Team USA is in Chicago for some warm-up action in the Nike World Basketball Festival. They'll play Brazil's national team on Saturday before heading to New York for a game against Dominican Republic on August 20 and then a game against Puerto Rico on August 22. They'll have one more tune-up on August 26 in Spain before the FIBA World Cup begins on August 30 when they kick off the tournament against Finland.
USA Basketball still needs to cut down their roster to 12 players. Sacramento Kings' center DeMarcus Cousins is one of the players being considered for the final roster, but a knee injury he suffered in practice on Thursday will keep him out of the exhibition game against Brazil on Saturday in Chicago. Nick Friedell of ESPN Chicago tells us Cousins is out for the game but Anthony Davis will play, despite missing practice with a sore neck.
Cousins (knee) won't play tomorrow. Anthony Davis has a sore neck and didn't practice -- but he will play.— Nick Friedell (@NickFriedell) August 15, 2014
It's unlikely that this game will make or break Cousins' chances with making the team. But if the knee is still too sore to play or they feel the need to be cautious with his injury -- even if it's minor -- Cousins won't make the final cut. He's up with Davis (a lock to make the team), Mason Plumlee of the Brooklyn Nets, and Andre Drummond of the Detroit Pistons. With Kevin Durant, Kevin Love, and Paul George all out, Team USA will have a mixture of point guards, small forwards, and these big men available.
Weeks ago, it sounded like Plumlee and Cousins would be battling for a final spot on the roster but the roster drastically changed due to George's injury and Durant withdrawing from the competition this summer. Now, Cousins could be a key cog for Team USA with his size and skill, should he make the roster.