Monday, July 23, 2007

A Team USA Update

I stumbled across something called the State Farm challenge tonight which turned out to be a scrimmage between Team USA's basketball team. By the way, I find it extremely annoying when people refer to every national team as "The Dream Team". There was only one Dream Team. I'm pretty sure that no one's "dream" team includes Mike Miller's disgusting hair. Anyways, the game actually turned out to be pretty exciting. The Blue team made up a double digit fourth quarter deficit to win by one. Kobe hit a jumper to give them the lead with 6 seconds left while Lebron missed a fadeaway jumper at the buzzer. This game wasn't as worthless as it seemed however. Currently there are 17 players on the roster but it has to be whittled down to 12 for the start of Olympic qualifying and a couple players surprised me with strong efforts. The aformentioned Mike Miller led the White team in scoring with 22 points in just 24 minutes. However, it should be noted that he shot 15 three pointers. I'm not even sure how it's possible for him to get off that many three pointers in such a short period. He pretty much has to the worst player on the floor at all times right? Regardless, Miller proved he can knock down an open shot, something Team USA desperately needs. The other player that really surprised me was Kevin Durant. He also went off for 22 points in 24 minutes and at times looked unstoppable. He was able to score from beyond the arc, by hitting jump shots and slashing to the rim. I realize he was unreal in college but I didn't expect the same kind of performance right away against NBA players.

I'm not going to write about all the struggles that the national team has had lately because frankly, they're all lame excuses in my eyes. I realize that the foreign teams spend much more time together and therefore are able to beat us with team oriented basketball. However, that doesn't take away the fact that our teams are overwelmingly more talented. There has to be a way to get these guys together for about a couple weeks and make them buy into the idea of playing as a team and setting aside their egos. The problem is that just about every single one of these guys is used to being the go-to-guy so it's difficult for them to take a backseat to anyone else. They're attempting to add some continuity to the team by making everyone commit two years at a time and they're also trying to add role players such as Shane Battier and Tyson Chandler. I guess we'll see how this all works out in Beijing.

Back to the current roster; five guys need to be cut from this team. Here's the box score from the game which lists all the available players. Redick obviously needs to go. This was painfully obvious during the game. I also think that Billups should be cut. Nevermind the fact that hes an arrogant douche, but the team has enough point guards as is and his skills are declining. Who knows how bad he'll be by the time the Olympics start. I also think that Miller should be off. The team doesn't need another player willing to throw it up every time they get the ball. Tyson Chandler doesn't make the cut either. There's just too much depth in the frontcourt and his defensive skills don't come close to making up for his offensive deficiences. For the last cut I would reccomend Carmelo. I realize that he's an excellent scorer but he needs the ball entirely too much. He doesn't play the type of game that translates well to International play. Of course he's definitely going to be on the team so that means Hinrich or Battier is probably going to be the last one to go.

To wrap this up, I think the perfect starting lineup would be Kidd, Kobe, Lebron, Bosh, and Howard. That team would be able to run everyone else off the court. Kidd has a knack for finding the open guy and Lebron would have no problem letting Kobe be the man. As much of a douche as Kobe is he's the most unstoppable player on the planet. I'll feel pretty confident with the ball in his hands with the clock winding down. Who knows what's going to happen though. I'm sure we'll lose to Brazil or some garbage like that. I wouldnt' even really be happy if we won anything at this point. I'd just be relieved.

7 Comments:

Buzzsaw said...

Team USA is gonna really miss Joe Johnson ... What about Morrison, how'd he play? Does he have a shot?

BigLots said...

Morrison either wasn't invited to the camp or he turned it down. They only available players are the ones that played in last night's game.

Logan said...

Good article, but I dont get the picture. Why is Harry Potter wearing a bulls jersey?

Matt Jenks said...

I think Morrison wasn't invited. In his place was J.J. Redick, he of the awesome rookie campaign in the NBA.

If it comes down to Hinrich or Battier, guess which one gets the boot? My money's on Hinrich (or however you spell it) since he doesn't have that Duke Blue running through his veins (not that Battier's a BAD player, but still...)

Guy said...

I can't believe you didn't make fun of LeBron for missing the game winner.

Buzzsaw said...

They should just sit Lebron when they play France, the wounds are too fresh, or Argentina for that matter.

Buzzsaw said...

Too soon?