Beating Brazil 95-78 in a preparation game for the basketball world cup was a minor detail as Chicago, hosting the game, got to see Anthony Davis outplay everyone on the court, but more importantly Derrick Rose playing in front of his home fans for the first time in almost a year, hopefully this time allowing it to last a while longer.
Davis, at the moment, looks like the team’s best player and most dangerous weapon. Brazil have a serious line of big men in Anderson Varejao, Nene and Tiago Splitter. The moment Davis started hitting his jumper, there was nothing anyone could have done, as he scored 23 points to go with 8 rebounds and 5 blocked shots. On both ends of the floor, there’s no need to feel any sort of concern about the man manning the ‘5’ position.
Davis is more of a power forward in the NBA, but in the international game things are different. Kenneth Faried started as the power forward and did a very good job with 11 points and 9 rebounds, as his energy was often pushing the team forward when they needed a spark. James Harden also occupied the frontcourt at small forward, not shooting too well but finding it quite easy to show his new defensive aptitude and more importantly, his ease to reach the line, finishing with 15 points.
In the backcourt? Stephen Curry and Derrick Rose. When Curry wasn’t benched for foul trouble he was playing quite well. He scored 9 points, but couldn’t stay on the floor for too long. Derrick Rose had seven points, including two very impressive layups that showed his speed and control in the air, making those who doubted that he is feeling quite well after finally being back to 100% rethink their doubts.
Aside from the whole Rose-Chicago connection, it’s interesting to see how the roster is shaping out to become. For a reason no one understands, Andre Drummond didn’t play while Mason Plumlee continues to get minutes in his place. Maybe there’s a Duke conspiracy thing going on, or maybe it’s something from practice no one realizes. Kyrie Irving, another former Blue Devil (For a very short time) played very well in his short time on the floor, and the same goes for Klay Thompson who added 10 points but struggled when he attempted to create shots on his own.
DeMarcus Cousins didn’t play because he is still healing from last week’s injury. However, it’s hard to believe than when it’s all said and done, he won’t be part of the squad that travels to Spain. Rudy Gay, Chandler Parsons, Damian Lillard and Kyle Korver weren’t a bit factor in this one. Gay seems like a sure thing to be part of the 12 considering the small forward situation, but Gordon Hayward and DeMar DeRozan are still in contention for spots considering how the minutes were distributed.