I know several unc fans that didnt pull for the usa in the olympics because k was involved. Dont let any unc or uk fan fool you, they would love nothing more than to see the usa team get a bronze.
DBR linked to this on the front page.
Here's the alleged roster:
- LaMarcus Aldridge
- Carmelo Anthony
- Chauncey Billups
- Chris Bosh
- Kobe Bryant
- Tyson Chandler
- Kevin Durant
- Eric Gordon
- Blake Griffin
- Dwight Howard
- Andre Iguodala
- LeBron James
- Kevin Love
- Lamar Odom
- Chris Paul
- Derrick Rose
- Dwyane Wade
- Russell Westbrook
- Deron Williams
That's 20 guys and will need to be cut down to 12 for the Olympics. Coach K seems to like guys who can play multiple positions and who can sacrifice their egos for the success of the team. Also we'll be playing international FIBA rules.
2008 players not on this list: Boozer, Kidd, Prince, Redd.
2010 players not on this list: Curry, Gay, Granger.
Keeping those things in mind, let's go through by position:
Point Guard - Billups, Paul, Rose, Westbrook, Williams. We wont be taking 5 pg's and I think Billups is the easy cut here. He is injured right now and may not come out the other side of this season unscathed. I think Paul's knees bear watching, but he's automatically on this team if he can go. If Paul plays I think it becomes a fight between Deron and Russell for the 3rd pg slot. Rajon Rondo could play his way into a tryout. He's leading the league in assists and his jumper is falling. I think John Wall is out this time but could get consideration in 2014.
Projection: Paul, Rose, Williams.
Shooting Guard - Kobe, Wade, Gordon. I think Kobe could be the Jason Kidd of this team, only starting and finishing games in limited minutes, but definitely being the leader. Hopefully his knees hold up this season. Wade is another one whose health is never certain. Gordon is an up and comer and I would expect him to make the team. No cuts out of these three. But Steph Curry could bubble up in tryouts and can play both guard positions. James Harden is playing well this year and could earn a tryout.
Projection: Kobe, Wade, Gordon.
Small Forward - Melo, Durant, James, Igoudala. I think there's a good chance both KD and Lebron start and we go small and just irritate every team because they cannot match up with us. Melo should make it. He's a top 10 player when he's inspired and played very well in 2008. I'd expect Igoudala to be cut. Rudy Gay could earn a tryout.
Projection: Durant, James.
Power Forward - Aldridge, Bosh, Blake, Love, Odom. I like Aldridge and Bosh for jump-shooting ability, Odom for his versatility, Love for his rebounding and passing and Blake because he's an animal. You have to start cutting people for their shortcomings though: I'd cut Aldridge because he does not rebound well or protect the rim. I'd cut Odom because he's not playing well and may be in a post-L.A. funk. Plus the Kardashians might tag along. Ugh. The only other guys who could get a tryout are Al Horford and Javale McGee who I think was the last guy cut in 2010.
Projection: Bosh, Blake, Love.
Center - Chandler, Howard. Dwight could be in the midst of some crazy contract stuff and Tyson may not be healthy enough to go. I'd probably bet against Tyson making this team. We can always play Odom at center (see 2010 World Games) and Love can eat space. The only two names I would add to the list for getting possible tryouts are Greg Monroe and Joakim Noah. Short of amazing tryouts by either, we'd be more likely to load up on power forwards than bring in another center.
So my starting 5 would be Paul, Kobe, Lebron, KD and Dwight. The rest of the rotation would be Rose, Williams, Wade, Blake and Love. The last two guys who will play limited minutes would be Bosh and Gordon. The last guys not to make the team - Melo and Odom.
Thanks for the roster and comments, Super Dave.
Could you clarify your position on Carmelo Anthony?
If I read that right, you were very positive about him in the Small Forward section, but then indicated he'd likely not make the team.
My guess is that he would make the team, though I don't have a firm opinion yet on who doesn't make it.
One major caveat, we cannot project who will be healthy in 6 months. If Paul, Kobe or Wade cannot go, Melo may bump up onto the roster.
The starting five would be Paul, Kobe, James, Melo, and Howard, with Rose, D-Will, Wade, KD, and Bosh filling out the rest of the 10-man rotation (K generally went 9-10 deep at the Olympics).
K won't take more than 3 bigs, so the last big spot will go to Blake or Love, and I think Gordon will be the 12th man to fill the shooting specialist role.
Thanks for starting this, I tried to find an older thread and see if any of our predictions came to fruition, but didn't seem like we had a good set of predictions on this that I could find... My $0.02 below.
1st of all, the way I had typically broken it out was into 3 groups as opposed to 5 by each "position." As you mention, coach K will want versatility (remember Paul and D-will played together in '08 quite a bit) and so I think of it in these 3 groups: PGs, Wings, and Post Men. The distribution in 08 was
3 PGs (Kidd, Paul, Williams)
6 Wings (Kobe, Bron, Melo, Wade, Prince, Redd)
3 posts (Howard, Bosh, Boozer)
I'd expect a similar distribution this time around, and I'll use that as context in responding.
Projection: Paul, Rose, Williams. (same)
3 comments:1) Kobe's health is such an X-factor. 2) Tough for me to see Melo NOT making this team. 3) I see 6 guys coming out of this pool, not 5. Instead, I cut someone from the post group below (not Gordon, as you suggest above).
On Kobe: seems like he's going to play with a hurt wrist all year and will likely need time to heal in the off-season. He also underwent some significant treatments last year in the off-season. Basically, I think there's a real chance he doesn't play, but who the heck knows. He's a trooper, plays with injury, and loves coach K so I could also see him gutting it out.
On Melo: K loves Melo, in the int'l game especially (not to mention Boeheim is a close friend and top assistant). He's an ideal stretch 4. He started and was the 4th leading scorer on the 08 team. He's also a good shooter, which we'll need.
No discussion really required on the other guys. Durant, James, & Wade are all locks, assuming they're healthy. So basically I agree with the 5 guys you put out, though I could also easily see Steph making the team over Gordon...will be a tough tryout for them this summer. I think Gordon's size and defense likely give him the edge. And I add Melo.
Projection: Kobe, Wade, James, Gordon, Durant, Melo.
This one is simpler for me though: Howard is a lock, and the 2nd best player in the group is Love, imo. I'm biased tho b/c he might be my favorite non-Duke NBA player right now (just love his game) and with his shooting & pick and pop ability he's great for the Int'l game.
This leaves Chandler, Odom, Bosh, Blake, and Aldridge. I don't think Aldridge makes it, but have no idea who makes it out of the other 4. My guess is Chandler or Blake, but Bosh and Odom are also good choices.
Projection: Howard, Love, Chandler/Blake
An interesting thing to watch will be the dynamics of the personalities and egos on the team, even more so this time around. In 2008 we sent mostly our top players. Then in 2010 most of those guys pulled out, so the guys that were left were labeled a B-list team. Yet they played great and several stars emerged - Durant in particular became the alpha dog, and Westbrook and Chandler also went on to have breakout years. So now that they're being put together, will Durant still be the go-to guy, or will Kobe try to maintain control? Does Westbrook get left out completely after playing so well in 2010?
Man, having Blake Griffin and Dwight Howard on the floor at the same time would be awesome. They'll have to reinforce the rims for all the monster dunks we'd see.
Back to Melo, I dont think he rebounds or plays enough defense. And he's just not necessary with Lebron and KD. I do like him though and think he makes it if someone else stays home injured or opts out. But you can only take 12.
Melo is devastating in the international game. His role is to put the ball in the hoop and he does it with outstanding efficiency. I think any defensive/rebounding shortcomings (which weren't noticeable at all in Beijing with all the other talent around him) don't really matter.
If Blake makes the team, it would be as the third big (i.e. 11th/12th man). The 5's role is to defend and rebound, and I think he's a little too small and not a good enough defender to anchor the team as a 5. Remember, Bosh bulked up a lot over the summer because Spoelstra wants him to get significant minutes at the 5 for the Heat. That, plus his status as an '08 member, would push him ahead of all other bigs besides Howard.
There's also a level of politics that will play a role in deciding the roster and playing time. I think the 2008 team members will have preference over anyone else besides maybe KD/Rose.
Someone gets left off. We know that. It just depends who and why - tired legs, weak knees, uninspired tryout, unresolved NBA contract issues, injury during tryouts. All that is impossible to predict 7 months out.
I agree with WK, above. Blake will be used as a post player and he's a bit undersized so not sure if he makes it. I'm honestly not sure who makes it into that 2nd 3rd post player spot, but I think Love would be a great asset to this team and I like Chandler as well for his D, rebounding and general athleticism.
Last edited by SilkyJ; 01-11-2012 at 12:21 PM.