I have personally thrown cold water on Derrick Rose's possible recovery lots of times. I've pointed out that effectively no one misses two years of NBA career due to injuries and comes back to play at the same level. We won't know what Rose can do until the NBA season starts, but Team USA is a stacked group of elite players, and Derrick Rose went from "will he make it to 90/10 starter" according to John Schumann.
As noted in today’s story about Durant and George, those two and Davis are locks to start for this team. I’d guess that Rose looks really good (like 90/10) to start at point guard and Harden is the most likely starter (65/35) at the two. Curry is the other possible starter at either guard position.
Earlier reports had Derrick Rose as the best player at team USA camp and the most tenacious defender. Coach K gushed about him on the NBA TV program on Tuesday, and so for all the cold water I've thrown on Derrick's health, it may be getting to kool-aid time instead.
Bulls fans wondering if Rose would be too rusty, too slow, too something to even make the team now have had three days reading about how he's kicking ass, and it's not just by people who are pumped writing about the Bulls, but the neutral reporters just taking notes on Team USA overall, the coaches who have to talk about everyone, the other players there.
Rose is a big story, and team USA camp is somewhat of a PR machine, you don't hear any negative quotes about anyone, and since Derrick is the most talked about player there due to the injuries, he has the most positive quotes said about him. Still, the fact that he's on track to be the starter actually means something.
Team USA doesn't have a huge incentive to prioritize Rose over anyone else. He's never been an elite player for them, and given his age and injury history, you wouldn't project him to play for more than maybe three more events. There'd be every reason to try and suck up to the younger PGs competing against Rose as well, especially given that they generally are better shooters (except Wall) who would appear to fit the international game more.
Yet, Derrick has come in and made his mark on the camp. Given the meniscus is a lesser injury to recover from, I'd wonder if Rose simply feels better physically this time around. I'd also speculate that Derrick is more invigorated about the roster this season than in the past.
The Bulls enter the year as possibly the favorites in the East and have added a plethora of offensive options. Joakim Noah and Taj Gibson's offensive games have matured over the past couple seasons with Rose out, and the roster actually has plenty of shooting on it for the first time since Rose's rookie year.
This is the most complete, balanced, skilled team, that Chicago has had since the Jordan era, and judging by the quotes by everyone inside and outside the organization, I expect Derrick has to be excited to lead it, excited about a legitimate shot at the title rather than just his own recovery.
Fans can discuss the things they may have done differently this season, and maybe there were other options, but it's hard to complain too much about any off-season that has you looking at your team thinking "we're won of the top 5 teams in the NBA and much better than last year". That's where the Bulls are at, and with new around Derrick Rose looking really positive the missing piece in whether or not Chicago can actually do this thing might fall into place.
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