Welcome to Court Vision, a weekly video-breakdown column on trends around the NBA that you might have missed.
Derrick Rose's resurgence
The former MVP eventually decided to continue playing, but he struggled off the bench and was unceremoniously dumped by Cleveland at the trade deadline before getting cut by Utah. Afterward, Rose was being offered 10-day contracts and it looked like his career was over. Only his former Chicago Bulls coach, Tom Thibodeau, was willing to throw him a lifeline, as Rose inked a veteran's minimum deal with the Minnesota Timberwolves.
At the time, it was inconceivable that Rose would become the second-leading scorer on the Timberwolves while piecing together his best campaign since 2011. But at 30 years old, he's averaging 19 points and 4.7 assists per game while shooting a career-best 49.3 percent overall and 46.9 percent from deep, making him the leading candidate to win Sixth Man of the Year.
Rose's pristine efficiency metrics are a reflection of his increasingly mature game. He's not barreling to the basket at 100 miles per hour anymore - instead relying on floaters and push shots to finish in the paint (as seen below) - and only turns on the jets when defenders play him too tightly. That allows him to take fewer hits, which has translated to his most healthy season in nearly a decade.
As a result of staying healthy, Rose's jumper also looks much better. His legs are finally under him again, making his shot less wobbly than when he'd generate power from his arms.
"I feel like I’m a different player. To adapt to this league now, you got to be able to shoot, period. I feel my game is more controlled and I have better pace to my game. I’m not out of control and reckless," Rose told Shams Charania of The Athletic earlier this season.
Granted, it's shaping up to be a tough race for Sixth Man of Year with Spencer Dinwiddie, Julius Randle, Dennis Schroder, and Lou Williams all in contention. But Rose's numbers stack up favorably to date, and his popularity could give him the edge if he keeps this up.
John Collins breaking out
That honor belongs to John Collins of the Atlanta Hawks, who doesn't get nearly enough hype. Last season's 19th overall pick is quietly averaging 18.6 points per game, and he's topped 20 in six of his last seven. Collins was slowed by an ankle injury to start the season, but he's now routinely leading the Hawks in scoring despite often landing in foul trouble.
Collins was a dominant pick-and-roll target as a rookie, and now he's expanding his game. His outside shot isn't as sharp this season, but he's making up for it with more off-the-dribble moves. Collins combines raw athleticism and delicate body control to consistently finish at the rim, while noticeably improving his handle.
The next step for Collins is the defensive end. He has just 10 combined steals and blocks in 15 games this season, which is inexcusable for someone with his physical gifts.
DeAndre Jordan slacking on D
On paper, Jordan's the same reliable double-double threat that he was with the Los Angeles Clippers. He's averaging 11 points on 62 percent shooting while snagging nearly 14 rebounds per game - right in line with his career averages.
But there's an inescapable streak of selfishness that comes with Jordan's game. Not only will he fight his own teammates to pad rebounding stats, but his formerly sterling defensive reputation is being exposed. The Mavericks allow 3.5 fewer points per 100 possessions with Jordan off the floor, and he's contesting less than 10 shots per game - putting him among the likes of Kris Dunn and Dinwiddie.
Perhaps it's due to getting older, but Jordan no longer exhibits the all-out hustle or the lane intimidation that he used to. Instead, he's just cruising along on his reputation.
The brilliance of Bogdan Bogdanovic
Bogdan Bogdanovic is the lone bright spot in an otherwise unplayable bench unit for the Sacramento Kings. Marvin Bagley scores off hustle plays and Kosta Koufos is surprisingly effective on defense, but it's Bogdanovic who's asked to do his best Manu Ginobili impersonation every trip down the floor.
Bogdanovic does the best with what he's given. He's not the most prolific outside shooter (just 30 percent on pull-up threes), but he's an excellent creator out of the pick-and-roll. The 6-foot-6 guard can see over the defense and has the ability to spray crosscourt passes with either hand.
Danny Green's ugly but effective post-ups
The Toronto Raptors have been forced to get creative due to a rash of minor injuries, which means role players are unexpectedly becoming the focal points of the offense.
For example, a limited 3-and-D wing in Danny Green is suddenly being recast as the second coming of Mark Jackson. Green's routinely bullying smaller guards in the post, and the Raptors are even dedicating entire sets to isolating Green while everyone else clears out:
Green scored over both Steph and Seth Curry with the same rudimentary post move in back-to-back games during Toronto's recent West Coast swing. It's certainly not the prettiest move, but Green gets the job done.