I’m not convinced that this tactic is going to work for Team USA and lead them to winning the World Championships, but it certainly worked against an inferior China team on Saturday.
They ran all over China to the tune of a 98-51 win. Danny Granger led the way for Team USA with 22 points on 9/12 shooting from the field. Eric Gordon, who is one of the fringe guys looking for a roster spot, made his case with 15 points.
Kevin Durant added 14 points and Derrick Rose chipped in with 12.
It’s becoming pretty clear that Mike Krzyzewski is planning on only bringing one true center to Istanbul for the World Championships and that is Tyson Chandler. JaVale McGee didn’t see any action in the scrimmage nor did Jeff Green, which is a sign that both of those guys will likely be cut from the team.
It’s a firm belief of those close to Team USA that they can overcome their lack of size with their speed. All I have to say to that is; isn’t that what we thought in the 2004 Olympics?
I don’t want to sound like a downer, but if this team was going to overcome their lack of size, then it would need more star power with guys like Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, and Dwyane Wade.
Instead, this team is full of talented players with really only one superstar in Kevin Durant and lack size inside. The initial plan was to bring multiple centers to Turkey, but guys like Brook and Robin Lopez had to pull out with injuries.
Speed certainly won’t be an issue when the team heads to Turkey as they displayed today they are probably the fastest team in the tournament. They outscored China 32-4 in fast-break points today.
Team USA will face off in their only exhibition game on American soil tomorrow when they play France at Madison Square Garden. After that, the team will head to Europe for a three-game exhibition trip.
The team will face Lithuania and Spain in Madrid on August 21st and 22nd. Then, they will play their final exhibition game against Greece in Athens on August 25th. Team USA’s first game in Turkey will be against Croatia on August 28th.
I’m a homer. I cannot hide my bias for Team USA, but I also cannot hide the fact that I do not think this team can win the World Championships with Tyson Chandler as the lone center.
I can’t get excited about that. Kevin Durant is a superstar and he should have a huge tournament, but what’s going to happen when we face a team like Spain that can run with us and has a better post game?
I’ll be surer of what this team can do when they play Spain in Madrid next Sunday. Now, if Team USA loses to Spain, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they will suffer the same fate if they see them again in Turkey, because they are facing them on their own soil.
I just want to see how they stack up against Spain, even if it is an exhibition. At this point, I have Spain as the favorite to win the World Championships and I do think that the United States is good enough to finish 2nd or 3rd, but I don’t think at this point they are good enough to overtake the Spanish squad.
I hope I’m wrong.