It’s that time again. The London Olympics are right around the corner and the men’s basketball team is in the midst of figuring out who’ll be the right combination of players to bring home the gold. This once forgone conclusion is now anything but, and the U.S. needs to figure out the right mix of offense and defense as well as inside and outside play to make it happen
Some of the players on the list are givens. No one doubts for a second names like Kobe, Lebron, Durant, Dwade, Anthony, Howard, CP3 and Rose are givens for the team, but when you get outside this initial list of names it becomes tougher to trim down the roster. Currently, coach Krzyzewski has the list down to 20 players. That means 8 NBA All-Stars still need to be cut. Egos are about to be injured.
Two potential sleepers that might make the team are Portland’s Aldridge and the Knicks Tyson Chandler. Both of these big men are very mobile and capable of stretching the floor, which is key in the international flavor of basketball played at the Olympics. That’s right. Lets remember we aren’t playing American style bball here folks. It’s international rules in the Olympics with those wacky trapezoid shaped keys and everything is a foul rules.
The U.S. has made the mistake of simply grabbing the 12 most popular or 12 best players before and wound up standing an unacceptable 2nd or 3rd on the podium. This year coach K is determined to put together the right combination of players to bring home the gold. Half the battle is in picking the right combination of offense, defense, inside, and outside players that fit the international rules best
A couple additional names also likely in the mix for the few remaining slots are Bosch, Griffin, and Love. These three players provide great front-court depth. Bosch is a vet of international ball and proven very good at blending in with big name players in Miami, but Griffin has to be an early favorite with his dominant play so far this year. Whoever coach K selects, lets just hope we hear the U.S. national anthem is being played after the gold metal game.