Team USA just released the first list of players that will be put into consideration to play in the Tokio 2020 Olympics, so naturally, people started to speculate whether a player should or shouldn’t be included.
Naturally, the USA is the biggest favorite to take home the Gold as per usual, something that doesn’t come as a surprise considering they have the most talented players in the world on their ranks.
But, sadly for many talented players, Gregg Popovich still has to choose just 12 players to put together the strongest squad in the world, so who should he give a chance to? Let’s break it down:
Guards: James Harden, Stephen Curry, Russell Westbrook, Klay Thompson, Damian Lillard, Jimmy Butler, Paul George, Kyrie Irving
Forwards: LeBron James, Kawhi Leonard, Kevin Durant, Anthony Davis
This way, Team USA wouldn’t have a traditional center. They could run Anthony Davis or Kevin Durant at the five, but they’d be way more focused on small-ball sets with Kawhi or LeBron at center.
Small-ball has taken the league for assault once again, just ask Mike D’Antoni and the Houston Rockets if you don’t take our word for it.
This team features a lot of shooting and guys that can push the pace. They’d have a lot of possessions and would make it extremely difficult for their rivals as they’re also great ball-handlers and players that can create their own shot at will.
LeBron is strong enough to hold his own vs. bigger opposition in the paint, but if he doesn’t want to take a beating after a long season in FIBA’s physical basketball, they’d still have plenty of choices at the five.
Moreover, they’d be taking mostly shooters at both guard spots. Also, they’d have four two-way players that could keep opposing scorers in check while also lighting it up from beyond the arc.
There’s no better choice than others here. All these players can coexist and bring the Gold to U.S soil, as even if they have a tough time stopping their rivals – which they shouldn’t – no other team in the world has enough firepower to keep up with them in scoring.
FIBA basketball features traditional big men that are mostly stuck in the paint. With this team, they'd be forced to go all the way to the perimeter and keep up with quicker players, as all 12 players can score from deep at a high clip.
No disrespect at all, but we just don't see any other nation with a roster suited to guard them if they decide to play small-ball.