Derrick Rose scores 12 points, Team USA rolls - Pau Gasol has 33 as Spaniards win easily

Derrick Rose scores 12 points, Team USA rolls - Pau Gasol has 33 as Spaniards win easily

Derrick Rose looked great at times, and he looked bad at times, but overall he looked pretty good as Team USA destroyed Finland 114-55 in their opening game of the 2014 FIBA World Cup of Basketball.

Rose didn't start, but he played a team-high 23 minutes off the bench in his first competetive game since Novermber of 2013. Although "competetive game" is a misnomer in this case, as the Americans held Finland without a field goal in the second quarter, outscoring their overmatched opponents 29-2 on their way to a 60-18 halftime lead.

USA vs Finland Game Highlights

Rose wound up scoring 12 points on 3/8 shooting (1/2 from behind the arc) and 5/5 from the free throw line. He showed the explosion that all Bulls fans were hoping to see, and his +42 was the best +/- rating on the team.

On the negative side, he had a team-high five turnovers, but mostly they came on passes where he tried to thread the needle for a highlight-reel play, as the game was never in doubt competitively.

All in all, Derrick Rose played OK for a guy who hadn't taken part in a real game in nine months. Today we find out how Derrick Rose handles playing on consecutive days as the Americans battle Turkey (2:30 PM CT, ESPN). I don't expect the Turks to give Team USA much more of a game than Finland did, as they were down by 10 at halftime before rallying to beat New Zealand by three points on Saturday.

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NBA Images

If there is one other player Bulls fans are keeping track of in the World Cup, it's Pau Gasol - and he did nothing to disappoint in his first game. The Spaniards easily beat Iran 90-60, and Gasol led the way with 33 points in only 29 minutes. He hit 12/20 from the field and 9/10 free throws while adding eight rebounds and three blocked shots, showing that he is still one of the most skilled big men in the world.

USA vs Finland Box Score

Spain vs Iran Box Score

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NOTE: My long time readers know by now that I usually take a couple of weeks off in the summer to recharge my batteries and give my brain a break. I took a month this year, but I have been busy working on a new design for Bullsville.net, and I am also putting together a bigger project involving all of Chicago's professional sports teams since most Bulls fans are also Bears fans, Cubs (or Sox) fans, and Blackhawks fans. I am hoping to unveil it by next weekend, I think it's something Chicago sports fans will love. Stay tuned.

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    Don Ellis started covering sports professionally when he was 15. The same year (1980), as a student assistant at Seeger Memorial High School in West Lebanon, IN, he was one of the first in the world to use, study and implement analytics in basketball. He attended Daytona State College and Ball State University, and some of his past credits include InsideHoops (NBA Runaround: The NBA According to Ellis) and ESPN Florida (The Florida Sports Reporters), where he was fortunate enough to work with many rising stars, including NFL Network's Dan Hellie, Redskins coach Jay Gruden, Magic radio and TV personality Dante Marchitelli, and WSB-TV (Atlanta) Sports Director Zach Klein. In addition to running the Bullsville blog and officiating basketball, baseball and football for the KHSAA, he is also a bass player and vocalist who writes and produces music in his spare time (you may remember his internet hit "I Hate Eddy Curry"). He's a 3rd-generation Cubs fan, a Bulls fan since the days of Van Lier and Sloan, and a life-long New England Patriots fan. He's seen Primus 9 times and thinks Les Claypool walks on water. By far his greatest accomplishment is being a father of three and grandfather of one.

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