Team USA's 2021 12-man roster is confirmed for the upcoming Olympic Games. The roster is missing some major names like LeBron James, James Harden, Anthony Davis, and Stephen Curry among many others; but this roster is still stacked with All-Star talent. And with the prestige that Team USA comes with, they are one of the favorites entering the competition.
But that prestige also comes with great expectations. Team USA are always under the pressure where winning it all proves very little, but losing the tournament ends up being a disaster. After all, the NBA is the best basketball league in the world and the world places America as the Mecca of basketball. But even with the talent on Team USA's roster, there are some doubts about how they compare to other great nations, especially with some notable roster omissions. In the end, will Team USA have enough to win the tournament?
Kevin Durant And Damian Lillard Are The Best Players In The Tournament
With LeBron James, James Harden, Stephen Curry, and Anthony Davis all out of the tournament, that leaves 4-time scoring champion Kevin Durant as the best player in the Olympics. Right behind him is 6-time All-Star Damian Lillard. Missing out on 4 of the top 5 players in the NBA is tough, but Durant and Lillard will be there to stop the bleeding.
Kevin Durant is one of the most unstoppable basketball players ever and always turns up in the Olympics. He is unstoppable from the mid-range and he will use his shooting to tear defenses apart, even when countries like to get rougher with him. Durant simply shoots over defenders with ease and can create his own offense. Damian Lillard can also create his own offense and will be given free rein by head coach Greg Popovich. With Durant and Lillard on the roster, Team USA will have superstar talent to counter the absence of some notable names.
Team USA Have Athletes And Scorers, But Lack Some Interior Presence
Team USA have some All-Star scoring talent alongside Durant and Lillard. First of all, Devin Booker averaged 25.6 PPG in the NBA this season and is currently fighting for a chance to play in the Finals. Jayson Tatum is developing into an unstoppable scorer and mixes size with skill that will tear opponents apart. Bradley Beal finished 2nd in the NBA in scoring at 31.3 PPG, while Zach LaVine averaged 27.4 PPG with the Bulls. These 4 All-Stars will cause a ton of havoc in the tournament and it will be hard to stop them.
Team USA also have some nice athletes including versatile defenders in Jerami Grant and Draymond Green, while Khris Middleton and Jrue Holiday bring some strong two-way play. Kevin Love and Bam Adebayo are the only real big men on the roster, which could be an issue. Love is nearly 33 years old and is coming off the worst season of his career, while Bam is more of a finesse player in the paint. Team USA will play small and fast, but their size could be an issue against the best teams in the Olympics.
Serbia And Spain Are Right On Team USA's Heels
Speaking of the best teams in the Olympics, Serbia and Spain pose massive threats to Team USA. Unfortunately for Serbia (and fortunately for Team USA), reigning MVP Nikola Jokic will not be participating in the Olympics. That is a major blow for Serbia who could have used the incredible size and skill to punish Team USA in the half-court. Of course, this depends on if Serbia successfully qualify in the tournament. The nation is still waiting on the availability of Bogdan Bogdanovic, a key piece to their hopes of getting Gold.
Spain is also a problem and have been throughout history. The Spanish team are headlined by the legendary Gasol brothers, with both Marc and Pau opting to play. Even at their ages, they have great size and skill and can be problems in the post. Other notable names include Ricky Rubio, Juan Hernangomez, Willy Hernangomez, Sergio Llull, and former NBA player Rudy Fernandez. Spain always play as a team and are well-coached, meaning Team USA will need to be at their best throughout the tournament.
In The End, Team USA Will Win Gold In Tokyo
Despite notable roster omissions and the threats of some other very good teams, Team USA will win gold. It will be a complete and utter disaster if they don't because they have the best basketball coach in America and possibly the best basketball player in the world in Kevin Durant. Team USA have too much offense to handle, and even without a notable paint presence, they will have no problem outscoring teams with ease.
Durant will tear teams apart, and even if he has an off night, dealing with the likes of Damian Lillard and Devin Booker is just too much. Versatile defenders such as Draymond Green and Jerami Grant will be needed to protect the paint and run the floor, while Bam Adebayo and Kevin Love will need to play bigger than they are in the half-court. If the defenders can play their best on defense, Team USA's scoring and incredible coaching will be enough to end the Olympics with gold medals draped around each players' necks.