By Kristen Fazio @Kristen_Fazio on August 27, 2014
Team USA Basketball will begin its quest for a gold medal in the 2014 FIFA World Cup on Saturday in Bilbao, Spain against Finland. Derrick Rose figures to be a huge piece to Team USA, and although he has dealt with general soreness, he has looked impressive thus far in practice and in exhibition games. These are five bold predictions for Derrick Rose in the World Cup.
Rose has always taken pride in his defense, and while he is representing his country, it won't be any different. With Tom Thibodeau as an assistant coach, Rose will set an example for the rest of the team with his commitment to playing defense.
With a back-to-back and a back-to-back-to-back in the preliminary round of the tournament, it wouldn't be surprising at all to see Rose alternating starts with Kyrie Irving. Rose sat out for Team USA's exhibition against the Dominican Republic and they will continue to be very cautious in easing Rose back into competitive play.
Rose has averaged 19.3 minutes in the three exhibition games he has played in, and that number is unlikely to increase. Coach Krzyzewski has divided up the minutes relatively equally and will manage Rose's minutes more carefully than he will other players.
In the 2010 World Championships, Rose averaged 3.2 assists. Whether it be Team USA or All-Star games, Rose has always been inclined to be a facilitator and give his teammates open looks while playing on teams with talent-filled rosters. While Rose is still trying to get up to speed, expect him to look to distribute the basketball.
Rose's health will always be a concern until he is able to prove he can stay healthy, but the World Cup is the perfect platform for him to gear up for the 2014-15 NBA season. Team USA will proceed with caution and do everything in their power to ensure Rose is healthy throughout the World Cup.
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