Aug 1, 2014; Las Vegas, NV, USA; USA Team Blue guard Derrick Rose (41) dribbles the ball while being pursued by USA Team White guard Kyrie Irving (23) during the USA Basketball Showcase at Thomas & Mack Center. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports
Subplots are already beginning to form for the coming NBA season as Team USA forges on. Here are a couple juicy tidbits.
Derrick Rose getting acquainted with Kyrie Irving
They are teammates now, striving towards the same goal. However, the competition is already heating up between point guards Derrick Rose and Kyrie Irving. Coach K made that clear when he said the two would alternate starting for USA during the World Cup torunament. Never mind the fact that the two of them will become bitter rivals in the Eastern Conference when the Chicago Bulls and Cleveland Cavaliers begin their expected marches towards championship contention. One can bet the two players are learning all they can about each other in the mean time.
Monty Williams seeing what he will have in Anthony Davis
New Orleans Pelicans head coach Monty Williams is anxious to know what his team will look like in 2014-2015. A great way to assess that would be to continue following the development of his key player, center Anthony Davis. Based on early returns, Williams has to be excited. The Pelicans have the look of a borderline playoff contender, and given the development Davis has shown for USA basketball, especially on the offensive end, the Pelicans may be a closet threat in the Western Conference.
Kenneth Faried building his case for 2015 free agency
NBA free agency dictates team action and reaction more than any other time of year and already 2015 is beginning to take shape. One player who is not only helping his country but helping his financial situation by playing for USA basketball is Kenneth Faried. The athletic and high motor power forward is an understated presence in the paint. He’s gotten better every year for the Denver Nuggets (13.7 points, 8.6 rebounds, 1.2 assists last season). At age 24 he is just beginning to enter his prime. If he can secure a gold medal and then put together another good year, he’ll have serious bargaining power when his contract comes up as a restricted free agent next year.