Team USA and Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose went scoreless in the United States' 129-92 romp over Serbia on Sept. 14 in the 2014 FIBA World Cup Final. Kyrie Irvin led the way for the Americans with 26 points.
Derrick Rose went scoreless in Team USA's gold-medal clinching 129-92 win over Serbia in the 2014 FIBA World Cup on Sept. 14.
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The Chicago Sun-Times' Joe Cowley wrote about the development:
"It wasn't alwas pretty for Bulls guard Derrick Rose in the 2014 FIBA World Cup. In fact, there might have been more ugly moments with the way he played.
"But when Rose returns to U.S. soil in the next few days, he will do so knowing his two surgically-repaired knees are good to go for the start of what will be a very important season for the (Chicago) Bulls.
"And he also will be sporting a second gold medal.
"Despite Rose going scoreless for the second game in the tournament, his U.S. teammates did more than enough to run Serbia out of the gym, beating them 129-92 on Sunday in the FIBA finale in Madrid, Spain.
"Kyrie Irving led Team USA in downplaying his poor numbers, giving himself an 'A' heading into the weekend.
"'Looking back at it, my whole mindset was just getting on the team,' Rose told reporters. 'You had younger players who had great years since I've been out, great guards who had great years. Just tried to show them that I'm still one of the best out there. I was going into camp with a chip on my shoulder.'
"When team trials began in Las Vegas in late July, Rose came into camp as physically imposing as any other guard on the roster. His weight was up, his body fat down and his quickness back to what it was in his 2100-11 NBA MVP season. He outplayed guard after guard, earning a starting spot as Team USA began exhibition games. But after he experienced 'fatigue' in New York and missed a few practices and a friendly, the decision was made to made to go with Irving as the starting point guard, to monitor Rose's minutes better with him coming off the bench.
"Irving seemed to flourish as the starter, and as the games went on, he gained a swagger he didn't have when camp started. Meanwhile, Rose, who seemed passive in most games, insisted he was content in going back to his roots as a pass-first, shoot-second guard.
"He had what appeared to be a breakout game in a quarterfinal victory over Slovenia, scoring 12 points on 6-for-10 shooting, but the success was short-lived. He went just 1-for-8 in the semifinal win over Lithuania.
"Like Rose, his bosses weren't concerned. The Bulls start training camp in just over two weeks with Rose healthy.
"'I know that everyone is paying attention to his numbers,' said John Paxson, the Bulls' vice president of basketball operations. 'I'm certainly not. I''ve liked the way he's moved on the floor, his explosiveness. You see at times when he just turns on the jets and explodes. Those are the things I focus on.'"
The Chicago Tribune's K.C. Johnson also weighed in on Rose's scoreless FIBA World Cup Final game:
"But for the Bulls, no story is bigger than Rose's return -- again. Thibodeau said Rose's activity over the last six weeks should eliminate the storyline of his health entering training camp.
"'He has shown he can handle back-to-backs and three games in a row,' (Bulls head coach Tom) Thibodeau said. 'That's all a positive.
"'Physcially he's great. Mentally he's great. Obviously, I want him to shoot the ball better than he did. But I also know this is the first time you're dealing with body on body. It's physical. He's getting hit. He has to get used to that again. That's why is so important to practice and play.'
"Rose, who shared a brief word with new teammate Pau Gasol afterward, averaged 4.8 points on 25.4 perecent shooting. With a game-high six assists Sunday, he averaged 3.1 assists to two turnovers.
"But he, too, focused on a bigger picture.
""I still have to get my rhythm back,' Rose said. 'But as far as I'm concerned, I think I performed good.
"'Coming here, really learning my routine, becoming a pro, I'm going to transfer this to (this) season. Because this (tournament) really helped me with recovery -- being off the floor and taking care of my body, eating right. I was feeling good every time I stepped on the floor, stretching every time. I think it's going to help me with the Bulls' season.'
"That season begins in two weeks. Not surprisingly, Thibodeau has training camp already fully mapped out.
"'I think when you make a commitment to do this, you have to take care of all that before,' Thibodeau said, chuckling.
"There was a lot of that going around, which is what happens when gold is won and physical tests are passed.
"'I feel great right now,' Rose said. 'I got a gold without even scoring, man.'"
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