The Cleveland Cavaliers suffered one of their worst losses of the season against the New York Knicks. As if taking an embarrassing 19 point loss against his former team wasn’t enough, Tyronn Lue takes a subtle shot at Derrick Rose.

Rose doesn’t want to be a scorer.

When Rose was first signed as the Cavaliers, he was supposed to be the backup guard who could score and push the pace. With Isaiah Thomas out with his hip injury, that put a lot of pressure on Rose to prove himself. However Rose is done trying to prove others wrong, he’s put his MVP days behind him.

“I was in a dark place years ago, man,” Rose said to ESPN. “By a dark place, I mean, I was playing, like, revenge basketball, and that wasn’t my way of playing basketball.

David Petkiewicz, cleveland.com(David Petkiewicz)
“I enjoy competing, but when I came back it was about just trying to get back to the top and proving everybody wrong. Like, I know who I am as a man, I know who I am as a player or person. There’s no point in doing that anymore. It’s just being secure as a person and knowing who I am.”

Is Rose actually playing his regular style of basketball though, or is he trying to be something he’s not? Lue said too many players deferring to LeBron. “You’ve got to come in and be who you are.” via Rick Noland.

The Cavs head coach possibly made a subtle comment towards Derrick, and he’s right. The reason Rose was signed was to be a leading scorer off the bench. Coming off the Knicks averaging 18 points and 4 assists, Rose wasn’t looked at as a playmaker. Despite what the numbers may say, the Cavaliers guard said this.

“I get to play my game,” said Rose. “Before I made it to the league I think I was a facilitator. The NBA made me into a scorer. I had to score my first year with the Bulls, and I think you’ll be able to see my passing abilities once I’m here. My job is to facilitate, be aggressive at the same time, be a threat always when I get the ball.”

Derrick clearly has a different mindset on what he wants to bring to the team. For some reason, Rose has made it his goal to show off his passing ability. Notably, the Chicago native hasn’t averaged over 5 assists since the 2011-12 season. So why does Rose want to be a playmaker instead of the scorer he was signed to be?

A Rose trying to fit in?

Firstly, Rose could be intimidated by the fact he is playing with the King himself, LeBron James. Playing with one of the best players in the world should relieve stress on Rose, but it makes him worse. Rose is playing a submissive type of basketball, where he looks to find the best players. Usually, when Rose gets the ball he’s expected to make an explosive play that can draw in defense and create space for others, or he’ll do a crazy acrobatic lay-up.

Now he’s handing off the ball to James, Kevin Love and Dwyane Wade and letting them create their own shots.There are not many plays being run, so most plays end up becoming an isolation play. As of now, the Cavs don’t have much chemistry, there’s lots of turnovers and people standing around waiting for… something.

To be clear, Rose is playing a very passive style of basketball right now. It’s not benefitting him because Rose is not a pass-first guard like he’s trying to be. A couple years ago it would be a natural instinct for Rose to get the ball and sprint down and create a shot for himself. He could’ve been swayed away from this due to the refs not giving him foul calls he deserves, or because it’s apart of that “dark place” he was in.

Do what you do best.

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