In Team USA’s 121-66 win over Angolo, Derrick Rose hit back-to-back three-pointers to start the third quarter. Those treys pushed the lead to 71-38.
I guess you can’t really call Derrick’s double-triples “daggers” or “knock-out blows” considering the magnitude of the U.S. lead. Angola was already toast. Badly burned toast at that. Still, it showed how much confidence Rose has in his new weapon. Something he stressed to David Haugh of the Chicago Tribune:
“It’s something I’ve been working on over the summer with my trainer Rob (McClanaghan), and over here I stay after practice and take lots of reps shooting NBA threes. Now when I’m open or need to shoot it, I will because I am confident it’ll go in.”
For the game, Rose went 3-for-4 from downtown, finishing with 9 points, a co-team-high 6 assists and 2 blocked shots in 21 minutes. Currently, there are no stats for the leadership he’s been demonstrating, but it’s worth noting. As Haugh pointed out, Rose is telling guys like Chauncey Billups and Lamar Odom what to do.
Those guys have three NBA titles between them, by the way.
Said Rose: “It’s funny because I’ll call something out and it’ll work and they’ll tell me, ‘Good call.’ It’s kind of weird because they think it’s nothing to say that, but for a young player like myself, it’s huge. It’s still kind of weird to have to do that, but it’s preparing me for the future.”
Chicago fans hope that future includes a leap to superstardom (or even superduperstardom) and leading the Bulls to championship contention. The experience he’s getting right now should help with that, even if Kevin Durant is getting all the headlines and Eric Gordon is scoring more points.
The leap is necessary if the Rose/Boozer/Noah/Deng combo is going to match up with Kobe/Gasol/Odom/Artest, LeBron/Wade/Bosh/whoever, and Garnett/Pierce/Allen/Rondo/Shaq/etc.
That’s a pretty tall order.
I have to admit, I’ve been kind of nervous about Rose traveling the world and balling all summer. I don’t want him to suffer some freak injury or be worn out by the start of the NBA regular season. But I really think this experience will push Derrick’s development in ways that vacationing and even playing for the Bulls can’t.
I mean, he gets to see the world (Said Rose: “There’s a bridge by our hotel that connects two continents, can you believe that? If I go out the back by the pool, I can see Asia. That’s crazy.”), hobnob with NBA champs (“I was just asking Lamar (Odom) how it was, playing in a championship game, and he was saying it’s totally different.”) and — assuming Team USA stays on target — win a Gold Medal.
Those are the kinds of experiences that can make a boy a man…or an All-Star a Superstar.