Derrick Rose still can’t make a shot to save his life, but thankfully he’s only a role player on this year’s Team USA that is four wins away from capturing the championship of the 2014 FIBA World Cup of Basketball.
The most important detail for Bulls fans so far is that Rose made it through playing five games in six days in perfect health. He has looked to be 100% physically so far, and according to quotes posted by Bulls.com’s Sam Smith, that’s all that really matters to Derrick Rose and to Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau:
Derrick Rose quotes:
conditioning wise and how I’ve been playing defense and low turnovers the last couple games, I’m loving the way that I’m playing.
This is a new ball. This is not the NBA ball. I could see if I was missing these shots and it was the NBA, it would be something totally different. I think everybody is having a little struggle with shooting these balls because one little twitch in your finger or whatever, it’s going a whole other direction. It’s lighter, slippery.
I know that’s why I’m missing is because of conditioning. I’m in good condition. But to be in condition to play defense like that full court and still have legs under you for the shot, that’s my thing. But I’m not worried about it at all.
Tom Thibodeau quotes:
I thought his defense was terrific. He’s not making shots right now. But each day he’s gotten more and more comfortable. Doing a good job running the team and we just want him to continue to concentrate on his improvement. But physically he feels great.
When you miss two and a half years of playing, there’s rust you have to shake off. Right now his shot is not falling, but that will come. He’s more of a scorer than he is a pure shooter. We know he’s a great driver and a great finisher. So right now his drives have been explosive and great. The ball just hasn’t gone in for him.
I’ve read quite a few comments from Bulls fans over the course of FIBA World Cup pool play, worried about Derrick Rose’s horrible field goal percentage and the fact that he’s not dominating the competition.
As I mentioned in my last article, Derrick’s game just isn’t made for FIBA ball. It wasn’t in 2010, and it wouldn’t be now, even if he were 100% healthy and hadn’t missed all but 10 games the last two seasons.
But if you really want to worry about Derrick’s play in the World Cup leading to a lack of success for the Bulls this season, then you have to be consistent and look at Pau Gasol’s FIBA play so far.
Gasol is tied for third in scoring so far in the tournament, averaging 21.2 points in only 25.8 minutes. So if you believe that Rose’s poor play is any kind of indication that he will struggle in the upcoming NBA season, you’d be an idiot to not also believe that Gasol is going to challenge for NBA Most Valuable Player this season.
As with most subjects you’ll find discussed online, the actual truth lies somewhere in the middle.
So just sit back, watch and enjoy the next three Team USA games – the next challenge will almost certainly come in the tournament final, when the world #1 ranked Americans take on world #2 ranked Spain in what should be the best game of this tournament.