Team USA played its final exhibition game Tuesday prior to the FIBA Basketball World Cup, and like the other three games, the final score wasn't all that close. Team USA came away with a 101-71 victory over Slovenia, with Anthony Davis putting up 18 points, 11 rebounds, four blocks and four steals in 19 minutes.
The other star from Chicago didn't do quite so hot. Derrick Rose had a very quiet game, missing all three of his field-goal attempts, including some bunnies. He did get to the line six times, including four upon his immediate entry to the game in the first quarter, but he made just three of those attempts. He also turned the ball over three times and had just one assist in 20 minutes.
Kyrie Irving got the start over Rose, and he put forth a significantly better performance. Irving had 13 points on 3-of-5 shooting and posted a team-best +39. The Cavs guard was solid throughout Team USA's exhibition slate, and it's hard to say he wasn't more effective than Rose overall. I imagine Irving will get the start against Finland on Saturday in the World Cup opener, but that still might not be permanent.
But we really shouldn't fret about Irving being better than Rose for the time being. The most important thing at this point in time is Rose's health, and as far as we know, he's healthy. The rust is still there, and we know Rose isn't always aggressive in these settings where he's playing with numerous other star players. Hopefully Rose will stay healthy and continue to improve as the World Cup goes on.