With the Rio Olympic games approaching quickly (August 8 – August 21) we take a look at the US men’s basketball team who is currently training in Las Vegas before an exhibition game against Argentina, Friday, July 22, at T-Mobile Arena.
1 – Kyrie Irving
2- Klay Thompson
3- Kevin Durant
4- Carmelo Anthony
5- DeMarcus Cousins
The ‘Second Platoon’
1 – Kyle Lowry
2 – Jimmy Butler
3 – Paul George
4 – Draymond Green
5 – DeAndre Jordan
** DeMar DeRozen and Harrison Barnes also on roster**
SPOILER ALERT: EITHER ‘PLATOON’ COULD WIN GOLD AT OLYMPICS
Look, the starting five on this roster can and WILL handily beat any team that is on the path to the gold medal.
After watching these teams scrimmage all week against the US Select Team it’s clear that every other country is participating for silver. With NBA players making up 100% of this roster, and NBA players being the top 1% of all basketball players in the world – – well, I’ll let you do the math.
Basically, this USA men’s basketball team is really really good.
The three big things to look at in these exhibition games: the dominance of the USA’s post presence, the ability to move the ball around the perimeter, and three point shooting.
The Irving-Cousins combo in the pick & roll has been nothing short of deadly. Literally, no player on either roster (Olympic/US Select) has been able to guard Cousins in the post. With Cousins brute strength, fantastic footwork, and smooth touch around the rim he has abused every player to step up to him throughout training camp. I have Cousins as my team MVP for Olympic play when it’s all said and done. DeAndre Jordan and Carmelo Anthony have been putting in a lot of work out of the post as well, with Jordan being more of a defensive presence.
The only issue I’ve seen is the ball movement on the perimeter. This is something that takes time usually, but in Olympic play when it clicks – it clicks, and the points will begin to pour in rapidly. Irving is responsible for bringing the ball up the floor, but rarely was seen attacking the rim as he usually does. Durant and Anthony were the two that held the ball a lot in isolation situations, but began dishing it more frequently as the week went on usually resulting in good looks.
Thompson, Durant, Anthony, Irving, Lowry, George, Green, and Cousins were all seen knocking down threes consistently. This team will LITE other teams up with its shooting alone, but the scariness of this US roster really lies in the ability to get to the rack. When this team starts getting to the basket the open three pointers will begin to rain, and trust me, no team wants to get blown out in the first 10-minutes because they’re allowing open looks to some of the best shooters in the world.
I don’t see this team losing one game, and the closest game may be a 15-point game against China or Spain. Still, I hope everyone still tunes in to watch the best basketball players in the world compete for always desirable gold medal. I know I will be.
USA! USA! USA!