Derrick Rose struggles in back-to-back Sunday (Aug 31 12:00 ET )
Derrick Rose had a quiet outing vs. Turkey on Sunday, scoring two points on a pair of free throws while missing all four of his field goal attempts.
The Scoop: Rose added two turnovers without any assists in 17 minutes, and looked particularly sluggish playing in the second of back-to-back games. It's unwise to read into one bad game (Steph Curry and Klay Thompson shot a combined 5-of-18) but Rose's injury history will cause extra scrutiny throughout the World Cup, training camp and the preseason.
Derrick Rose came off the bench against Finland on Saturday, finishing with 12 points and three assists in 23 minutes, along with a ridiculous +/- of 48 in the 114-55 laugher.
The Scoop:Kyrie Irving started and had nine points and four assists in 20 minutes, so Rose should draw the start in the next one. Rose looked healthy and confident again, and so far it looks like all systems go on Rose this season. But if you draft him on your fantasy team, watching the Bulls, Rose and his knees play on a nightly basis could result in heart problems.
This week, the best basketball nations in the world are heading to Spain for the FIBA World Cup of Basketball. The tournament — known until recently as the world championships — lacks the overwhelming attention of the Olympics in the United States, but for many other countries it is considered to be nearly as prestigious. As usual, Team USA enters the competition as the favorite, although that position is as precarious as it has been for some time, with Spain serving as the strongest competition. Even if the general hierarchy of teams hasn't changed, there is no question that they appear less dominant than we're accustomed to. The tournament tips off on Saturday, with Team USA set to take on Finland at 3:30 p.m. ET on ESPN. Here are five pressing stories to help you get acquainted with the World Cup before play begins. 1. Team USA looks vulnerable. When it comes to the best basketball country in the world, such issues as vulnerability are always relative, because their chances of losing remain much lower than those for any other team. Nevertheless, this is not the same Team USA that won the 2008 Olympics, 2010 world championships, and 2012 Olympics with very few hiccups. The team's world championships/Cup roster never features the overwhelming star power of the Olympics, but it's still reasonable to think the group will include one or two perennial All-NBA players. Team USA is used to the best. The 2014 roster does not immediately look like such an established and dominant group. While USA Basketball expected the absences of proven international commodities like LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony, the powers that be weren't necessarily looking to be without Kevin Love (who bowed out due to his potential and eventual trade from the Minnesota Timberwolves), Paul George (who was lost to his now-infamous leg injury during an exhibition game), and Kevin Durant (who withdrew from consideration due to mental and physical exhaustion ). As such, Team USA lacks a game-changing wing player who can move over to the "four" position — the role that has defined head coach Mike Krzyzewski's tenure. The team's ostensible leaders are Derrick Rose, who has barely even played competitive basketball in the past two years and might have trouble with the tournament's demanding schedule; James Harden, who sees himself as the team's defensive stopper and on-court leader even though he's not known for those qualities; and Anthony Davis, a truly incandescent talent who nevertheless has never been asked to do so much in international play.
Kevin Durant stands front and center in a billboard that hangs high above the outside of the arena where the U.S. Neither are Spurs teammates Tony Parker of France and Manu Ginobili of Argentina. Plenty of big names remain, from Derrick Rose and Kyrie Irving with the Americans to Spain's Gasol brothers. The veteran center is an NBA free agent at the moment but currently has a job as the man in the middle for the Philippines.
The Scoop:Kyrie Irving will get the start and has earned it due to his outstanding showing this month. Rose said he's "feeling good right now" and we should get to see how he handles so many games in in short period of time. He's a huge risk in fantasy leagues.
The Scoop:Rose came off the bench behind Kyrie Irving and he looked unusually passive, even finishing with a negative +/- rating in a game the U.S. won by 30 points. Some rust was to be expected from Rose, who has taken a few days off to rest his sore knees recently, and his game will be under the microscope throughout the World Cup which begins on Saturday.
The Scoop:Irving will start in Tuesday's final exhibition vs. Slovenia on Tuesday. Rose was expected to be ahead of Irving, but Kyrie has been absolutely ridiculous during Team USA's exhibition run. The team also sat Rose out for a couple games, so bringing him off the bench could keep his minutes in check. They'll look to dominate in Group C vs. Turkey, New Zealand, Dominican Republic and Ukraine when the tournament starts on Aug. 30.
The Scoop:"I mean, we're competitors," said Rose. "We look at each other's games to see what strengths are, weaknesses are, and of course you're going to use them during the season." The Cavs will be the Bulls primary rivals in the East this season, and Rose knows that while everything is friendly now, they'll be on opposing teams when the NBA season begins. The former-MVP will be a high-risk, high-reward target come draft day.
The Americans kept Derrick Rose and cut All-Star Damian Lillard and three others early Saturday morning, getting their roster down to the limit for the FIBA World Cup of Basketball. Though team officials had previously said they might carry extra players when they left for Spain on Saturday, and final rosters aren't due until next Friday, the Americans decided there was no need to wait. Kyle Korver, Gordon Hayward and Chandler Parsons also were cut, shortly after the Americans beat Puerto Rico 112-86 in their final home exhibition game.
The Scoop: None.
Aug 23 7:43 ET
News (various sources)
Dunk History: Spud Webb knocks off 'Nique at the 1986 Slam-Dunk Contest (Ball Don't Lie) (3 Days Ago | courtesy: Ball Don't Lie) As the summer wears on, with training camps and preseason play still off in (what feels like) the distant future, we turn our attention to the past. Join us as we while away a few late-summer moments recalling some of the most scintillating slams of yesteryear, the most thunderous throwdowns ever to sear themselves into our memories. This is Dunk History . Today, Jay Busbee takes us back to a day when a short man broke through basketball's height-prejudiced ceiling ... and kept on rising. Here's a story that ought to be a fairy tale, or maybe a children's book: The Little Dunker That Could. Or, from another perspective, The Sure Thing That Wasn't. Growing up in Atlanta in the mid-1980s, you didn't exactly have a banquet of exquisite sports options. There were the Braves, still years away from the start of their everything-but-rings dynasty. The Falcons featured the planet's most eligible bachelor in quarterback Steve Bartkowski ... and little else. The Hawks, though -- the Hawks had some promise. Though, as always seems to be the case with Atlanta, the Hawks' finest moments came when someone else was just a little bit better. Dominique Wilkins embodied and personified the 1980s Hawks. He would have been the most electrifying player in the league, were it not for Michael Jordan. He led a Hawks team that legitimately could have won at least one ring, were it not for the Boston Celtics. But 'Nique's not the whole story here. No, to get a sense of the frustrated potential of 'Nique, you only need look to his teammate, who at five-foot-seven literally played in his shadow. If Spud Webb didn't exist, high school coaches looking for a way to motivate their teams would have had to create him. Told all along that he was too short to play basketball, Webb just flat-out jumped over his critics and his doubters. He landed in Atlanta in 1985, more than a mascot, less than a credible threat. So it was no surprise that his decision to enter the 1986 Slam Dunk Contest was met with the kind of amused acceptance usually reserved for kids who say they want to be Batman when they grow up. Check out the crop of contestants at that year's showdown: More...