Derrick Rose struggled once again in Team USA’s win over Mexico on Saturday, finishing scoreless on 0-of-5 shooting, with four assists against three turnovers in just over 16 minutes of action.
Rose is moving well for the most part, though at times he does appear to be still getting his legs under him a bit. The speed and explosiveness shows up occasionally, too, but his shot-making from both in the paint and on the perimeter has been slow to find any measure of consistency.
Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau is an assistant on the Team USA bench, and despite these substandard performances, he believes this experience is entirely positive in terms of Rose making his way back to his pre-injury levels.
Thibodeau on Rose: “This is terrific preparation for him. There’s nothing negative about this. This is all positive.”
More Thibodeau on DRose: “Everyone has to take a step back and look at it in totality. He’s moving great. The rest of it is going to come.”
From Sam Smith of Bulls.com:
Thibs goes on about Rose: “I think his mindset is terrific. I think he’s going to be great again. What he’s doing right now is terrific.
Rose on USA: “Usually when I come in, we have such a big lead, it’s almost like an All-Star game. I never score big in any All-Star game.”
The positive approach here is to view this as an extended training camp for Rose in a perfect setting. He’s playing alongside All-Star caliber talent exclusively, while getting the chance to compete in games that count.
The detractors will say that the rust we’re seeing from Rose may be a bit more permanent, but we’re so far away from finding out whether or not that’s true that it isn’t really a fair assessment.
Rose has been positive and upbeat in speaking to reporters following every one of his subpar performances, and if he isn’t worried about the way things are shaking out, the rest of us should probably take his lead. We may be months into the NBA season before we’re more regularly treated to the version of Rose we remember, but it appears as though he believes he’ll get back to that point much sooner.