Team USA will need to be creative to repeat as champions.
The roster is incredibly young in international play experience (Anthony Davis is a “veteran” on the team) and it lacks position-depth.
There’s many point guards (a positive), versatile wing players, one power forward, and two capable star centers.
The guards include: Derrick Rose, Damian Lillard, Stephen Curry, and Kyrie Irving. Of the group, only Rose is the biggest question mark (injury concerns). Every guard can score well, create off the dribble, and possess near unlimited range. Curry and Lillard should be the two focal points for the team’s offense, but Irving and Rose should dazzle as well.
That’s Team USA’s biggest strength.
The wing players will be a mix-and-match with only arguably Rudy Gay and Chandler Parsons getting the consistent minutes. The parity with the wings is a weakness, as in the lack of a power forward after Kenneth Faried.
This is where Team USA must be creative. Thankfully, they have two great athletic centers in Davis and DeMarcus Cousins backing this up. The lineups that should grace the international stage should be fast-paced, exciting, and most importantly, creative.
Could there be a three-guard set with Cousins and Davis on the block? Definitely a possibility. Or a small ball with four guards and Davis as the lone big man? Potentially.
The argument that Team USA lost a lot of its star power and favoritism because of Kevin Love and Kevin Durant withdrawing, and the loss of Paul George, is still true to a degree. But, this new Team USA should still compete, put up points easily, and even manhandle the majority of the competition.
If the coaches and staff for the team succeed, this could be a winner. The plethora of offensive talent and versatility is enough to make any video game NBA player jealous; it will just take a little bit of adjusting and creativity.
Photo Credit: Kyle Terada | USA TODAY Sports
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