The Bulls will use the World Cup to Judge Derrick Rose
The youngest MVP in the history of the league is getting ready for his return to the court, but this will not take place in a Bulls uniform in the preseason like the last time. Derrick Rose will be joining Team USA basketball as they prepare for the World Cup in Spain. Rose will be attending the summer camp in Las Vegas with the rest of the 28 players who are trying to make the final 12 man roster for the tournament.
The camp in Las Vegas will help the Bulls front office and coaching staff monitor the progress of Rose in high speed action that is impossible to simulate in practice. Tom Thibodeau was recently named an assistant coach to the team, which gives the Bulls another pair of eyes on Rose.
The Bulls can not afford to take the return of lightly by not having a backup plan just in case Rose can not play the entire season for the third consecutive season. The Bulls’ roster for the opener last season lacked true depth at the point guard. With Kirk Hinrich and Marquis Teague slated as the reserves, the Bulls were left without scoring from that position untill they added D.J. Augustin.
This year the same mistake can not be made. With a plethora of top level free agents having the ability to test free agency market either this year or next, the Bulls can ill afford to have a mediocre season if they want to lure a marque talent to Chicago. The Bulls have to keep a close eye on Rose to ensure he does not have a setback that will potentially put them in another bad position.
If Rose is healthy this entire season, the Bulls can focus on getting more three point shooters to be able to spread the floor, and open the driving lanes. In previous seasons, opponents would sag off their players in order to disrupt Rose’s speed. The 2011 Eastern Conference Finals was an example of a team focusing in on stopping Rose and being successful. The Miami Heat’s two best defenders took turns guarding Rose throughout the series, and with Kyle Korver being the only three point shooter on the team the Bulls lost four straight in the series.
The Bulls can use the Las Vegas Team USA tryouts to determine if they should pick up any last-minute free agents who can spread the floor, and keep the opposition from targeting in on Rose. The roster will not need a complete overhaul if Rose is not full strength, but the strategy for the team will be different.