Coach K confident that Rose will play significant role in Spain this summer…
Team USA beat Puerto Rico 112-86 at Madison Square Garden on Friday night, with Derrick Rose scoring six points and dishing out four assists in 13 minutes.
With fears emerging this week after the 25-year-old sat out practice on two consecutive days and missed the win over the Dominican Republic, USA Basketball were keen to stress that it was merely precautionary as they looked to rest Rose ahead of a long summer.
Having dismissed fears himself that he was suffering from any substantial pain, Rose came off the bench to return to the court and impressed during his short stint back in action.
The Chicago Bulls point guard hasn’t played significant minutes in the NBA in over two years and he conceded that he is still looking to find his pace and rhythm as well as improving his conditioning.
“I feel very confident about Derrick,” Krzyzewski said before the final roster was announced. “I think Derrick feels very confident. Thought he played great tonight. And these guys want to play with him.”
Team USA are scheduled to depart for Spain on Saturday for a final exhibition game before the FIBA World Cup begins on August 30 when they face Finland in Bilbao.
Despite chanting his name on Wednesday, the Madison Square Garden faithful were forced to wait until Friday to see the former MVP in action, but he didn’t disappoint with his cameo appearance against Puerto Rico and he will look to continue to build on his impressive form through training camp.
Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau revealed after the game that Rose is “feeling good” and is improving daily, and he will look forward to seeing how Rose copes with the increased workload when they arrive in Spain.