After playing in 81 games and winning the MVP award in the 2010-11 season Derrick Rose only played in 39 games during the strike shorten season before blowing out his knee in game 1 of the playoffs. He missed the entire 2012-13 season and managed to play in only 10 games this past season.
It came as a surprise to some that he would be invited to participate in the team USA training camp. The media was all over him during practice and he looked good. The guy has been working out for a while and it would only make sense for him to look good during practice.
The real test came when he played in the scrimmage game in Vegas. From the start you could see that he was still quick and explosive. He threw down this nice two handed dunk that really got the crowd into it.
Throughout the process of making the team Rose only missed one game in New York for rest. He came back and played in the second game in New York. He was no longer the starter but that was a good thing for Rose. He didn’t need the added pressure of being a starter.
If you look at the World Cup stats for Rose they won’t blow you away. In the first game against Finland he scored 12 points but had five turnovers. He was sloppy and rusty. The stats don’t really matter for Rose during this tournament.
He has struggled to score during the tournament but that’s not his job on this team. He still looks healthy, fast, and explosive. He is more rusty than anything. If you watch him play he can still get in the lane but he’s missing layups and floaters. His crossover and change of direction is still smooth and quick. On the defensive end he is putting the effort in to pressure ball handlers and fight over screens.
This World Cup is the best thing to happen to Derrick Rose. Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau is on the staff so he gets to keep an eye on him throughout this process. They don’t have to wait until training camp to see how he feels. They don’t have to hold him out of practice and be cautious before the season. Playing against real competition before training camp will help Rose in the long run.
During this World Cup he has played in back to back games. He also played in three games in three nights. His best game was against Slovenia, he was 6-10 for 12 points and he also had 5 assists. Again the numbers don’t matter because he needs to get his timing back. If you remember he struggled to get his timing back in his first few games of last season.
The U.S. advanced to the gold medal game that will be played on Sunday. Win or lose the tournament has been a success for Derrick Rose on so many different levels. Fans should not watch the box score in these games; just watch the way Rose moves. He will be ready for the start of the NBA season.