Current USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo announced Saturday the finalists for the USA Men’s Basketball Team. The list doesn’t include Anthony Davis, Derrick Rose, Dwyane Wade, Chirs Bosh and Dwight Howard. Wade, Howard and Bosh are all not playing due to injuries sustained during the season and offseason surgeries. Davis, along with Eric Gordon and Rudy Gay, were not selected to participate for the United States basketball team, as they were the three final cuts to make it a 12-man roster.
The current 12-man roster contains a frontcourt of the following:
Carmelo Anthony (New York Knicks) — 6-8, 230 pounds
Kevin Durant (Oklahoma City Thunder) — 6-9, 230 pounds
LeBron James (Miami Heat) — 6-8, 250 pounds
Blake Griffin (Los Angeles Clippers) — 6-10, 251 pounds
Kevin Love (Minnesota Timberwolves) — 6-10, 260 pounds
Tyson Chandler (New York Knicks) — 7-1, 235 pounds
Although the roster only contains one seven feet tall or above (Chandler), Love and Griffin will be able, and are expected to, play the five position in the summer games. The lethal front court attack of James (MVP and Finals MVP), Durant (scoring champion) and Anthony (averaged 22.6 points, 6.3 rebounds in 2011-12) will be hard for any opposing squad to match. LeBron could also come over to help relieve Love and Griffin at the power forward position, as Coach K has already made it known that the two will have to come over to help out Chandler as rim protectors.
The only size that the USA team lost to injury was Howard, which is a pretty big blow because size will be a crucial aspect against gold medal contenders such as Spain. Marc Gasol and Pau Gasol will cause problems for USA when it comes to size match ups, meaning that passing on players such as Davis may come to bite them in the back once the games progress. I still think that the USA team has too much scoring power with James, Durant and Kobe Bryant to not garner a gold medal.
The current 12-man roster contains a backcourt of the following:
Chris Paul (Los Angeles Clippers) — 6-0, 175 pounds
Russell Westbrook (Oklahoma City Thunder) — 6-3, 187 pounds
Deron Williams (Brooklyn Nets) — 6-3, 209 pounds
Kobe Bryant (Los Angeles Lakers) — 6-6, 205 pounds
James Harden (Oklahoma City Thunder) — 6-5, 220 pounds
Andre Iguodala (Philadelphia 76ers) — 6-6, 207 pounds
Three of the returning 2008 gold-medal winners are part of the 2012 USA backcourt, with Paul, Williams and Bryant all reporting back to the team. LeBron and Carmelo are the two other players who are returning to the USA roster. The backcourt has everything that a team could ask for. Wisdom and experience in Bryant, Paul and Williams, youth in Westbrook and Harden and a dual-threat with Iguodala.
Role players like Harden and Iguodala add depth to this Olympic roster, as many have said that this team is more complete than the 2008 team. The point guard position is by far the most stacked of any other spot on the roster. Any three of the one guard finalists could start in any Olympic game. Westbrook will learn a lot from being able to play with Williams and Paul, which I think is what some of these young players should be focused on taking away from this very rare opportunity. With four stars already going down and not being able to play, Harden, Igoudala and Westbrook should be very honored to play for their country.
Here is the upcoming schedule for the USA Men’s Basketball Team:
Now-July 12 — Training in Las Vegas
July 13-15 — Training in Washington D.C.
July 16 — Exhibition game vs. Brazil at Verizon Center, Washington D.C.
July 19 — Exhibition game vs. Great Britain at Manchester Arena, Manchester, England