Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Easy baskets will mean easy wins for Team USA in Beijing

USA Basketball announced the group it will be sending to Beijing to compete in the Olympics. In my opinion, Team USA should win the gold. With the exception of one game, the Americans will blow out its opponents.

When it comes to piecing together a roster (and a coaching staff) for the Olympics, we've done a good job of learning from our mistakes.

My only concern about the roster is whether we have enough shooting. Our only real specialty three-point shooter is Redd. I think the roster could've used one more spot-up shooter -- a Ray Allen type.

The good news is, Team USA is stocked with guys who can create their own shot. In fact, Kobe, LeBron, D-Wade may be the top three players in the world in terms of shot-creation.

I think the team will miss Garnett and Duncan, who opted not to play. They would've made the team better because both are effective mid-range shooters. Also, I think a four-man like David West could've helped because of his outside shooting. Still, it shouldn't matter much.

The key will be how many easy baskets the Americans can get in transition before teams can set up their zone defenses. Point guards Jason Kidd, Chris Paul, and Deron Williams must force the tempo with the push of the ball.

Of course, you can't run unless you dominate the boards, so Boozer and Dwight Howard must pound the defensive boards, something that Duncan and KG could've helped with. When Coach K goes small with Carmelo or LeBron at the power forward spot, they'll have to hit the defensive boards versus an opponent's bigger front line.

And how will Team USA attack the zone defenses that the international teams will throw at them. Coach K's college experince with zones should help players get open looks. Chris Bosh's ability to shoot from the perimeter vs zones will be a key. Also, Redd and Prince must hit the 3-ball consistently during the Games.

On the whole, I think most people are happy with our roster for Beijing. Looking forward to August.