Derrick Rose Returned to Knicks After Undergoing Surgery and His Mere Presence Lifted Team Despite Still Being Sidelined: ‘It’s Great to See Him Back in the Building’

The New York Knicks suffered a devastating setback in December when point guard Derrick Rose underwent surgery on his right ankle. The 2010-11 MVP had a plus-minus of +92 before going under the knife for the seventh time in his career. Rose was the most impactful player on the Knicks despite coming off the bench, as he had a box plus-minus (BPM) of 2.1, No. 1 on the team.

The Knicks have gone 7-5 since Rose went down. They are in 11th place in the Eastern Conference standings with a record of 20-21 and only averaging 104.2 points per game, 27th of 30 in the NBA.

Rose has been away from the Knicks since undergoing surgery since he was in a walking boot and needed to stay off his feet, but he recently returned to the club, and his mere presence lifted the team’s spirit even though he’s still a ways away from playing.

Derrick Rose rejoined Knicks at practice facility

Rose has rejoined the Knicks at their practice facility in Tarrytown, a village in the town of Greenburgh in Westchester County, New York. Although he’s not close to playing again, coach Tom Thibodeau and big man Taj Gibson are relieved to have the Chicago native back in person.

“It’s great to see him back in the building,” Thibodeau said, via the New York Post. “He’s moving around a little bit, [but] he’s still got a long rehab to go through.” Added Gibson: “I think his mindset is great. He was smiling, he was happy. He understands that it’s a process as far as getting mentally right, but making sure you can perform at 110 percent. And knowing where we’re at in the standings and we’re just right there and knowing he’s coming back, so we’ve still got some time to make up some ground. I think he’s on a positive note.” 

Rose is the most accomplished player on the Knicks. He’s a three-time All-Star and one-time MVP, so his voice carries a lot of weight in the locker room. While the Knicks should benefit from having Rose on the bench since he can give advice, nothing can replace him being on the court.

Knicks miss Derrick Rose’s scoring and playmaking

Rose averaged 12.0 points, 3.0 rebounds, and 4.0 assists for the Knicks in 26 games before getting hurt. He shot 44.5% from the field, 40.2% from beyond the arc, and 96.8% from the free-throw line while registering a player efficiency rating of 17.7.

The Knicks acquired Rose from the Detroit Pistons on February 8, 2021. They went 24-11 with the Memphis product in the lineup in 2020-21 and were 11-15 this season when he played before his ankle started bothering him. New York’s offensive rating dropped by 2.6 points when Rose wasn’t on the floor this season, and opponents saw their offensive rating rise by 7.6 points when Thibodeau took his veteran out.

New York is 12.8 points per 100 possessions better when Rose is on the floor running the offense. Thibodeau’s group pushes the pace more with Rose since he remains one of the fastest players in the league despite undergoing four knee surgeries. Sure, it’s great that Rose is around his teammates again to lift their morale, but there is no guarantee his return will lead to wins since he’s not playing.

Rose is still second on the Knicks in total assists and seventh in total points despite missing so many games. That speaks to how valuable the former Chicago Bulls superstar is and how poor the Knicks’ guard depth is.

New York certainly won’t rush Rose back since he has a documented injury history, but if the team continues to fall in the standings, there may be no point for the Windy City Assassin to come back at all.

Knicks don’t look like a playoff team


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If the season ended today, the Knicks wouldn’t even be in the play-in tournament. They have the same record (20-21) they had after 41 games last season, and the Knickerbockers finished the 2020-21 season with a record of 41-31.

However, the trade for Rose was the driving force behind their success last season. The Knicks probably don’t make the postseason if they don’t acquire D-Rose from the Pistons, which signals they most likely won’t reach the playoffs this season since Rose is out.

The Knicks are 22nd in the NBA in net rating. They were ninth last season when they finished as the fourth seed in the East. Rose is a fierce competitor who wants to play. However, he and his team should see where the Knicks are in the playoff race before deciding whether to come back or not once the guard is cleared to play by doctors.