So far this season, the Chicago Bulls star point guard Derrick Rose has put on a rare display of basketball prowess. His 26.6 points per game, 8.2 assists per game, and 4.6 rebounds per game put him among the Association’s must productive players. Those stats also mirror some of the greatest seasons played by ball handlers in NBA history. Only four players have completed a season with at least 26 points, 8 assists, and 4 rebounds per game. They are LeBron James, Michael Jordan, Jerry West, and Oscar Robertson. Robertson did it 8 times. The rest have done it once.
Though these season span different eras, we can approximate a measuring stick and apply it to each individual season. To get a rudimentary sense of the rate of production we can divide the sum of field goal attempts and free throw attempts by the number of total minutes played by one team per game (no official totals for this prior to 65). We can call this the Offensive Rate (oRATE). Next, we calculate the Trinity (TRIN) by totaling points, rebounds, and assists. Divide the Trinity by the Offensive Rate, and the result is True Trinity (tTRIN), a measure of the un-inflated value of at least 26 points per game, 8 assists per game, and 4 rebounds per game that season . . . more or less.
As you can see in the chart, Rose’s performance thus far is comparable to that of West and Robertson, but not quite up to that of James and Jordan. Take it all with a grain of salt. The sample size for Rose is small, and the adjustment is being done via a basic formula. However, watching the games does back up the data analysis. Rose is commanding games on offense and driving the Bulls towards real success, as they are currently challenging Boston and Orlando for best in the East.