Aug 22, 2014; New York, NY, USA; United States guard Stephen Curry (4) shoots against Puerto Rico during the third quarter of a game at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

FIBA World Cup Preview: On What To Watch!

Okay, it’s time to do FIBA World Cup preview…

WOW! It’s  been a long time since I’ve done one of these things. A game preview! What are these? Well for the first time since the Chicago Bulls got unceremoniously bounced from the first round of the playoffs by the Washington Wizards in April, I do my first preview of the season.

Okay, the United States basketball team will beat Finland by about a hundred points. Highlights on your late news.

I’d publish this post now but I know my bosses would be emailing me so let’s go inside the game to look for things that might help or hinder the US squad when we go to the  medal rounds.

Let’s get this out-of-the-way early. The USA squad will sail through Pool C play. They are too good and the rest of the teams do not  have the firepower to deal with the Americans. That does not  mean that there are not issues that need to be addressed. Let’s take a look at some of them shall we?

Olympics: Basketball-Men

1) The US squad is a perimeter team.

Let’s look at the featured stars of Team USA: James Harden, Stephen Curry, Anthony Davis, Kyrie Irving, I mean I could go on but here’s the point…

These are all perimeter players.

There is going to be a night when shots are not falling. It tends to happen once or twice in every International tournament the National team has played in. It’s not a slight, it’s just the game of basketball. While Team USA is making mincemeat out of Finland, it would be a nice time to find a consistent low post scorer that can get you a basket or a foul in crunch time.

Aug 1, 2014; Las Vegas, NV, USA; USA Team Blue forward Mason Plumlee (35) reacts to his wrist being held by USA Team White center DeMarcus Cousins (36) during the USA Basketball Showcase at Thomas & Mack Center. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Aug 1, 2014; Las Vegas, NV, USA; USA Team Blue forward Mason Plumlee (35) reacts to his wrist being held by USA Team White center DeMarcus Cousins (36) during the USA Basketball Showcase at Thomas & Mack Center. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Anthony Davis has shown out during exhibition play but that is not what I am talking about. Hopefully DeMarcus “The Role Model” Cousins can fill that role. He is far  and away Team USA’s best low post threat. If he can hold his temper in check he can be the reason why Team USA defeats Spain in the medal rounds. He’d better because the referees tend to swallow the whistles more in international play than in NBA play. If he doesn’t believe me, let him call Tim Duncan and let him talk about his experience back in 2004.

I hate the fact that Team USA is basing their offense around a stretch four. If they spend all of their time looking for that, they will miss the crown jewels that they have in the jewelry box. They must at least pretend that they will establish a low post game.

2) Boy they have to get their zone defense together.

Jim Boeheim is the absolute truth when it comes to the zone defensive schemes in basketball. He’s got some  work to do with this bunch. If teams move  the ball quickly and efficiently, Team USA can be had in the later rounds. Again, in Pool C  play this will not be  a problem. The US will turn Finland over and run them out the gym. But again we are talking about things that need to be improved on.

Team USA always have and will be faced with trying to mesh at the last-minute while International teams have familiarity from playing with each other longer and more frequently. This is why Team USA’s defense will need work during this Pool game and beyond. Many times after three or four passes, I see the opposing team with open looks with the perimeter players out of position.

It’s fine now, but in the medal rounds, it won’t be about speed and athleticism, it will be about position and defensive discipline to finish up the defensive plays.

Aug 22, 2014; New York, NY, USA; United States guard Derrick Rose (6) controls the ball in front of Puerto Rico guard David Huertas (12) during the second quarter of a game at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Aug 22, 2014; New York, NY, USA; United States guard Derrick Rose (6) controls the ball in front of Puerto Rico guard David Huertas (12) during the second quarter of a game at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

3) Derrick Rose’s status.

I love all of your comments. Every last one of them. I’ve always said Pippen Ain’t Easy never takes any of you for granted. But I also pay attention to what you say…and remember them. I told you that things weren’t right with Derrick Rose. Even as far back as the first exhibition game in Vegas. The exciting plays he had were in the first four minutes of the game! Outside of a nasty crossover against Brazil, what has Derrick Rose done?

I’ll wait.

Still waiting.

Gotta move on. It seems that Derrick Rose’s limited role has nothing to do with his knees huh? I’d like to give a  shout out to my FanSided colleague Bryan Rose (I live for the funk too Bruh!) for starting to see the light as well.

Has anyone noticed that Kyrie Irving has gone from the planned backup to the co-starter to maybe THE point guard of this team?

Let’s forget the knees, folks. If everyone says Rose is fine, cool. I’m tired of debating. But it seems that his lack of floor time has something to do with a fit perhaps?

Check out this excerpt from Hoop Rumors.

Derrick Rose will be coming off the bench for Team USA, but the point guard and Team USA officials have insisted his limited role and rest patterns are about team fit and precaution and not physical concerns.

Team fit? That means Kyrie Irving is playing better! That means Team USA plays better with him on the floor! Come on man! Rose put up from the field…well let me put it this way…close your eyes. What do you see? Nothing? That’s what Derrick Rose gave you from the field! Look it’s time to  start  looking at things realistically. Something is up with Derrick Rose. Don’t worry, you can keep right on saying I’m wrong if you want too. You have three chances to say I’m right.

You can say it NOW!

You can say it while Derrick Rose is sitting the bench in crunch time in the medal rounds.

Or you can say it during the season.

Just sayin.

As always, keep it locked to Pippen Ain’t Easy, your best choice for Bulls news, previews and reviews. Like us on Facebook: Pippen Ain’t Easy and follow us on Twitter: @ BullsBeatBlog.

Tags: Derrick Rose FIBA World Cup Team USA USA Basketball

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