FanPost

Projecting USA Basketball 2012

With about 1/3 of the NBA season in the books(that was fast), most of the USA basketball finalists are making strong cases for themselves. Lamar Odom, Chauncey Billups and Eric Gordon would probably be happy to go, but so far have proven themselves unworthy of the high honor. That being said, there is no shame of being cut from a list this prestigious.

The remaining cuts are far more challenging, but with the focus on bringing the best team, rather than just the biggest names, my projections are below the jump.

Player Name

Pos

Ht

Wt

Tyson Chandler

C

7'1

235

*Dwight Howard

F/C

6'11

265

LaMarcus Aldridge

F/C

6'11

240

Kevin Love

F

6'10

260

*Kevin Durant

F

6'10

230

*LeBron James

F

6'8

250

Rudy Gay

F

6'8

230

Kobe Bryant

G

6'6

205

*Dwyane Wade

G

6'4

220

Deron Williams

G

6'3

207

*Derrick Rose

G

6'3

190

Chris Paul

G

6'0

175

*Denotes Starter

Considering all of the skill sets, these are the guys I roll with. You might ask why I left some bigger name guys off the list like Bosh, Griffin or Carmelo. Well, that is a question of strategy. And for strategy questions, I defer to Herm here. Well spoken Herm. I believe that Mike Krzyzewski will definitely take that into consideration with the final roster decisions.

This 1st unit is the who’s who of MVP candidates and I like a 2nd unit of Aldridge, Love, Gay, Kobe and Paul. Chandler, Gay and Deron Williams all will be fine as deep bench players and they bring things to the team that the other finalists do not. Chandler brings size, efficient scoring and defense without demanding the ball or playing time—great 12th man. Deron Williams is the perfect backup guard who I don’t think with be upset about minutes, but will bring production whether asked to play PG or SG. Gay is an ideal 10th man backing up the 2 and 3 positions. I don’t think he’s got too much ego for this role either—he can score it well, pass and play D. Melo might be the expected selection for backup SF, but he really only brings shooting to the table and this lineup doesn’t need that. Plus, Melo is barely over 40% from the floor so far this season. Many people say gay is not a choice, but Gay is the choice here.

I’ll also add that while I am nothave never been a Kobe fan, his will to win is enough for me to stick him on this team. Plus, he and Rubio were already exchanging trash talk about it, so they both should be there to see who backs it up.

Rebounding should not be an issue with Howard and Love on the team. There are a number of solid defenders here. On offense, everyone under 6’11" can score from anywhere on the court, which is perfect for international play. I am also including the cuts in order of how deserving I think they are considering their age/health, their current skill sets and who I have in front of them.

Blake Griffin

F

6'10

251

Chris Bosh

F

6'10

230

Carmelo Anthony

F

6'8

230

Andre Iguodala

G/F

6'6

207

Russell Westbrook

G

6'3

187

Eric Gordon

G

6'3

222

Chauncey Billups

G

6'3

202

Lamar Odom

F

6'10

230

Feel free to agree, disagree, mock, ridicule, or just discuss amicably…

My apologies to Blake Griffin, but Love rebounds better, shoots it far better from beyond 10 feet and can make free throws. As in the world Jenga championships, Griffin gets my first alternate designation.

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