Thursday, August 19, 2010

There's Nothing Like International Ball

    I love international basketball tournaments.  How many of you feel about the World Cup, that's how I feel about Olympic Basketball and the FIBA World Championships.  The 2010 World Championship kicks off in 9 days.  Coach K's team is already in Spain preparing for tune up games against Spain, Greece and Lithuania.  There has been a lot of talk about the lack of size with this team.  We'll just have to hope Tyson Chandler, Lamar Odom (Khlodom as I call him) and Kevin Love are big enough for Team USA.  This team is going to need to run, shoot extremely well and play rock solid defense.

    The best starting five for this team is Stephen Curry at the point, Chauncey at the 2, Andre Iguadola at the 3, Kevin Durant (who needs no nickname by the way.  I like calling him by his full name.  I do the same with my dog, Rose The Bulldog.  It just fits.) at the 4 and Tyson Chandler at the 5.  Is this team small? You bet, but there are like 2 or 3 teams where size is an issue.  Brazil has a three headed monster of Nene, Andy Varejao and Tiago Splitter, so you might need to plug Klodom or Kevin Love in to the starting 5 then.  Also, Spain's size is problematic but less so because of the absence of The Big Neckbeard, Pau Gasol and Argentina could cause problems inside as well.

   Second unit should look something like Khlodom, Rudy Gay, Eric Gordon, Rondo or Derrick Rose and Kevin Love (Sorry Danny Granger and either Rondo or D-Rose, we'll see you in London...).  This way you always have at least a couple shooters on the court and athletic 3's like Durant, Iggy & Gay to crash the boards, defend and get out and run.  Expect Durant to play 30 minutes or so a game.  As he proved in college his size and shooting ability make him the perfect zone buster.

    Two most important things for Team USA over the next few weeks I think is being active on D and keeping at least a couple of shooters on the court.  Translation: At no point should Rajon Rondo and Derrick Rose ever be on the court together.  Ever.

    I don't know if I expect Team USA to win, but I can't wait to see how it comes together.  Hopefully Kevin Durant decides to go in to Terminator mode and just tear through the competition.  One thing I know is this won't end as poorly as 2004 in Athens when Starbury and A.I. were starting in the back court together.  That sucked.  Oh wait, I forgot, that never happened.

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