Considering what has happened the last few years, there was naturally some worry when Derrick Rose missed several Team USA practices and the exhibition against the Dominican Republic with knee soreness...or General Soreness...or body fatigue...or whatever. But Rose allayed many of those fears against Puerto Rico on Friday night by looking just fine in a 112-86 victory.
Coach K kept Kyrie Irving as the starter, but Rose entered the game in the first quarter to nice applause. He almost immediately drew a foul and got to the line, although he split the free throws. In his first stint, he also knocked down a three and had a couple nifty assists.
Rose's solid playmaking continued in the second half, as he was content to act as facilitator and not as a primary scorer. He had several more nice dishes to open shooters, which should have Bulls fans excited for what he'll be able to do with more capable shooters on the roster this season. He still does have a love affair with those jump passes, which is dangerous, but they didn't come back to bite him in the rear end on this night.
Rose also showed nice aggression on the defensive end, applying quite a bit of ball pressure. So all in all, a pretty solid night. There wasn't anything all that spectacular (he did have one other nice bucket), but he ran the offense really well (wait, am I talking about Rose or Kirk?) and most importantly, looked healthy.
Team USA cuts are coming soon, and while there are still questions about whether Rose can handle the busy World Cup schedule, I still expect him to make the team.