Take a long look at this picture as I ask a question. When the FIBA World Cup tryouts started, which one of these players from Chicago did you think was going to be the star? Derrick Rose or Anthony Davis? Think about it then keep reading.
Well Pippen Peoples the exhibition play is over as the U.S. men’s national team rolled Slovenia 101-71 Tuesday in Spain. The star of the game was a Chicago native scoring 18 points and blocking four shots in a dominating performance.
No not Derrick Rose! I’m talking about Anthony Davis. Yeah, the tall dude running in the back. He treated the Slovenia shots like they were flies. Anthony Davis has been the story of the exhibition and he is staking his claim as the star player on the US team heading into group play. Boy what a difference a couple of years makes. Oh, this is a Chicago Bulls website, so I should talk about Derrick Rose’s exploits during the exhibition season. Let’s see where do I start?
Well I can talk about how Rose told the media that there was tension between his camp and the Chicago Bulls.
I can talk about how Rose recanted the story.
I can talk about how Derrick Rose’s return to the court in the Blue/White scrimmage where he was very successful scoring early finishing with seven points.
I could talk about Derrick Rose sitting out the 105-62 win over the Dominican Republic because of “body fatigue” and “general soreness” according the Chicago Tribune.
Other than these things, what has Derrick Rose done of substance? I’ll wait.
Okay, you’re right. Why bring up old stuff. Let’s talk about the game shall we? In 20 minutes against Slovenia, I can see that things are looking a little strange if I’m a Chicago Bulls fan. Let’s take a look at Derrick Rose’s line for the game.
Derrick Rose scored three points, with one rebound, one assist and three turnovers. He did not make a shot from the field which matches the total of everyone reading this column. He did get to the line six times which means he was aggressive but he missed half of those. Ugh.
His counterpart in the backcourt, Kyrie Irving looked very good against Slovenia. Kyrie finished with 13 points and looked very comfortable out on the court. Coach K has said that the two will rotate starting at point guard, but if this keeps up, Irving is going to be the guy that finishes.
In the three games that Derrick Rose played in, he is averaging 5.3 points, 2.3 rebounds and 2.3 assists in 19.3 minutes. Let’s take a closer look at that. If Rose’s best game was the first scrimmage, this means that there has been a steady decline over the last two games. The turnovers has been a problem from the beginning. This happens to be the second game in a row that Rose has been at a minus with the assist to turnover ratio. Derrick Rose is going to have to deal with this problem before the medal rounds if he wants to be out on the floor in crunch time when the game is on the line.
Have we seen flashes of brilliance from Rose? Sure. He made the United Center go nuts crossing over that poor Brazilian guy on the way to the basket. He had three nice plays in the scrimmage. Okay, but is this a guy getting ready for the NBA season or the And One Mixtape Tour? A couple of electrifying moves does not make a comeback.
This is not to say that Derrick Rose cannot make a contribution when the FIBA World Cup starts later on this week. That is no way what I’m saying right now. But looking at the body of work during the scrimmages leaves something to be desired. Hopefully his experience from 2010 will be an asset when the U.S. squad won gold in Turkey.
For Bulls fans who seem to think that Chicago has the potential to take the title this year, I have two words for you.
Sure, Derrick Rose is getting his bearings back and it has been two years since he has had some serious competition, but the season is coming. The rest of the NBA would love to see the stats Derrick Rose put up against Slovenia a few times during the season.
Sure, you’re going to hear that these games don’t matter because they are exhibition games. This does not apply to Derrick Rose. These games are important to evolve his game to fit a completely different team waiting for him in Chicago from the ones he left when he got hurt.
To the Derrick Rose fans who are going to get mad reading this, I have one thing to say…
I may be wrong on this subject. But if things continue the way they are going and Rose’s play doesn’t improve, don’t say that Pippen Ain’t Easy didn’t warn you. Remember, the preseason starts October 6th. Trust me, it’ll be here before you know it.
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