Derrick Rose doing just about nothing for Team USA

Derrick Rose doing just about nothing for Team USA

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.

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  • I don't know, I'm not sure it really matters a lot. I think Rose is probably done as an elite player, but I think with team USA people will see whatever they want to see, so no point even caring. Rose attacks and you can discount it because he's playing against scrubs, Rose doesn't attack and he's useless, Rose opts out of the team USA and he's still scared to play, team USA cuts him and he's not good enough for a depleted roster.

    He's on a hiding to nothing no matter what here. I don't see a reason to care until the real season.

  • With all due respect, Doug, I don't see a point of judging Rose on a friendly game where he doesn't need to be the primary scorer, nor the primary ball handle. A lot of factors can determine the specific performance of the players in this case (as most of them played badly yesterday): time zone difference (jet leg), all players trying to adjust to each other, Rose not used to coming of the bench, or Rose being asked to defer to James Harden. What's important here is to notice that Rose is moving well with no hesitation, played a back-to-back game and he is having an opportunity to rust off his game. His health is more important than seeing him showing off his skills to the world in a mean-less game on the other side of the world. And to be honest, I would be fine if Rose is kept as a backup PG for the entire tournament, as long as he doesn't get hurt.

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    In reply to BullsDynasty:

    100% agree

  • Your content is usually pretty good Doug, but you really need the services of an editor to help you tighten up your prose.

    It's odd - most writers, amateur or not, are self-critical and outgrow such traits over the period of time you've been writing (even without the help of an editor) but you have yet to. As an example, today's essay is full extraneous phrases that need pruning because they inhibit the flow and readability of your ideas.

  • In reply to Go Bullz:

    Dude, are you serious? Doug's up at the ass-crack of dawn on a damn near daily basis, writing/posting these articles, before most of us are probably even out of bed, then heading off to his day job.

    "Tighten up your prose"; really? Sounds to me like you're tightened up enough for everyone here already.

  • In reply to BullsMan:

    Yes, I'm serious. And you're probably right - his writing does appear to be done in an early morning stream-of-conscience and off-the-cuff way. Some pre-planning, and perhaps every-other day or later in the day posting might rectify that.

  • In reply to Go Bullz:

    Yes, but this is a content blog. It's not espn. Doug is not a professional writer. Yes, there are errors, I see them, but given that he spits out this stuff daily and the content is interesting, I could care less...

  • In reply to Go Bullz:

    What's more annoying than anything is the unaccomplished interrupting our flow with tertiary bullshit. This is America and if you feel can outdo something, do it. Obviously there's something right being done here BUT YOU are one who's doing his own thing, so go somewhere else and play your game

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    I am not concerned at all about how he looks with Team USA as long as he stays healthy and shakes some rust off. The dude has played 10 games over the past two seasons so he's obviously not going to come out and dominate right away. Not to mention, he always plays like this on all-star teams and Team USA...because he doesn't have to be the go-to scorer.

    Rose looks fast and strong, and that's the most important thing. His game will come back as he gets more used to playing in real games. There's really no need to get so bent out of shape about how Rose looks in late August playing in the World Cup.

    If he looks good at times during the next 5 games, are you going to then going to overreact in the other direction? These games serve as nothing more than to attempt to get into game shape for the NBA regular season.

  • Hopefully these wrinkles will get worked out, but it is sort of concerning that Derrick hasn't said to himself "I'm a star player. Screw it, I'm better than Harden and Davis is still a year or two away. Why can't I be MVP?" and then act on it. Now, if he physically can't do it, that's even worse. Time will tell.

  • In reply to Hunter:

    I agree. Good way to put it. The passiveness may not be a big deal, but time will tell....

  • I wouldn't be too worried about this right now. Last season Rose fully participated in all of training camp, the entire pre-season (except one game), and then 10 games into the regular season was just beginning to show some signs of his old self.

    He's only played in a few games thus far for team USA, and has an entirely different role and expectations than what he would for Chicago. Nothing to see here.

  • I agree with Doug. The last go round with team USA Derrick averaged 7ppg. He shot 46%, but that was due to his layups mostly. Yes he went on to be league MVP, but his shooting mid range went down hill from his FIBA stint and moving forward. As a shy personage I really think he does better with guys he knows long term and where he's the clear leader as in go to guy.

    I disagree with Doug however that even without Derrick the Bulls would be favorites to make it to the ECF. Realizing this is perhaps the weakest ass Eastern Conference of all time, but even so they couldn't beat Washington or come close to it looking outclassed. This serious valuing of M&M really is putting the cart before the horse IMO. So many new players and who is supposed to integrate them(?): molder of men and rookies Tom Thibodeau. Of course it is possible Derrick stays healthy and Mirotic is ready to contribute right away. Both would be huge in them being tops in the East(along with the Cleveland LeBron's), but it's clearly a wait and see..

  • The overreactions I am hearing to an exhibition game are unbelievable.

    I think it would be better to just wait until the regular season before going to any Bulls blogs.

  • We get it Doug your a d rose hater. Why don't you find something new to write about instead of churning out a useless article everytime you get a chance to bash derrick rose It's getting pretty pathetic.

  • In reply to Lando:

    If you don't like the blog, don't read it. Your assessment of Doug as a "D-Rose hater" is inaccurate by the way. However, Doug has clearly been skeptical of Rose's ability to return to his pre-injured state, hard to blame him until proven otherwise.

    Besides, you sold out your friend and let him get frozen in carbonite.

  • I going to throw my heart in with the "not a big deal" crowd. Derrick started the 09-10 season coming off an injury and didn't really look like himself until about a month and a half in. Team USA is really the final don't in Derricks rehab it seems. I doubt they mind because they need the press. But it looks to me like Kyrie deserves to start so I'm glad they made that call. It's the best way to sit everyone's purposes. And I think they looked really cohesive start to finish against Slovenia with Kyrie at the helm. It was their best outing so far, no doubt.

  • I am somewhat concerned, but not too much based on:

    1. Rose was passive in 2010 for Team USA and followed it up with an MVP season.
    2. Rose has not played much in the last two years, so simply contributing like he is and not having a set back is most important.
    3. Physically, Rose looks pretty damn good and that's what's most important right now.

    How could he not be rusty? You don't miss 2 years and dominate Team USA. If he can complete Team USA and get through NBA training camp with no injuries, he'll be about as good as he's going to be by December, I would think. That's the big picture.

    I see no reason why he can't be his old self physically. It would be a mental thing, IMO. It does not appear that he's playing scared, but is he changing his game too much? Is he not attacking as much? Those would be reasons why his overall game would deteriorate. Rose is not a shooter, so if he starts to hang back and take jumpers, yes, he won't be the same guy. (Although, I really hope he has become a better shooter. I suspect that he has, but it's still not his game.)

  • I was a little disappointed in his game yesterday, but I'm not to concerned overall. I thought Davis and Farried were the only two to have good games. Everyone else seemed to be sleep walking. As said above, Rose doesn't usually force things in this kind of setting, always deferring to others. He took a few shots and missed. Did get to the line a few times. Was I hoping to see him go coast to coast and dunk from the foul line? Yes. But I know it wont happen.

  • It was also nice to see him take a spill once or twice and jump right up.

  • For some reason Rose never looks(or even tries to look) like the best player on the court in these all star type situations. This is clearly a function of his personality. However, right now we don't know if it is just that or if he isn't capable of dominating due to physical limitations. We are not likely to find out until the regular season starts.

    While it is disappointing to see his lackluster performance so far, he does appear to be 100% physically which is really the best thing that Bulls fans can hope to gain from his participation in team USA.

  • The author needs to get a grip. Anybody expecting Rose to not have rust right now after not playing for nearly 2 years? I don't. Anybody upset that he is not the "starter"? I am not, since other players are able to shoulder the workload and he can contribute from the bench. Is he the primary scorer on this team? No. The reaction to scrimmages on FIBA play? Really? Do we gauge the talent of a player by their role in the all-star game now? Rose never is the key player in this type of environment with a ton of NBA stars in exhibition play. He was not that guy in previous FIBA teams before his injuries, not this role on any all-star team when healthy either, etc. Now he had an injury and those that act like he was expecting to become 'that guy' after an injury (when he never was that guy) is insane. Get a grip. So, I don't get the trash talk and panic. Did these people not see Rose play healthy in these types of games before? If they did, then I don't get the commentary. If they didn't, then they need to be quiet since they are comparing this against NBA team play and it is not comparable. Yes, he had a crap night this time and missed the previous game in NY due to aches that were also expected. He did not look bad in the games before that given his role and what realistic expectations were (given his past exhibition play).

  • "Right now he's the Chris Duhon of Team USA." Doug you almost made me fall out the chair laughing after I read that. Sad, but there is truth to it. I had similar thoughts when watching that game, Rose just didn't appear to do much of anything other than run up and down the court. So far for a guy they've been selling to be elite again, he just looks like he doesn't belong. However I also understand he's still rehabbing from 2 major knee injuries and there might be a process they have him following.

    Even from the poor outings you can see he still has the ability, the problem I see appears to be the willingness. He doesn't look like he's looking to score at all. So i'm just gonna wait and see. Nice article btw.

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    If this article were true there's no way he would be on the roster after all of the cuts have been made

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    The best thing that playing FIBA ball has done for Derrick is to build his self confidence that he can run, jump and occasionally score on those fragile knees of his. Derrick Rose has said to the media how his game is going to different, and his confidence is at an all time high, but Derrick Rose tends to lie to the media a lot so I take his word with a grain of salt.

    It's really helping him to play alongside the NBA's elites, to practice with them, to share a plane ride with them, to feel like his old self again. Having Coach K and Thibodeau on staff certainly helps his desire to play on Team USA, but Rose is showing Bulls Nation the type of player that he'll be when the season starts in late October.
    Expect Rose to be more of a slasher without the ball, a distributor who'll look to drive & kick when the ball is in his hands, a spot up shooter, and a player who will rely on floaters instead of hard drives to the basket for And 1's.

    Rose still has to work to discover what works for him and it won't get any easier now that his reputation as one of the walking wounded has surpassed his reputation as a former MVP candidate. It's one thing having a bad game against Slovenia when your teammates can bail you out and win the game by a blowout, but it's another when the regular season starts, and his Bulls teammates lean on Derrick Rose to bail them out for wins.

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