Chicagoan Duo Derrick Rose and Anthony “Brow” Davis featured in Exhibition Match

by Alvaro Pena

photo credit: Kathy Willens AP


With the announced departure of Oklahoma City Thunder star Kevin Durant, Coach Mike Krzyzewski is left with questions on how to develop the USA Mens Basketball Team’s offense. Though the team is filled with talented scorers at the wings, chemistry is a concern for team USA.

The 2014 Fiba World Cup tournament begins in Spain, Aug. 30. With that date closing in, the US coaches have to make difficult decisions on who to cut and who to start.

Plus, who is going to be your go to guy now that Kevin Durant has left the team to rest in between NBA seasons. That was the question fans were asking themselves when the US team faced the Brazilian national team in an exhibition game Saturday Aug. 16, in Chicago. It was also marked the return of Derrick Rose, of the Chicago Bulls, who hasn’t played for about nine-months.

With a roster of players that never played for the USA national team or Fiba, the inexperience was obvious in the match against Brazil. There was a lack of teamwork and defense, as well as a bit of selfishness on the offensive side of the court for most of the game.

There were times in the game where you could see the US team improving their chemistry during plays. Especially when steals were made leading to fast break points.

Curry showed his three point shooting ability in the first quarter. Rose, who scored 7 points in the game, displayed his explosiveness going at the rim making Chicagoans excited for the upcoming NBA season.

Derrick Rose AP images

                                                                       photo from AP images

Chicago Bulls Coach Tom Thibodeau feels strongly that having Rose on the US team is a perfect setting for introducing him back to competitive basketball.

“He’s shaking some rust off. His explosiveness is back. He’s playing well off the ball. I think he’s in a really good place. He’s prepared himself extremely well. It’s unfortunate what he’s gone through, but that adversity has made him a lot stronger,” Thibodeau said.

But it was not Derrick Rose who stole the show. Another upcoming star born and raised in Chicago had a break-out game. That was New Orleans Pelicans own Anthony Davis. Davis won a gold medal with the 2012 USA Olympic Team, known as this eras Dream Team featuring superstars like Kobe Bryant, Lebron James, Kevin Durant.

Playing for the first time in Chicago since his high school days, Anthony Davis showed great leadership when his team was struggling offensively and defensively. When Davis dove into the front row crowd to save the ball, it literally took his teammates out of the funk.

“I’m good, I’m fine,” Davis said in his after game interview. “I hope she’s fine, because that was 240 pounds coming right at her. That’s the type of plays we need, hustle plays, and that really got us going.”

The offense outscored the Brazilian team in the fourth quarter 27-15 leading to a 95-78 blowout game for the US team. Anthony Davis made 9 of 15 shots, for 20 points, had 5 blocks, and a total of 8 rebounds.

“He’s one of the best players in the NBA,” Coach Krzyzewski said. “Anthony is one of the emerging stars. We hope that, like what happened to a lot of those guys in 2010, will happen to him in this competition. Where we just watch what should be kind of a storied career form.”

And with power forwards and centers such as Dwight Howard, Blake Griffin, and soon to be Cleveland Cavalier Kevin Love not participating, Anthony Davis is a big that needs to shine in Spain. Especially against the Gasol brothers in Spain, who could be their final opponent if they make it to the gold medal game.

The US team is inexperienced and has trouble playing together at times. However, if they get their chemistry right, they could be a force to be reckoned with.

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