It appears that Rose has lost his starting job to Kyrie Irving, and it also appears much of the early hype about Rose playing great in Team USA camp was vastly overstated. We've now seen Rose play in three games, and we haven't seen much of anything.
His offense has been gone. Rose himself said he's not looking for his offense, but he's not looking to even attack and set up other guys to play offense. His defense has been spotty, especially against Slovenia in the final tune up game yesterday.
His passing has been nondescript. He typically crosses half court, dumps the ball to Harden, and watches the "best all around player in the NBA" play some ISO ball and force a shot. He doesn't seem to be going hard on the break, occasionally missing opportunities to get out for easy buckets, and all in all, it's not much of a confidence builder.
I'd have to say at this point, it appears Team USA kept him as a favor more so than because he was playing great. After the Paul George incident, I think Team USA needs Rose to rehabilitate with Team USA and get his game back on track. They need a PR win for the players about how playing internationally can help you rather than just wreck your NBA season.
If Rose shows some steady improvement with Team USA and ends up with a good season this year for the Bulls then he can become that story for them. However, watching Derrick play I'm beginning to wonder if he's getting anything at all out of playing in these games and scrimmages. His play is so passive, so different than what he needs to do for Chicago, that the value derived from it is questionable.
He's not going to find his offensive rhythm averaging maybe five shots a night and virtually never even attempting to attack the basket. He's not taking advantage of openings, and any thoughts that he's simply playing coach K's offense and doing what is asked should be mitigated by the fact it appears he lost his starting job to Irving who clearly isn't doing this.
This doesn't make it time to panic about Rose overall. He very clearly has a lot to work through in order to get prepared to play against legit talent again. He'll also have plenty of time to work through it before the season starts, and the Eastern Conference is so weak that I'd pick the Bulls to make the ECF if Rose decided to retire on opening day.
However, it does call into question whether playing for Team USA is the right decision for Derrick or the Team. Right now, I'm not sure anyone is being helped by this situation. Hopefully Rose can ditch his "I'm just here to pass the ball and defend" attitude and start playing with a star mentality again.
That doesn't mean he needs to just chuck shots up, but it means he can do more than hand the ball to James Harden and go stand in the corner. He can beat guys off the dribble and make plays happen with a pass. He can still play as a pure PG and cause havoc on the court. Right now he's the Chris Duhon of Team USA, and it's not helping anyone.
Filed under: Uncategorized