Blog Entry

Breaking down the Team USA roster situation

Posted on: July 26, 2010 12:28 pm
Edited on: July 26, 2010 9:33 pm
Posted by Royce Young

Cuts are expected today for Team USA and Jerry Colangelo says right now he plans on taking 15 players to training camp. Currently though, there are 19 guys on the roster, so four appear to be getting the rest of the summer off.

So, the obvious question i s: Who's likely to be in and out? And not only that, who's looking good for the final roster as well?

The Lock

Kevin Durant - I'm going to write something here just because everybody else is. But we know this is KD's team and he did nothing Saturday night to make you think otherwise. Not only did he score at his typical high-efficiency clip (28 points on 10-17 shooting) but he also showed off some excellent passing skills. He's the only guy that's a confirmed lock at this point.

The Almost Locks

Derrick Rose - The competition is pretty fierce between Rose, Russell Westbrook, Rajon Rondo and Chauncey Billups. Deciding not only who makes the final cut will be tough, but who plays? Right now Rose has the upper hand because of reputation and also he's played well thus far in Vegas. But a poor week and he could easily slip down into the maybe section.

Chauncey Billups - Billups will likely make the final roster by default. He's the elder statesman of the team and with so many guys around 21 or 22, having an "OG" (Old Guy) as they're calling him, isn't a bad thing.

Rudy Gay - Other than Durant, Gay was the most impressive player Saturday. He netted 23 on 7-11 from the floor and really showcased his athleticism. Gay has an extremely good chance to not just make the final roster, but to have a big impact in Turkey as well.

Tyson Chandler - Coming in, Chandler was a total bubble guy. Now he's not only almost a guarantee, but probably the US's starting center. He's been more aggressive in the paint than anyone else and with Team USA lacking size, Chandler is a perfect piece to set up in the middle to defend the rim. Plus, with FIBA rules allowing players to knock the ball off the rim, Chandler could be an absolute force.

Rajon Rondo - The problem with Rondo is that he's one dimensional. Westbrook, Rose and Billups can conceivably slide over to the 2, but Rondo is locked into the point guard position. If David Lee doesn't get hurt and Amar'e Stoudemire were available, Rondo might be on the block. But as of today, it's looking good for Rondo.

The Looking Goods
Kevin Love - Love has a lot of value to this team because he can rebound, set screens and pass. Plus with the shortened 3-point line, he could be an absolute deadly pick-and-pop candidate. He's not a lock yet because he's hasn't performed especially well so far, but he's likely to make the at least the first cut.

Brook Lopez - Lopez is currently suffering from mono, so not only does that explain his lackluster performances, but it puts him in jeopardy of missing the games. The US needs his size badly and that's why he still has a great shot at the team.

Russell Westbrook - In the scrimmage, Westbrook was a menace. He's like a ball-hawking safety that's always looking to jump a route. He's the Ed Reed of the NBA. And because of that, he has a nice shot at the roster as a stopper to come in and frustrate someone like Ricky Rubio. Westbrook is a physical guard that beats up a lot of opponents. With the hand-checking rules, Westbrook could get downright nasty.

Stephen Curry - Team USA needs a shooter and nobody's stroke has been better. Well, other than Durant's. But Curry can play both the point and shooting guard, but his job will be to step on the floor and knock down treys.

Lamar Odom - Odom is a versatile power forward that can do it all for Team USA. Which is something it needs with the injuries and issues the team has had up front. However, Odom isn't a guarantee at this point because he admittedly came in to Vegas in poor shape and hasn't looked wonderful. But everyone knows what he's capable of so he'll likely be there.

Andre Iguodala - Iguodala may not make the final cut because of a logjam at the 2 and 3, but he's played well enough to at least get to camp. He's an above average wing defender and fits in well with Team USA's up-tempo approach.

The Maybes
Danny Granger - Granger has the unfavorable position of being behind Kevin Durant and Rudy Gay. However, Durant and Gay might be spending a healthy amount of time at the 4, meaning Granger could slip in and play small forward. He's shot the ball well and scored at a high clip thus far. He's competing basically against Andre Iguodala and right now, Iguodala's defense gives him a slight edge.

Gerald Wallace - Thus far, Wallace hasn't impressed much offensively. But really, he rarely does. He makes his mark by playing harder than everyone else, playing defense and just scoring tough buckets. There's a plethora of small forwards on the roster, but having an extra ace defender is never bad. Wallace may make this cut, but he'll be in a battle with Granger and Iguodala for the final 12.

Jeff Green - Green has been pretty meh so far. His 3-point shot has been inconsistent, he hasn't hit many jumpers and he hasn't rebounded exceptionally well. Yet because of the team's situation, he fits in well. He's versatile, can play multiple positions and can be a very solid offensive player. He might not see quality time, but he's worth having.

The Four on the Block
Eric Gordon - The US was looking for a shooter to stretch the zone defense international teams love to play a la Michael Redd in 2008 and basically, it was a competition between Gordon and Curry. And so far, it looks like Curry has the upper hand. Gordon has shot the ball well, but Curry's stroke is so pure that it's hard to picture it going flat under the pressure in Turkey. Gordon's is a beautiful thing, but a little more inconsistent.

Tyreke Evans - A tweaked ankle is all that's keeping Evans out. He was likely a lock for this roster, but because of a sore ankle he's missed most the practices plus the scrimmage. For shame.

JaVale McGee - McGee is a darkhorse just because he's  seven feet tall and is a center. Team USA needs that sort of thing badly. But right now, he's just too unpolished to go in front of someone like Kevin Love or Brook Lopez. McGee has shown some encouraging flashes of brilliance, but he's just not ready.

O.J. Mayo - A player like Mayo is going to undeservedly get left off this roster and it's just because of the supply of backcourt players. Team USA is ultra thin up front, so Coach K and company are more likely to take someone like Gerald Wallace or Jeff Green who can play on the front line than stack another guard onto the already full backcourt.


Since: Nov 12, 2006
Posted on: July 28, 2010 1:56 pm

Breaking down the Team USA roster situation

Through immigration and slavery the USA is a combination of individuals whose descents are not originally from here.Can we get one giant "Duh!" here?  Unless the player is Native American he's here through immigration.  It's moronic to draw a distinction based on color just because its easy. 

Oh, and Africa isn't a country.  Its a continent.  That's like saying all white players should play for "Europe". 

Since: Nov 12, 2006
Posted on: July 28, 2010 1:48 pm

Breaking down the Team USA roster situation

He is probably the best point guard in the league right now. BAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHHA!!  Nice one.  Thanks for that.  But I almost laughed soda out my nose, so I gotta be more careful when I read these posts.  Funny stuff though.  Awesome.

Since: Oct 30, 2006
Posted on: July 28, 2010 11:41 am

Breaking down the Team USA roster situation

come on heritage? that doesnt even come close to a european mix as are most whites in the are a citizen of your country, things your ancestors did as a part of another country really dont apply here. to be honest i hope lebron and others are banned from team usa in 2012. They dont want to put in the time...too bad, dont play. This team is good, although we do need a big love for howard to be there, but in international play he gets called for too many fouls. the biggest weakness we had when losing was the inability to make shots...curry and durant are that. The international team is gonna be stunned by durant...6'10" with a jumper like that???!? and Rose has become very good with his jumper, he just chooses not to shoot so many..but given the shorter line, he'll be fine..besides no one can stay in front of him.

Since: Jun 7, 2010
Posted on: July 27, 2010 8:47 pm

Breaking down the Team USA roster situation

I think players playing for their own country makes this more competitive and the iternational players will definitely increase ratings & interest. Then again what if all the black players decided to play for Africa. Representing your homeland is always honor. Through immigration and slavery the USA is a combination of individuals whose descents are not originally from here.

Since: Nov 12, 2006
Posted on: July 27, 2010 4:43 pm

Breaking down the Team USA roster situation

with durant and curry and athletes running to the rim, a pg who can rebound defend like a moster and dish it is neededExactly.  Which is why I'd rather have Westbrook.  Rondo gambles and gets burned in man defense - he's an excellent off the ball defender.  Westbrook can lock down his opponent and change the game. 

Good call about Brandon Roy.  He'd be option 1A if he were on this team.

Since: Nov 2, 2006
Posted on: July 27, 2010 4:26 pm

Breaking down the Team USA roster situation

does this team really mean anything???? because once the olympics comes around all the redeam team will be back for the most part minus prob kidd kobe and redd....replace with durant rose and steph curry,,,just to name a few off the top of my head

Since: Sep 20, 2008
Posted on: July 27, 2010 3:21 pm

Breaking down the Team USA roster situation

Gerald Wallace makes only about half of his shots every game. To score 20 a game, he would NEED to have plays run for him. But even if you did that, he's a very average offensive presence

Really?? You think Gerald Wallace is very average offensively.. I see now, you go off names and not numbers or what actually  happens on the court.. Lets see how Gerald Wallace stacks up against a few fellow USA member..

Gerald Wallace- 18.2 points, 10 rebounds pergame. 48% from the field and 37% from 3 point range.

O.J. Mayo- 17.5 points, 3 assists, 3 rebounds per game. 45% from the field & 38% from 3 point range

Now, you want to give up 7 more reounds per game, more block shots, 3 points higher field goal percentage, just because Mayo shoots 1 percentage point higher from 3 point range.. PLEASE

Gerald Wallace- 18.2 points, 10 rebounds pergame. 48% from the field and 37% from 3 point range.

Danny Granger- 24 points, 5 rebounds per game.. 42% from the field and 36% from 3 point range..

And I thought Danny Granger was supposed to be a better shooter.. He doesn't shoot better from the field or from 3 point range as Gerald Wallace.. Factor in 5 boards a game less and less block shots and Gerald Wallace seems like the better player here too.. All Danny Granger does better than Gerald Wallace is shoot the ball more times, by far..

Gerald Wallace- 18.2 points, 10 rebounds pergame. 48% from the field and 37% from 3 point range.

Russell Westbrook- 16 points, 8 assists.. 41% from the field and 22 from 3 point range..

I know Westbrook is a guard, but doesn't that mean he is supposed to shoot the ball better than "average offensive" Gerald Wallace?? 22% from 3 point range is laughable.. With all the point guards USa has, Westbrook could be left at home.

Gerald Wallace is better than you give him credit for.. USA should select him

Since: Aug 5, 2008
Posted on: July 27, 2010 1:30 pm

Breaking down the Team USA roster situation

Gerald Wallace can have a 20-10 game, easy, without any plays being ran for him. he does it all of the time.. Thats what Team USA would need.

Are you high? Gerald Wallace makes only about half of his shots every game. To score 20 a game, he would NEED to have plays run for him. But even if you did that, he's a very average offensive presence. You can't put a guy on this team just because he can grab a few boards and score a couple of points in the paint.

Since: Jan 30, 2008
Posted on: July 27, 2010 1:25 pm

Breaking down the Team USA roster situation

I don't think team USA can afford to pass on OJ Mayo in favor of Rajon Rondo. Rondo is clearly the better NBA point man, but in the international game, somebody has to hit open jumpers, and there's no question Mayo is a much better shooter than Rondo at this point.

I think the final 12 will be:

Guards - Billups, Rose, Westbrook, Curry, Mayo
Wings - Durant, Gay, Iguodala, Wallace
Bigs - Chandler, Odom, Lopez (if healthy), Love if not.

Westbrook, Billups, Mayo and Curry can all play off the ball if necessary - remember, Westbrook played the 2 at UCLA. Plus, having four guys that could play either G spot makes multiple lineups possible.

Of the wings, Gay, Wallace and Durant could all play at the 4 if necessary. That makes this squad really small. I really wish there was room for both Love and Lopez up front because I like Love's shooting ability, but there just aren't enough roster spots.

Basically, of the guards, Rose and Westbrook aren't great shooters, but their defense and speed make up for their inability to hit from deep. Of the wings, Wallace is probably the worst perimeter shooter, and he isn't bad. Granger could be helpful in Wallace's spot, but Wallace's rebounding is invaluable on such a small team. For that reason alone, I picked Wallace over Granger, though I think Granger is the better NBA player. Chandler is a non-shooter, but defensively he stands out of this group. Odom is too versatile to leave home. Green is left off the roster because he is a lesser version of Odom. McGee is odd man out right now, but I could see him making the roster over Love and Lopez. Love's shooting ability may net him a spot, but his defensive shortcomings mean he has to play with Chandler also on the floor to protect the rim.

As an aside, if Lopez ends up out, I think McGee definitely makes the last 15 just to give the coaches more options up front.

Since: Aug 17, 2006
Posted on: July 27, 2010 12:19 pm

Breaking down the Team USA roster situation

It looks like when they have unde 23 year old soccer teams.   Why are we sending the Junior Varsity to a world championship and so many players that need the ball to be effective. 

Besides Rondo no one else from the NBA all defense 1st or 2nd team is on this team including Gerald Wallace and Josh Smith.   

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