Derrick Rose might be rusty and still not 100 per cent but his head coach with the Chicago Bulls is already excited about the prospect of finally seeing him back to his old self. Rose suited up for the USA basketball national team, which hosted the NT from Brazil last Saturday as both teams prepare for the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup in Spain later this August.
"It's a step-by-step process. He's steadily getting better," Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said via USA TODAY after watching Rose play well in a tune-up game against their American rivals. "I love the way he's playing. He's showing some rust. But his explosiveness is back and he's playing well on both sides of the ball."
The game vs. Brazil marked the first time Rose has played in a highly-competitive game and also his first game back in the Bulls’ home arena since a knee injury on November 2013.
Like Thibodeau, the fans at the United Center in Chicago were excited in cheering for their franchise player and cheered Rose starting from his pre-game speech until the end of the game.
Statistically, Derrick Rose was not as impressive scoring just 7 points in 24 minutes of action. The Bulls point guard also added 2 assists and a blocked shot but had 3 turnovers. However, Rose as with all the NBA and Team USA fans, are just glad that he’s back on the floor against high-quality opposition.
"I'm playing the way I normally play in the trials," Rose said in an ESPN article. "Push the ball, play defense and get guys shots. When the shot is available, take the shot, and I think that's what I did tonight. I had one or two turnovers, but that could easily be changed."
Anthony Davis (New Orleans Pelicans) led USA in scoring with 20 points and added 8 rebounds and 5 blocked shots. James Harden (Houston Rockets) had 18 points on 11-of-11 free throw shooting and 5 assists. Kenneth Faried (Denver Nuggets) and Klay Thompson (Golden State Warriors) added 11 and 10 points, respectively.
Tiago Splitter of the San Antono Spurs top-scored for the losing side with 18 points.
Watch the highlights of Team USA vs. Brazil:
Watch highlights of Rose in the exhibition match vs. Brazil:
(YouTube/ Ashok Gamer)
Derrick Rose will look to prove that he’s back to his old healthy and explosive self again when Team USA plays in two other exhibition games before the start of the FIBA Basketball World Cup. The Americans face Dominican Republic on Aug. 20 and Puerto Rico on Aug. 22 both at the Madison Square Garden in New York.
Derrick Rose will be one of the key players for Team USA which will participate in the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup in Spain scheduled from Aug. 30 to Sept. 15, 2014.