Before Paul George's gruesome leg injury rightfully took the focus of Team USA's scrimmage away from the actual basketball, Derrick Rose showed off an array of lightning-quick, explosive moves that stayed consistent with what he had done all week in practice. He scored eight points and held his own against the other floor generals vying for a spot on the roster that will be announced Tuesday afternoon.
[RELATED - Rose dazzles at outset of Team USA scrimmage]
And his peers are taking notice.
"He’s playing well,” Pelicans forward Anthony Davis said. “He’s playing out of his mind. He’s being Derrick Rose.”
Davis' comments were consistent with what Team USA's coaching staff and players saw the past week.
Kyle Korver: "He looks explosive. Explosive and strong. He’s in good shape and I have not a single concern about his knee. I know you guys are all here because you want to see if hi sk knee’s working, but his knee is fine. He’s sat out for two years, basically. It’s going to take time to get the game rhythm."
Mike Krzyzewski: "He looked great. Very happy. You never know until you see the guys and that, for me today, to put him in stuff and for me to see him personally, it’s important. It’s not just making judgments on the team, it’s how you are going to build the team and so, we have a much better idea of guys right now and that’s the purpose of these four days."
John Wall: He’s been on the other side of me most of the time, but it’s good to see him moving like he has. I think he still has explosion. It might not be the same, but he’s playing with a lot of confidence, the same way he did before. So that’s the biggest key. I think you’ll kind of see it more when we scrimmage against each other or when they play on Friday [in a nationally-televised intra-squad scrimmage]. But you can tell he has that same edge, to prove something to everybody.”
Tom Thibodeau: "We saw the quickness and the explosion in the summer-league practices, and today I think he was very patient. He found the rhythm of the game and I thought he played well on both sides of the ball. He pushed himself. He picked up full-court. I thought great technique, great effort and he ran the team well, so it’s a good first step."
More Coach K: "He was phenomenal yesterday and he was today too. He hasn’t held anything back. The neat thing about today was that we went hard yesterday and we went hard today, and he hasn’t been in this environment and he was as good or better today."
“Nothing that he does will ever surprise me. Look, he is one of the elite players and he’s a fabulous kid. Not a good kid. He’s a fabulous young man and team player. Sometimes he’s too hard on himself, I think.”
Stacey King: "His energy level, he hasn't missed a first step, he's jumping, he's explosive," he said. "He looks like the Derrick Rose of the MVP year."