Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose made his first game appearance in his home arena in almost nine months after tearing the medial meniscus in his right knee on Nov. 22. He was the last player introduced before the game as fans roared and chanted "MVP!"
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 season.
Davis also had the crowd buzzing throughout the night, making several highlight reel dunks. Davis, playing in his first professional game at the United Center, was active on both ends throughout the night, including diving into the stands for a loose ball in the fourth quarter -- prompting the Chicago crowd to chant "USA! USA!" He will be a focal point for Team USA considering the lack of big men depth.
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 in the frontcourt. Sacramento Kings big man DeMarcus Cousins didn't play after injuring his right knee in Thursday's practice. Detroit Pistons big man Andre Drummond and Utah Jazz swingman Gordon Hayward did not play.
The good news for Team USA is that there were no serious injury scares in this game after Paul George's gruesome broken leg in Team USA's scrimmage in Las Vegas two weeks ago. Rose sustained a cut on his face in the first half but he came back into the game late in the second quarter and made a nice running floater to end the first half. With George out and Kevin Durant leaving the team last week, Rose will be counted on to provide an offensive punch for this team alongside Stephen Curry and Harden. 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.
Team USA heads to New York this week to continue training for the World Cup of Basketball in Spain later this month. Team USA coach Mike 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.