First of all let’s be clear. The roster isn’t done yet. Training camp is still ongoing. But as it is now, guys, this ain’t good. More of an explanation after the cut.
First of all, none of the players who were on the team that won the Olympic gold last year are here for a variety of reasons. So you have a younger team, a team that hasn’t played together in the same way that the Olympic team did, who will now be expected to pick up right where their veteran forebearers left off. And that’s not all.
Currently, courtesy of USA Basketball, this is the team: Chauncey Billups (Denver Nuggets); Tyson Chandler (Dallas Mavericks); Stephen Curry (Golden State Warriors); Kevin Durant (Oklahoma City Thunder); Rudy Gay (Memphis Grizzlies); Eric Gordon (Los Angeles Clippers); Danny Granger (Indiana Pacers); Andre Iguodala (Philadelphia 76ers); Kevin Love (Minnesota Timberwolves); Lamar Odom (Los Angeles Lakers); Rajon Rondo (Boston Celtics); Derrick Rose (Chicago Bulls); and Russell Westbrook (Oklahoma City Thunder).
Before I go any further please realize that the team still needs one more cut. But as it is now, this is not a team that I think can win the World Championships.
To be sure it’s a really good team. But it doesn’t have the same strengths that the last team did. Firstly: there aren’t as many guys who can play together as the old team did.
Just as an example, would you play Rondo & Rose together? On defense of course you would. On offense, i don;t think it works. They’re both guys who need the ball in their hands to work well, and both of their jumpers (Rondo’s especially) are well…. needy.
Secondly, their big men are young and inexperienced. Tyson Chandler and Kevin Love are solid defense-first big men. But I don’t think they can guard european-style big men who have mastered shooting from distance.
Right now, I’m not sure this is a team that can win the Worlds. Be watching. this could be fun.