James Harden scored seven points vs. the Dominican Republic on Wednesday.
The Scoop:He stated he's the best all-around player in the NBA heading into this game, but obviously didn't prove much. We've all seen the bearded one tear it up on offense, but he's still way behind on defense, as evident by the way the Rockets gave up 23rd-most points in the NBA last season. Regardless, he's a top-five fantasy player.
Derrick Rose heard the fans chanting his name, and yes, he would've loved to give them what they wanted. ''Just trying to protect myself, just knowing that this is a long, long schedule and this is the most basketball I'll be playing in two years,'' Rose said. ''I want to be out there, but at the same time my health is the No. 1 issue right now.'' With Rose sitting out, Kyrie Irving started and made all five shots, scoring 12 points as the U.S. James Harden also scored 12 in limited playing time for the Americans, who used their subs for most of the second half.
The Scoop:"I don't how maturity develops when I'm not around it all the time," Krzyzewski said. "I just know that he's one of the best players in the NBA. And having this responsibility here will only make him better." It should be interesting to see how Harden plays overseas. He's been one of the worst defenders in the NBA, but he could be better at the FIBA World Cup because he won't have as much offensive responsibility.
The Scoop:"Chandler and I have had plenty of conversations, especially lately," Harden said. "Everything has been overblown. I'm happy for Chandler. He's in a great situation. I wish nothing but the best of luck for him." Harden added that the topic didn't even come up during USA's training camp, and it's quite possible that the whole situation was overblown during a slow news month for the NBA.