Team USA beat Brazil on Saturday night (Aug. 16) in a warm-up game for the 2014 FIBA World Cup. The United States won at the United Center, giving point guard Derrick Rose a shot to showcase his skills in front of the home crowd. It would be hard for fans of the Chicago Bulls not to get excited about the show he put on, especially since he looked good on both offense and defense. He finished with just seven points, but it was clear he is ready for the NBA season to get started.
The 95-78 exhibition was led by Anthony Davis, who had 20 points with an impressive showing on both ends of the court. He got the crowd going with some flashy plays on defense as well as several dunks on the other end. James Harden had 18 points and Stephen Curry showed off his range in the first quarter. Despite lacking players like Kevin Durant, Paul George, and LeBron James at this point, the team looked really good on offense.
A report from CBS Sports stated that USA Basketball will play two more exhibition games at Madison Square Garden in New York City on Aug. 20 and 22. Those games will be against the Dominican Republic team and then Puerto Rico, giving the coaches more time to deliberate which players should make the final roster. Before they head to the FIBA World Cup the roster has to be cut down to 12 players, meaning some hard choices could be coming.
Fantasy basketball owners will want to pay close attention to how Derrick Rose is performing here, because he is showcasing that energy and skill level that won him an MVP award. He could end up being the leader of this team, especially since he is a veteran and most of familiar names have ducked out of the competition. Sacramento Kings power forward DeMarcus Cousins didn't play in the game after injuring his right knee in Thursday's practice (Aug. 14) but he should be fine soon.