Team USA is now 2-0 in the FIBA world championships.
They’re not going to draw comparisons to the Dream Team of 1992 or even the so-called Redeem Team of 2008…but they’re doing pretty well for a group widely (and rather correctly) referred to as Team USA’s “B” team. It’s been great to see these guys band together.
Now let’s talk about Derrick Rose.
In their 106-78 win over Croatia, Rose played 19 minutes and finished with 9 points (4-for-8, 1-for-3 from downtown), 2 assists and a rebound.
In their 99-77 win over Slovenia, Rose logged 21 minutes and had with 7 points (3-for-4, 1-for-2 in threes), 5 rebounds, 5 assists, a steal and a blocked shot.
Is Rose the alpha dog of this team? Nope. That would be Kevin Durant. But don’t be deceived by the seemingly average stats. When he’s been on the floor, Rose has controlled the tempo, imposed his will, and left defenders choking on his dust.
This is what Chris Mannix of SI.com said after Team USA beat Slovenia: “A star is born. A Derrick Rose-shaped star. Watching international opponents chase Rose in the open floor is like watching a Volvo try to keep pace with a Ferrari. With the U.S. defending the three-point line well (Slovenia connected on 20.8 percent of their threes) Rose was a monster in transition, scoring seven points and dishing out five assists, several of which went towards the U.S.’ 20 fast break points. In the halfcourt Rose and Russell Westbrook assaulted the rim almost at will; their speed and power with the ball completely overwhelmed Slovenia’s guards and their strength enabled them to overpower the big men at the rim.”
I’ve loved watching Rose play this summer. He made a seamless transition from The Man in Chicago to a bench player on Team USA before becoming the squad’s starting point guard after Rajon Rondo begged out. Mind you, Rose could be throwing up much bigger numbers. But it’s clear to see that all he cares about is winning. Numbers don’t matter to him. At all.
Listen to the coach. Carry out the game plan. Win. That’s Rose.
Man, the Bulls are lucky to have this kid.