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.
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.