How much improvement has Derrick Rose made over last year to this year?
I posed that question to several All Stars this afternoon. Here are a few of the answers that they gave me ...
Carmelo Anthony, Denver Nuggets: "I think he's proven himself. I think early in the season, in the beginning, in the first two months, he was dabbling with a couple injuries and stuff like that, but the last month, month and a half, you can see he's getting his explosiveness back. He's playing the way he played in the playoffs last year."
Chris Paul, New Orleans Hornets: "Tremendously. It's all about confidence. The more games you play, the more aware you become. The more you understand where your shots are going to come from. Just watching D-Rose play now, he's a lot more decisive. He comes off that high ball screen now, he knows what point he needs to get to to knock that the free throw line jump shot."
Deron Williams, Utah Jazz: "I think he's improved a lot. He was a great player when he came in, but he's just a year seasoned now. Had the playoffs under his belt. He's more confident. He's having a great year, and he hurt for most of the first part of the year so there's no telling what kind of year he would of had if he wasn't hurt for the first part of the year."
Amare Stoudemire, Phoenix Suns: "I think one thing about Derrick Rose, as a rookie it's always kind of uptempo. It's kind of hard to stay under control. As your years go on, you start to slow down and really take [your time]. The game starts to slow down for you. I think that's one of the areas Derrick Rose has improved at is the fact that he's slowed himself down and is really taking his time on the basketball court. And going to his spots and areas where he can score and be effective."
Is he a guy you'd look forward to playing with either in Chicago or the Olympic team?: "Yeah, I'm pretty sure there will be opportunities to play with Derrick. He went to Memphis University, and I verbally committed to them when I was in high school. We got some little connection there. I definitely look forward to playing with him.
"Whether it's [in the] NBA season, whether it's All-Star games. Whether it's USA Basketball, what have you. He's definitely going to be a great player in the near future and best of luck to him with the injury."
Chauncey Billups, Denver Nuggets: "D-Rose is improving every year, man. He's a very dangerous player. There's really nothing that he can't do. And the one thing I love about him is that he wants to be the best. He's not going to stop. He wants to be the best. He's not going to be happy with just making the All Star game I don't think. He's going to be one of the guys that's going to be at this weekend 10 or 12 times, I'm sure."