Derrick Rose, Anderson Varejao, Raulzinho Neto

Report: Derrick Rose does have knee pain (but it’s too early to worry about)


You cannot push all the way back from knee surgery without having pain. Does not happen. It’s not even supposed to happen.

Derrick Rose has sat out the last couple days of Team USA practice and will not start the exhibition game Wednesday night at Madison Square Garden against the Dominican Republic in what USA Basketball had called a precautionary move.

But’s Nick Friedell (among others) heard Rose does have some knee pain, something passed along by Marc Stein of ESPN.

A source familiar with Rose’s condition told’s Nick Friedell that Rose has been bothered by knee soreness since his return to the floor Saturday night in an exhibition victory over Brazil in Chicago and requested the extra time to recover. But Team USA officials, to this point, have downplayed concerns about Rose’s status.

The fact that Rose missed a second consecutive workout is bound to worry some Bulls fans back in Chicago, given the star guard’s knee problems over the past two seasons, but Team USA coach Mike Krzyzewski actually revealed in a radio interview Monday with ESPN’s “Mike and Mike” that he was planning to hold Rose out of practice for the first two days of the week.

This takes us back to the first sentence of this post: You cannot push all the way back from knee surgery without having pain.

Rose has to push through this now rather than in the marathon grind of the regular season. Team USA is a great setting for him to push his body because there isn’t going to be a huge load on him in terms of minutes or carrying a scoring burden (and he’s looked fantastic on the court, a bit rusty but a lot like his vintage self). Team USA team is stacked at the guard spot, Rose just has to be Rose when he is on the court.

I get why Bulls fans may be skeptical of Rose. There are some just ripping him, those people are fools. But a little concern about the knees is legit.

Look at it this way: He sat out two summer practices and will not start a meaningless summer exhibition. And you’re going to get worked up over that?

It’s far, far too early for any of that.

Is DeMarcus Cousins MVP worthy? “It’s mine to grab”

DeMarcus Cousins

Last season, DeMarcus Cousins received zero MVP votes (the same as every year of his career). Even though he averaged 24.1 points, and 12.7 rebounds a game, which was enough to get him his first All-Star berth, MVP is another thing entirely. Only players on winning teams tend to draw the attention of MVP voters.

This season, can Cousins — arguably the best center in the game — get in the conversation?

He thinks it’s more than just that, he told Kevin Ding at Bleacher Report.

The topic is the 2015-16 NBA MVP award and whether it could be reachable for DeMarcus Cousins.

“Reachable, man?” Cousins told Bleacher Report, his voice rising high. “It’s mine to grab.”

As noted above, the only way Cousins gets into the conversation — fair or not — is if the Kings are in the playoffs (at the very least). He understands that.

“It’s going to take a full team effort,” Cousins said. “I’ll try to play at a high level and bring my team along with me.”

Vlade Divac built a Kings’ team designed to start winning now — as you would expect from a team a year away from moving into a new arena they need to fill. Owner Vivek Ranadive is not about selling hope anymore, he wants to sell wins.

I think Cousins can help provide that.

I’m less sold on the cast around him being able to help.

PBT Extra bold prediction preview: Markieff Morris will be a happy Sun

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After a bumpy season where the he fought with Suns coaches, then a summer where he and his twin Marcus felt they were blindsided by a trade, Markieff Morris has been plenty vocal about his unhappiness in Phoenix. To the point it has cost him some serious cash.

So what should we expect from Markieff Morris’ upcoming season?

Relative calm, I tell Jenna Corrado of NBCSports in this latest edition of PBT Extra previewing the NBA season.

The reasons are twofold. First, he has to realize the Suns aren’t trading him anyway (especially not while he publicly demands a trade, lowering his trade value). Second, can you imagine how new locker room leader Tyson Chandler is going to react to that? Chandler was brought in to fill a leadership void in the locker room, and you can bet he will make his displeasure at such team-disrupting antics known.

Still not sure if that’s enough to get the Suns to the playoffs.