Offensively, is a right way to utilize Derrick Rose, who signed with the Minnesota Timberwolves, and there is certainly a wrong way.
Tom Thibodeau, who coached the veteran guard in Chicago, needs to use him wisely as the Timberwolves look to make a run in the postseason. Rose can still surprise as a scoring option off the bench. However, he’s not a spot-up scorer, which is how he was used alongside LeBron James on the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Minnesota has been the most accurate team (41.2 percent) in the Western Conference on spot-up plays. It’s their second most-used play type for their offense, per Synergy Sports.
Rose was used on this play type often (15.0 percent frequency) but averaged just 0.63 points per possession. Only six players have been less effective as a spot-up shooter (minimum: 25 possessions) so far this year. He should not try to reinvent himself as someone who is fed off the ball.
He was also a below average shooter on spot-ups for the Knicks last season. Among those who were given as many opportunities, just two players in the NBA were less effective than the point guard.
With those qualifications, his effective field goal percentage was the lowest in the league for spot-ups.
This is not the same version of Rose that Thibodeau coached with the Bulls. During their first season together, the guard ranked in the 91st percentile on this play type. He was also in the top 10 percent among all players before he tore his meniscus in November 2013.
The 29-year-old had been effective as the ballhandler in a pick-and-roll offense for Cleveland. He averaged 0.90 points per possession and was shooting 23-of-51 (45.1 percent) on PnR plays for the Cavs.
During the season he won Most Valuable Player, Rose averaged 10.0 possessions per game as the ballhandler in a pick-and-roll offense. He managed 852 possessions on this play type — 161 more than Russell Westbrook, who had the next-most in the league.
He has obviously lost more than a step since then, but it’s still how he is most used on offense. Thibodeau must keep this in mind when calling plays for the three-time All-Star in Minnesota.