I think Prince is a lock personally, he's just too good. He combines a lot of the positives that Battier provides with a superior offensive game.
I kind of disagree about Boozer being a lock, he's still got some work to do if you ask me. With Anthony playing 4, Amare able to play it as well and Prince/Battier able to guard a 4 and provide added speed, that position is pretty loaded, while 5 has basically Howard as the only lock, I see Bosh and Chandler as just as likely as him (since they can play 5, Boozer is too short to guard Pau Gasol or Yao Ming).
I think you are probably right, and I think it ought to be a defensive oriented guy, but to state it like fact this early on is pretty bold. Pierce and Marion (and jamison) are big time players, and I think it'll be very tough to keep Pierce off this team.
A comment from Bill Simmons' latest piece:
To poor Jason Kidd, who got eviscerated by Chris Paul in Games 1 and 2 to the degree that he might have to pretend he's injured before the Olympics so we can replace him with Danny Noonan. Which reminds me ...
1. How dumb is it that we picked the Olympic team already? Kidd over Deron Williams? Really? That's our final answer? Do we need to hire the guys who attacked Nancy Kerrigan to rectify this? Also, are we sure Mike Miller is getting the shooter's spot over Ray Allen? Can we vote on this like it's "American Idol"?
2. Given the 2008 Olympic team has Kobe in his prime, as well as Paul and LeBron during their superduperstar breakout seasons, doesn't our '08 USA Hoops Team have the highest ceiling since the '92 Dream Team? That crunch-time lineup of Howard, LeBron, Paul, Melo and Kobe sounds three times more ridiculous than it did 12 months ago. Hey, speaking of Melo ...
1st off, Ray Allen isn't in the program so miller isn't even competing with him, he's competing with Redd, and right now its Redd's spot to lose.
It also seems like he has penciled Chris Paul into the starting lineup which is funny considering he seems to be considered #3 in the depth chart by members of this board. I used to be in that camp, but damn, he can really play...
Anybody besides SilkyJ care to revisit this question in light of Kidd being by and large abused by Paul for the past five games? I think K has some very difficult personnel decisions on his hands.
Kidd is certainly not the player I thought he was when this thread was started, I'll say that much.
Yes, no denying he's had/having a terrific season. BUT personally I think Coach K has been building a team with unselfish chemistry. CHEMISTRY is the key to the gold medal. CP is not that type of guy. USA does NOT need another scorer, they need an unselfish PG with vision, experience and a bit of humility and an unsatible need to win.
IMHO, the addition of CP to this mix would be a negative, not a positive.
I believe that Jason Kidd will be the 'starter' with Deron equal in importance. As to another PG to the roster... up for grabs. (Too bad Steve Nash is not an American).
He is definitely more of an assist guy than a scorer; led the NBA in assists the past year with approx 11.5 per game. Last night against a very good team, Dallas, he had 15 assists and 0 turnovers. So the idea that he couldn't or wouldn't distribute the ball effectively doesn't ring true. So I could see CP making the team and getting plenty of time at the point.
The tricky consideration IMO is on defense. The 2006 USA team lost to Greece and had trouble with some other European teams that played physically and shot well; these teams used a pick-and-roll series at the top of the key a lot; CP had trouble defending against it, partly a function of being out-sized and out-muscled. The 2007 USA team, with Deron Williams, Chauncey Billups and Kidd, and also Kobe and LeBron playing defense at the top of the key occasionally, had no such trouble. So the bigger, more physical PG's seem better suited for defense in the international game.
I'll be watching the team selection and Olympic competition with interest; I don't think the lineup is firmly set just yet.
For all those who talk about Kidd's defense, I'm not so sure I agree that he's good defensively anymore. Against a guy like Chauncey Billups (where he can use his size to counteract the opponent's strength) he's solid. But he can no longer remotely guard the quicker PG with any success. It was a joke how bad Chris Paul made him look.
I can understand not being a fan of Chris Paul - I can't stand him either. But there's no way Kidd is a better option at this point in his career. He's living off his reputation at this point.
Another important consideration is that the international game emphasizes perimeter shooting ability. Needless to say, that's been one of Kidd's career-long weaknesses. He's great in transition, sees the floor really well, can post up well, and used to be able to defend against most anybody. He can't defend that well anymore and he can't shoot.
Paul will get manhandled in the international game. You have to be able to play through contact. I'll agree that Kidds defense hasn't been great recently, but at least he's shown he can be a solid defender. Paul hasn't proven ANYTHING defensively. Maturity is another thing, the officiating is "interesting" in international ball. I can see Paul getting frustrated and negative about it (this is that "chemistry" thing), while Kidd would be more willing to play through it.
Frankly, I'm not that high on Kidd right now either. I want to see Chauncey Billups start at PG for us. Big, tough, physical, plays great defense, and can shoot. In crunch time, give the ball to Kobe or Lebron, and have Chauncey spot up. If they double the ball, "Mr. Big Shot" will be ready to catch and shoot.