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Derrick Rose shooting problems begin at the rim

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While Derrick Rose’s knees have looked as healthy as they’ve been since his MVP season, his shot has never looked more ill.

Most think it’s just a matter of him finding his rhythm and fixing his outside shot to raise his percentage from a career-low 35.4 percent, but a closer look at the stats reveals that’s not at all the problem.

Yes, he’s been bricking from long range (9-for-41 on threes), but he’s never been a knock-down shooter from the arc—30 percent for his career.

No, Rose’s bread and butter has always been slashing to the basket, and this season he has never been worse at finishing at the rim.

Throughout his career, Rose has been about a 55 percent shooter within five feet of the rim. This season, Rose is shooting a dismal 40.4 percent at the rim. It can’t help that he hasn’t dunked since April.

Some thought when Rose came back from breaking his orbital bone in the preseason that he would shy away from taking the ball inside. Not true. Rose is taking more shots at the rim (37.4%) than any other season except for his rookie year.

So when will the Bull find his eye?

Rose, who has worn a mask all season to protect the broken orbital bone, could be a little gun-shy when driving into the paint. He has shrugged off the double-vision that bothered him earlier in the season.

It also doesn’t help that refs rarely send the powerful guard to the free throw line. Rose has shot one free throw in the last two games and has been shut out at the charity stripe four times. Still, that’s been no bargain for him either, where he’s shooting a career-low .762.