Kevin Durant's departure has a subtle impact on Derrick Rose

Kevin Durant's departure has a subtle impact on Derrick Rose

Kevin Durant pulled out of Team USA this past Thursday leaving them without their all world scorer and in a somewhat more precarious position to win the gold in the World Championships. However, I don't really care if Team USA wins the gold at the World Championships, what I care about is how this impacts Derrick Rose.

He said he wasn't totally invested in the experience and needed time to prepare for the NBA season mentally and physically:

"This was an extremely difficult decision as I take great pride in representing our country," Durant said in a statement. "I know that I owe it to my USA Basketball teammates to be totally invested in the experience. After going through training camp with USAB, I realized I could not fulfill my responsibilities to the team from both a time and energy standpoint.

"I need to take a step back and take some time away, both mentally and physically in order to prepare for the upcoming NBA season. I will be rooting for USAB and look forward to future opportunities with them."

I'm sure it was, but I think the Paul George's injury caused that lack of investment awfully quick. That's not to call out Durant's choice of words. Seeing that type of thing and thinking "what if it were me" can get your head out of the game really quick.

I have no problem with any player reassessing their own basketball mortality after that gruesome injury. They have a lot to lose if they're hurt and need to weigh that risk, and this tournament doesn't really mean anything to the US fans whom only care about the Olympics.

It's a big loss for Team USA and perhaps an important loss for Derrick Rose. Not because he'll have to carry a heavier load or risk more injury, but he'll have that much less time to become buddies with Kevin Durant. He'll have that much less time to scrimmage against/with another elite player.

That's probably a pretty minimal impact, but that's probably the biggest impact that Rose will feel. Will Team USA still win? Probably. It's certainly not a lock, but I'd still take team USA over the field. They're still going there with an all-star team, and unlike the old days, it's an all team full of guys who fit the international style of play better.

Yeah, they lack a lot of size, but so does almost everyone else in Europe. They still have a big athletic advantage and a ton of shooting. Derrick's load won't increase by any notable amount with Durant's absence. I think if anything, more load for him would be a good thing.

However, all the real work he's getting in to prepare for the regular season is in the scrimmages. That's where he's going up against elite athletes. That's where he's playing guys with NBA tendencies. That's where he'll test himself against the very players he'll need to beat next season.

Cue Tom Thibodeau, because even without Durant, Team USA has more than enough to win. It's just a shame Derrick won't get to buddy up with Durant or have Durant push him in scrimmage any more.

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  • There's enough talent to scrimmage against and let's not pretend that Durrant is coming to Chicago.

    Rose's load just got heavier and that's a good thing. He's more than ready.

  • All I got to say is i just want Rose to be healthy and at his very best come October. If he feels that team USA can help him achieve that goal then he's got my total support. I just want one season that's not riddled with injuries and actually make it to the playoffs with the same team we began the season with everyone intact. I honestly feel if everyone can just be healthy we can win. Cleveland doesn't scare me. Lebron is the best player in the NBA but he's still no Michael Jordan so he can be beaten. When Derrick Rose is healthy he can make the argument for second best player in the NBA. Lebron James and Derrick Rose are both unguardable by ordinary means and it takes a team effort to defend against them. This is where I see the Bulls have the greatest advantage because we're the stronger defensive team hands down. Sure you can say the Cavs are better offensively with Irving and Love but that remains to be seen. We are more deep and have more weapons on both ends and Irving and Love will have to sit eventually and our bench can rival most teams starting 5. Then there's Miritoc and McD who are both promising and have experience to really make an impact right away. I think if nothing else team USA will only make Rose hungrier and that same hunger can be contagious for the Bulls and that's exactly what we need.

  • In reply to ajaychitown:

    Second best player in the NBA? I suppose that one can make that argument. However, if OKC or the Pels were willing to trade Kevin Durant or Anthony Davis for Rose I wouldn't think twice about it, assuming we could find a decent replacement for Rose via FA, the draft or a trade (using the players that Durant or Davis would replace).

  • Totally agree with your comment. Assuming no health issues, Bulls will be formidable this year and win all the way. I would edge Bulls vs Washington to go the the ECF before Cavs this year, given Wizards improvements. Also, don't forget the Bobcats hard nosed, defensive improvements who can also give the Cavs a challenge.

  • In reply to BullsDynasty:

    We are still a one shot creator offense. LeBron has shut us down before and I think the same half court attack the Heat used in the ECF will still work now. Bulls don't have the fire power to keep up with the Cavs and if they can in fact blow up our offense by taking Rose out then we will be run over.

    I have yet to see anyone else prove they can do anything on their own should teams half court trap Rose. Perhaps our team passing will be able to offset the lack of individual ability to drive we shall see. I just find it hard to take them as serious contenders until they prove they can beat the trap. If they can then I am jumping on the bandwagon.

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    In reply to Chad:

    Okay...LeBron did not shut the Bulls down. This is a myth perpetuated by the media. The Heat throwing multiple guys at Rose and trapping him was what shut the Bulls down.

    Also, the Heat defense all around was 100 times better than what this Cavs team even has the potential to be. The Cavs have two of the top 5 worst post defenders in the entire league in Kevin Love and Tristan Thompson. What is the Bulls biggest advantage? Their size. Not only that, but who is actually playing defense on the perimeter in CLE? LeBron is way overrated on that end and he'll be asked to do a ton more on defense now. Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters are awful defensively.

    Besides the 10 games last year, we haven't seen Rose play for 2 1/2 years so how can you talk about having "yet to see anyone else prove they can do anything on their own should teams half court trap Rose"? The Bulls also have 5 new additions to the team in Mirotic Gasol, McDermott, Brooks, and Snell. Literally none of these guys have ever played with Rose. Dunleavy and Jimmy Butler have barely played with Rose. So to assume that the Bulls can't match the Cavs because of what happened 3 seasons ago with different players is ludicrous.

    All the Bulls need to do to beat the trap is find the open guy. Unfortunately, back in 2011, the only great shooter on the team was Korver. Now, we have Hinrich, Brooks, Snell, Dunleavy, McDermott, and Mirotic. If Butler focuses on corner threes more (shot 42% on them last season), his percentages will go up too. There is so much versatility on this team. You can surround Rose with a bunch of defenders or a bunch of shooters or a mix of both.

  • In reply to Colin Spence:

    While I agree with the beginning of your post, that it was the Heat's "doberman" like defense that shut down Rose and destroyed the Bulls offense, please provide some evidence that Hinrich and Snell are "great" shooters. In addition to that, right now, we don't know if the M&M boys will be great NBA shooters especially in their first year in the league.

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    In reply to BigWay:

    Hinrich has shot 37.7% over his career from deep. Last year, his shooting was down, due to a horrid first half, but after the all star break..he hit 43.7% of his threes. He isn't an elite shooter, but he's definitely still above average and a guy that probably shouldn't be left open. I know Kirk gets a lot of criticism (and he honestly deserves it), but as a backup PG, he really isn't bad.

    I guess Mirotic and McDermott have to prove that they can shoot in the NBA but I see no reason why they'd be incapable of doing so. Mirotic played in the second best league in the world and hit nearly half of his threes. He's going to get open looks as a stretch 4. With McDermott, he isn't the focus of the defense anymore. Many of his threes are bombs from well behind the line. He is one of the most elite shooters in college basketball history.

    Snell needs to prove it as well, but he showed flashes last season. I don't think he was as polished as McDermott and Mirotic coming in, but a year in the NBA should result in a better understanding of the game. In 12 starts last season, he shot 39.6% from deep on 4.4 attempts per game. In the Summer League (yes, I know it's Summer League, but a lot of his shots were contested and he still made them), he made 17/34 three pointers.

    I honestly think the Bulls should start either McDermott or Snell alongside Butler. McD would be at SF if he started and Snell would be at SG if he started. This way, you get an experienced guy in Dunleavy back on the bench. Otherwise, you are bringing in Snell, McD, and Mirotic...all inexperienced guys...off the bench to play together. Also, Dunleavy is better off the bench at this point.

  • In reply to Colin Spence:

    Well said, although I'm holding my breadth on Snell...

    Hinrich a nice backup PG and respectable shooter.

    McDermott should probably start. Don't see why he and Mirotic can't be amongst the greatest shooters in the league over their careers. I The line is a step back, but the hoops are still 10 ft and these guys have range.

  • In reply to Chad:

    Lebron was only able to shut down Rose before because he had Wade to help. Wade is no longer a concern and your crazy if you think Irving can fill his shoes defensively. As it is, one on one Irving is no match for Rose offensively or defensively Rose can shut him down. Rose is bigger, quicker, stronger, more athletic, you name it. Irving is a good player but he's no Wade ( when healthy )

    I see what you mean on the trap but look at it this way. As a team we have survived without the franchise player off of sheer will and defense. This offseason we have gotten much better offensively. Not just a little but a lot better. I think the team we have this year can beat the wizards even without Rose. Sure Gasol isn't the player he once was but it's the presence that's most important, and no matter how you look at it he is huge upgrade over Boozer who hurt the team more than help. It's not just Gasol but we got a couple of damn good rookies. The only thing that I think could have made this offseason better ( besides getting Melo or Love ) would have been brining back D.J. Augustin, but Brooks isn't bad either.

  • In reply to ajaychitown:

    Brooks is far more accomplished in his NBA career than Augustin is -especially prior to his time with Thibbs. So l wouldn't swap him for DJ if I could.

  • If we couldn't pry Melo off a crap Knicks team lets not delude ourselves into thinking we have any chance at Durant who is on a better team than we could offer. Not to mention he already plays with a Derrick Rose clone in Westbrook. So if he wants out seems unlikely he would pick the one team with the exact type player he is escaping from...

    I am just glad Rose looks good by all accounts and hoping he can stay healthy this year.

  • I really don't see a guy coming off two knee surgeries with basically two years of rust coming in and performing at a high level. It's possible, but I'd be surprised if that was the case.

    If Derrick plays solid or better for Team USA that will be a good sign. I'd settle for staying healthy and improvement as the season progresses. If his shooting comes around, as in mid range, he will be at minimum a very good player once again. Let's see how he looks come March and more importantly how he performs in the playoffs.

    This team has so many new faces and question marks including Rose, Miro, McD, Butler, Gasol, and Snell. Not all new, but certainly wide ranging questions as to what level of efficiency and scoring these guys will bring. Should be exciting, but not guaranteed. Hopefully the two new NBA rooks will be contributors with one of the two a good offensive piece by mid season. That and Rose healthy and shooting at least decently will be huge. Along with over all team health. And hopefully Brooks is another Nate or near so with Klank being abducted by aliens never to be seen again.

  • In reply to RoadWarrior:

    I am a reasonably intelligent person and have never been a patient in a mental hospital (not yet), so I don't quite understand why the Bulls were so eager to re-sign Hinrich for two years at significantly above the vet minimum. I get that Kirk tries to play gritty defense and is seen by some as a good distributor. But really folks, does a player with a PER of 10+ deserve such consideration? Consider this under the rubric of "inquiring minds want to know."

  • Doug - I think your "Rose-Durant lost buddy time" thinking is not realistic. DRose has shown that he doesn't play well with other big stars in his sandbox. No way he tries to recruit someone who would eclipse his star in his hometown city.

    Rose wants to be the lead dog and will only buddy up with someone if he feels that guy is a clear #2. Its unfortunate but Rose's recent actions and thoughts clearly reflect this mentality.

    As much as Rose talks about championship, he wont sacrifice the superstar light for the sake of championships. He wants in on his own terms - with him being the lead dog.

  • In reply to ripiceman:

    What is your basis for any of this? What "recent actions and thoughts" are you referring to?

    And please don't cite Joe Cowley, tabloid journalist.

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    In reply to Roman F:

    This is exactly what I was thinking. Some people just irrationally hate Rose and anything written to support their position, they eat up. I think that's what this guy does.

  • In reply to Colin Spence:

    Please explain why as a Bulls fan and a DRose fan why I would "irrationally hate" on Rose? Thats irrational.

    But when the facts are presented, I dont allow my fandom to blind me to believing that Rose is infallible. While he's a tremendous talent on the court, I'm not a fan of Derrick Rose off the court - there have been too many missteps, too many bad people counseling him to make bad decisions, and he's still coddled and babied.

    LBJ has his team of cronies but LBJ is still in control of his business and of his brand. Simply put, Rose is not. I wish that Rose would open his eyes and see this but maybe he needs to mature - he's only 25.

    I'm rooting for Rose - that he comes to a realization that he can't do it by himself and he does need to reach out to a true fellow superstar to come on board to accomplish what he and the city of Chicago wants - a championship.

  • In reply to Roman F:

    The "recent actions and thoughts" are based on Derrick Rose and his actions/comments regarding recruiting Pau Gasol vs Carmelo Anthony. It has nothing to do with Joe Cowley's opinions but it does have to do with the events that transpired and the quotes Rose gave to Cowley's piece. This has been corroborated by David Schuster, KC Johnson and many of the Bulls beat guys. These are facts; not a smear campaign against Rose.

    To give a half-hearted pitch to someone who would have been able to instantly make you a championship contender. To blowing off part of the recruiting pitch (dinner) and not communicating to the people you work for. Thats unprofessional and comes off as childish. And it hurts your team's chances to add significant talent to your team to allow you to win a championship.

    But the opposite happened with Gasol. Rose got Gasol's number, called him, pitched him. Rose says it simply himself. "[Gasol is] someone that I knew I could play with." The inference is that Rose will pitch to those who he thinks he can play with, those who he thinks is good for the team, and at the heart of it - not take his spotlight.

    The problem I have with this is because if Rose is going to determine who he wants to play with - then either he's doing a crummy job picking guys or he should be GM. I'm OK with superstars dictating who they want to play with because thats the league today but most true superstars are not thretened by other stars. But Rose is trying to play GM by undercutting GarPax's ability to do their job. Melo might still have chosen to go back to play for NY even if Rose did his part but the Rose standoffishness didn't help at all.

    I can't explain this any more. I'm not a "hater." I have no reason to be one. But if you can't see Rose's shortcomings and inability to manage his image or his people off the court, then you're just chugging Koolaid.

  • In reply to ripiceman:

    Dan Bernstein, is this you? I was almost positive of it when you called Rose a "punk" in another post.

  • In reply to JPesos1230:

    I'm not a Dan Berstein fan. I do agree with him on his take of the D Rose situation. Not completely; but a majority of it. The facts and quotes that have come out corroborate Bernstein's views so I lean that way.

    DRose is a punk - in the sense that he is a young, immature man who is ignorant to the realities of his life and has a false sense of entitlement or grandeur and is expressive about it.

    Rose came into the league as a humble, hardworking kid who knows he has to go a long way to be great - very likable and a guy you would want to root for. But ever since he has won his MVP, he believes that he is the MAN. Recent intervies, he talks about being an "Icon" and still a great player in the league at a time when he's missed the last 2.5 years due to injury. Why talk so brashly and loudly about your greatness when you haven't had a chance to prove it? Why talk about what you're going to do this year when you haven't been healthy the last 2 years? What happens if you get injured again?

    Rose is still a hardworker (love that about him) but obviously, the people around him have inflated his ego and he has a much larger than life ego and perception about himself. It would be tolerable if he were proving it. Instead of coming back quietly and proving the doubters wrong, he's put the mark on his back and talking big before he can prove he can get through an entire season without a major injury. Its bad advice and a bad look but I dont think he knows any better.

  • I doubt KD came to his decision alone. Players want to play. It was a scary injury but I don't think it would scare Durant of the court unless he got some push from the Thunder front office. Completely understandable choice though , no matter whose idea it was to withdraw.

  • Even though you say it was just a minimal benefit, I don't see the loss of Durant as being a situation where Rose loses any benefit. If it is playing with sensational elite type players, there are not that many out there. And when it comes to knowing Durant, it appears from comments all along that they do know each other, whether they are buddies is a different question.

    Also, if you go back a couple of years ago, there were reports of sensational workouts between Rose and Westbrook. Durant is not guarding Rose and vice versa. It is more about getting Rose the opportunities to go against elite guards on a regular basis such as Irving, Lilliard, and Curry and being able to perform at an elite level. That has not changed.

    I would rather see Rose going up against Irving, Lilliard, and Curry in practice on a regular basis for these next few weeks under the tutelage of Coach K and Thibs. This is a much better situation than just coming in to training camp and going against Hinrich and Aaron Brooks to get ready for the new NBA season. Even when the NBA season starts, Rose will not be playing with an elite forward like LeBron or Durant. Instead he will hopefully be playing with great shooters in McD and Mirotic and possibly Snell. And the US team has great shooters like Curry, Thompson, and Korver for Rose to get used to seeing how to set them up again like he used to do for Korver when he was on the Bulls.

    Also, Rose will be playing with athletic and decent post-up players on Team USA like Davis and Cousins which are similar to Noah and Gasol. That is why I like the overall experience for Rose. Of course, no one wants him to get hurt. But that could happen if he were at home playing in a pick-up game with NBA talent. Heck, Boozer hurt himself tripping over a bag going into his home.

    Still the loss of Durant does not have any impact to me. In fact, it is better because Rose won't be playing with such a talent when the Bulls get back on track this season. This USA basketball experience is about playing daily against elite guards, being in a competitive environment trying to win with having somewhat of a scoring load, and trying to set up elite shooters and get the ball into an athletic big like Davis or a decent post-up player like Cousins. Hopefully a great experience for Rose going into training camp.

  • Great observations about the benefits of Rose playing for Team USA.

    "Heck, Boozer hurt himself tripping over a bag going into his home."

    I still contend that was a lie. I've had a boxer fracture, and it was the result of punching. I would love for Boozer to fess up now that he's off the Bulls, but he won't.

  • In reply to Jmax:

    Right, I'm sure we'll hear the real story about that someday...

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