Summer Ball allows NBA Sneak Peak


Derrick Rose finishes at the rim during quarterfinals action against Slovenia. (Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE/Getty Images)

Angel Perez, Reporter

As the FIBA World Cup ended, there were few doubts that Team USA would win another gold, because of injuries to players like Paul George and withdrawals of star players such as Kevin Durant. Their exit, however, did provide an interesting sneak peak of other top-tier NBA players. The way I see it, there are three things that we can learn about this upcoming NBA season by reviewing the Team USA/FIBA tournament.

1) The Cleveland Cavaliers Will Be a Force to be Reckoned With This Year

With the addition of Kevin Love and the return of superstar LeBron James, the Cavaliers will more than likely have an amazing season this year. The Cavaliers picked up Kevin Love by trading away Andrew Wiggins, and his talent is proven. What FIBA showed us is the star talent of point guard Kyrie Irving, who’s shooting was at an impressive 56% during the tournament also shooting 83% from the free throw line. Irving averaged 12 points a game along with 3 rebounds and four assists per game. I think it’s safe to say that Kyrie and the Cavaliers are definitely going to be in the playoff runnings.

2) The Return of Derrick Rose(Again)   

Chicago Bulls All-Star point guard and the former MVP is once again coming back from an injury. Rose’s torn meniscus last season in November against the Portland Trailblazers kept him off the court until the FIBA Tournament. In those games Rose has started to look a little like his old self, blazing speed and quickness, the ability to finish strong at the basket, and an improved jumpshot. But at other times… Rose can consistently perform the way FIBA has shown he can, the Bulls are in good shape.With power forward/center Pau Gasol and power forward Nikola Mirotic joining Rose, Joakim Noah, Taj Gibson, Kirk Hinrich, Jimmy Butler, and Mike Dunleavy. Bulls fans such as myself should look forward to the upcoming season and expecting the Bulls to once again be a dominant force in the Eastern Conference.

3) Injuries During FIBA Tournament

The tournament was bitter-sweet, with the gold-medal chase costing the NBA some injuries. Pacers forward Paul George is gone for the year owing to a horrific leg injury and an injury to the Sacramento Kings Center DeMarcus Cousins will also impact the upcoming season. These injuries may mean that some of the early predictions need to change.