In the sixth edition of “THE DEBATE” I compare two point guards of today's NBA game, Derrick Rose and Russell Westbrook.
This is a very tough decision, it's a dead tie. You can make a valid point that makes one better than the other. Westbrook isn't as good from three-point rage as Rose, Westbrook finishes around the rim better sometimes. The two guards are not even in their primes yet, and they are already in my “Top 5 Point Guards” list. Both players can shoot too much, or they don't shoot enough. Westbrook has an easier time of getting shots off though, considering Rose doesn't have a Kevin Durant on his team. Both, Rose and Westbrook can shoot the ball, drive it, and make tough shots. It's a tie.
Westbrook wins the battle of the boards. It's quit simple, Rose can be aggressive on the boards, but not all the time. That's why Russell has him beat this time around. Derrick and Russell have amazing jumping ability which is why they are both good rebounding guards in their own right, but Westbrook is slightly better.
3) Ball Handling/Passing:
Derrick wins this one. When Russell learns to play under control at least 85% of the time, maybe it'll be a tie. Derrick and Russ both have high turnover numbers, but Westbrook sometimes acts like a wild ape that is on a sugar high sometimes. That's not a bad thing, but he hurts himself and his team with that play. Looking back at the Finals, Russell did lose control of the game, something a point guard shouldn't do. Granted Westbrook has had two eight assist per game averaged seasons, Rose is better at this aspect of the game.
Westbrook is the better defender, by far. Rose isn't a slouch, but I'd go as far as Gary Payton when comparing Westbrook's defense. Have you noticed it during the “friendly” matches? Steal after steal is what I keep seeing. Rose is a good defender, Westbrook is just better. Rose has improved his footwork though, which may be why Russell gets into foul trouble sometimes.
Rose has the advantage here, in my opinion. I just like Derrick's timing and jumping ability more than Russell's. Westbrook can block shots, but I've seen D-Rose block shots as well. With Russell Westbrook averaging 0.3 blocks per game, Derrick Rose currently averages 0.4 blocks a night. I know, 0.1 isn't that big of a deal. In Rose's third and fourth year alone, he has higher season high averages than Westbrook's.
While comparing Rose to other NBA point guards you can watch this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rOeUmStERvI. The video is of the “ESPN First Take” crew debating whether or not Derrick Rose is the best point guard in the league. They go as far as saying that Rose is the most dominant since Magic at that position. Listen closely while Legler rounds off Rose's numbers against other top point guards.
It caught my eye, and I somewhat agree with Tim Legler on this one. I honestly believe that Russell and Derrick are twins when you compare the two players on the court. They have the same play style, they are the same age, both are exciting, what's not to like about them?
Rose wins, might be biased, but that's my take on it. Let me know what you think in the comments below.
Get more great Chicago Bulls analysis over at Horns to the Hardwood.