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Team USA and Derrick Rose Take on Finland in FIBA Group Stage Opener Today

August 30th, 2014 at 8:00 AM
By Christopher Terzic

Bilbao, Spain – For Team USA, it’s been a noisy summer of 2014. It all began in early July when Derrick Rose arrived in Las Vegas for Team USA training camp in preparation for the FIBA World Cup, and Rose’s play was sparkling, exceptional, glistening. Remember that? Then in the utmost of unfortunate events, Paul George of the Indiana Pacers suffered a horrific leg injury – the type of ‘remember where you were when it happened’ moment – in an intrasquad scrimmage. Then, Kevin Durant who was the team’s best player left to take some much-deserved rest and time off.

We ain’t mad at ya KD, because invariable any Team USA basketball team is still a Team USA basketball team. But as soon as Durant left, that left the sole focus on one: Rose, Derrick. Since then, the only major story coming out of Team USA circles beside the roster selection has been surrounding Derrick Rose’s health and his play.

Well, today marks the first day of a five-games-in-six-days stretch for Team USA entering the group stage of the World Cup. Mind you, Derrick Rose only played in ten NBA games total last year, and he’s about to attempt to play in half that many in six days. The concern is warranted, as has the coverage leading up to today; but now is time to sit back and watch Chicago’s star shine.

By now, you’re probably aware Rose won’t be in the starting lineup and will be coming off the bench (at least for the first game anyway), which is a non-issue. His opportunity to leave his imprint on games will still be there, as he’ll almost certainly play about half of every game.

Also worth noting, you should probably brace yourself before the backlash because although nothing’s been explicitly stated, it’s a pretty well known secret: Rose is going to sit out a game or games, completely at his discretion.

But as far as the game tomorrow is concerned, Finland has former Bull Erik Murphy but he’s the only NBAer on their roster. Finland’s a 35.5 point underdog so it should be a walk in the park for Team USA. Including their exhibition schedule, Finland’s probably the weakest opponent Team USA has faced thus far. The game will be televised on ESPN at 2:30 p.m. Central Time.

With all that’s been said about Derrick Rose and Team USA thus far however, if he plays great and the US wins a gold medal by the end of the World Cup – the rest of the NBA will be glad to see Rose playing well again, but fearful for their own chances at a championship if Chicago’s main man is truly back.

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Tags: Chicago, Chicago Bulls, Derrick Rose, FIBA World Cup, Finland, Kevin Durant, NBA, Paul George, Team USA

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