Team USA is complete. The 2014 FIBA squad may be the last fully-loaded team to play in international competition because of all the injury risks and demands, so this should be an enjoyable run.
Lillard is the only one with a real cause for disappointment, but Team USA already packed Kyrie Irving, Derrick Rose, and Stephen Curry as the guards. As for Korver, Parsons, and Hayward, the position was loaded with Rudy Gay, DeMar DeRozan, James Harden, and Klay Thompson. Wing and guard positions were absolutely stacked this go-around.
The final cuts were clear choices. One could make the argument of Lillard over Irving, but it’s a wash at this point. Team USA would play the same style with or without Lillard.
The necessity for Faried, Plumlee, and Drummond were obvious. Faried was chosen for the position scarcity (power forward), Drummond and Plumlee were selected for paint protection and overall defense. The main international competition use big men effectively (re: Spain). The other two centers are just stars in the making.
Is this the best team for Team USA?
Given the resources and the circumstances, the team is still the favorite to win it all. Without Kevin Durant, Paul George, and Kevin Love, the star-factor fell a bit. But, in their place came necessary cogs and emerging studs.
Team USA will play fast, finesse, and exciting basketball with their guard-heavy roster. And the world will be exposed to the monster that is future-MVP Anthony Davis.
The final 12 were selected and it’s the best possible group to play the competition. It’s just too bad that it may be the last time we see a star-packed team in a while.
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