrick Rose last night released more than just tears of joy after scoring a career-high 50 points in the Minnesota Timberwolves 128-125 victory over the Utah Jazz. This performance last night wasn’t vintage D Rose from his 2011 MVP season but it was vintage in his confidence and how he attacked the rim time after time after time.
He showed no fear in attacking the reigning DPOY Rudy Gobert with an array of layups, up-and-under, and ball fakes. He got to the free throw line 11 times and connected on 4-7 from 3-point range. Overall he shot 19-31 en route to his career-high 50 on this historic night. The emotions were too much for Derrick to hold in even after he connected on two free throws to get to the 50-point mark he was hunched over in the huddle before the final play of the game visible emotional. He even blocked the last shot of the game to seal the win and was immediately swarmed by his teammates on the court and handed the game ball.
For us basketball fans, and even more importantly, those who have followed his entire career, this night was bigger than the number. I have felt since his knee injuries that if he found the balance in his game he could still be an all-star caliber player in the league. The last time he was a full-time starter for the New York Knicks he averaged 18 ppg in 64 games played before yet another knee injury forced him to sit out the rest of the season. Even then, that year he had some ups and downs, most notability his absence from a game without warning the organization. Over the last year, he signed with the Cleveland Cavaliers and played in only 16 after injuring his ankle early in the season amid reports he was contemplating walking away from the game. He was traded at the deadline to the Jazz who promptly waived him, then he sat on the sidelines for over a month before his former coach Thibodeau called and gave him another chance in Minnesota. We know the well-documented injuries he has had to deal with throughout his career. But he showed a glimpse during the first round of the playoffs last season which had many feeling he could have a productive year.
He spoke with multiple media outlets over the last week about everything and what I kept taking away from the interviews was the peace that he finally had with the game. He told NBA-TV this week before a televised game that his goal this year was to win the NBA Sixth Man of the Year Award. After his performance last night his scoring average has jumped to almost 19 ppg, 5 apg, and 4 rpg. I know we are only 8 games into the season and he may not keep these averages throughout the season. But he remains healthy and is still producing at this rate he has a realistic chance to add another trophy to his mantle. This was a special performance by a special player and we can only hope he can continue to show this type of determination through the course of the season. For all us basketball fans we hope this is the start of the road to redemption for Derrick.
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