Save for perhaps a handful of eye-popping moves to the hoop, Derrick Rose has mostly been silent as Team USA’s backup point guard during the FIBA Basketball World Cup.
The former NBA MVP says he’s not overly concerned about his struggles on offense – Rose is shooting a ghastly 25 percent and has missed nine of 10 3-point attempts, while averaging 5.4 points and 17.8 minutes in five wins – and he’s instead focusing on what he’s done well so far (aggressive defense and a low turnover rate.) Per the Chicago Tribune:
“I’m loving the way that I’m playing,” Rose said. “Of course missing shots, that’s part of the game. But just conditioning-wise and how I’ve been playing defense and low turnovers the last couple games, I’m loving the way that I’m playing. I just have to continue playing defense, get in a better rhythm and knock this rust off along the way.
“I’ve exceeded my expectations. I’m not sore. My knees are good. I know a lot of people are concerned about that, but I think I’m playing well.”
“Missing layups, that’s little rusty stuff that normally comes with not playing for two years,” Rose said. “My thing is I know that why I’m missing is because of conditioning. I’m in good condition. But to be in condition to play defense like that fullcourt and still have legs under you for the shot, that’s my thing. But I’m not worried about it at all.”