Sacramento Kings small forward Rudy Gay, who was added to the team last week after Durant left, was the first substitute off Team USA's bench Saturday night. Denver Nuggets forward Kenneth Faried got the start alongside Davis while Brooklyn Nets forward Mason Plumlee got the bulk of the minutes off the bench for a depleted frontcourt. Kings big man DeMarcus Cousins didn't play after injuring his right knee in Thursday's practice, while Detroit Pistons big man Andre Drummond, Utah Jazz swingman Gordon Hayward and Toronto Raptors guard DeMar DeRozan never entered the game.
As Krzyzewski continues to tinker with his roster, he took great pride in the fact that Rose was able to perform in front of a packed house at the United Center. Rose, along with Brazil center Anderson Varejao, gave brief speeches to the crowd before the game, thanking fans for coming to the game. Rose received another big ovation before speaking, and then thanked USA Basketball for bringing the game to Chicago as the city continues to deal with a major violence problem.
The former MVP excited the home fans late in the third quarter when he split two defenders and laid the ball in. It was a vintage Rose move that Bulls fans are expecting to see again this NBA season.
"It's great to watch Derrick play again," Bulls coach and Team USA assistant Tom Thibodeau said. "I couldn't be more pleased with the way he played."
Rose and the rest of Team USA head to New York on Sunday to continue training for the World Cup. Krzyzewski said earlier this week that his team likely wouldn't make any more cuts until after the New York portion of camp was finished.
For Rose, it was just another step on a long journey.
"I've been preparing for this for a long time," Rose said. "Probably, if this was a couple weeks ago I wouldn't have been emotional, but right now it feels great. We won the game so that's the only thing I could be happy about -- we won. We didn't lose. If we had lost my whole attitude would have been different. Just take this win, go to New York [Sunday] and just try to keep this going."