Wednesday , Dec , 29 , 2010 J.N.

Is Derrick Rose a choke artist at the line?

Happy 2011! Let me start off by saying, “No All Star game for you, Joakim Noah.” He was on a tear averaging 14 points, 11.7 boards, 2.7 assists, and 1.6 blocks with an efficiency rating of +22.8. That is definitely All Star material. Noah has gone down with thumb surgery. He was having ligament problems. Noah usually plays through pain, but this pain became unbearable. This is a sad time for fantasy owners. Asides from Noah, there is a possible detrimental issue with The Unicorn.

That unicorn is Derrick Rose. He missed a crucial free throw to tie the game against the Los Angeles Clippers on December 18. That was the third time he choked where it mattered. Flashbacks of Kansas 2008 lit up message boards. That was the first time Rose failed in a brutal way at the charity stripe. The second time occurred during game six against the Boston Celtics in the best playoff series of the past decade. He missed the last free throw to seal the deal. Rose was lucky because the Bulls escaped with the victory, but he did choke he did not lock up the win with the free throw. The one against the Clippers was the third time.

So I have to claim with the evidence mounting up that Rose is a choke artist at the line. He probably inherited the Nick Anderson Syndrome or “yips.” It’s a mental problem that plagues athletes when they mess up something that was something ordinary to accomplish like a free throw. Sometimes they do not recover like Nick Anderson. Derrick Rose is clutch when the Bulls need a clutch basket. When that clutch basket is needed at the line, fans should cringe. His track record is not awe inspiring.

Can he overcome the yips?

Sure. He is merely 22 years young. Remember – you do not get better from the yips. You can only overcome it.

Michael Jordan did. I do not remember him choking at the line, though. Kobe Bryant overcame the yips after the Utah playoff series in his rookie year. They became stronger, more determined. That stuff is all tied in to mentality. Rose confirmed that it’s all mental after that third choke in his career.  The Unicorn is averaging 76.8 percent from charity. He made 7 out of 10 against the Washington Wizards on December 22 – 2 games after the choke job game against Blake Griffin’s Los Angeles Clippers.

The point is he has to improve tremendously in that sector to be taken seriously.

Watching him turn the ball 7 times against the New York Knicks and converting 33 percent from the line is bad. The kid needs to do work – serious work. Just making many of them will increase his efficiency and points per game. This has become an immediate detrimental problem and should be addressed at the end of the season.

Derrick Rose should be averaging at least 85% from there for a point guard. Each time he goes to the line, I cringe because I’m not confident. No one should be. He has a lot to prove. Why? The mounting evidence does not inspire any type of confidence at all. If Rose gets caught in a situation like this a couple of more times, whether it is a regular season or playoff game, and does this stuff then he is not a legitimate superstar like Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, and Kobe Bryant.

There is no defense at the free throw line. He shouldn’t have problems draining them.

[image credit]


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