Team USA Preview


Pelicans center Anthony Davis leads a Team USA which is low on superstar power.

Javier Cabrera

Pelicans center Anthony Davis leads a Team USA which is low on superstar power.
Pelicans center Anthony Davis leads Team USA which is low on superstar power. Courtesy of MCT


While the NBA remains on hiatus for another two months, team USA is prepared to start its run to win gold at the FIBA World Cup in Spain.

The United States’ roster is filled with NBA all-star talent but it excludes some of the league’s superstars such as LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony and Kevin Durant. Without the services of those superstars, the doors are wide open for the players on the U.S. roster to step up and become a superstar of their own.

The roster consist of many role players who are second or third options on their respective NBA teams such as James Harden (Houston Rockets), Kenneth Faried (Denver Nuggets) and Klay Thompson (Golden State Warriors).

Anthony Davis of the New Orleans Pelicans has been one player taking advantage of the giant voids of missed superstars. He has had some big performances that showed how dominant he can be at the center position.

Davis and Faried has been anchoring the paint and have overwhelmed teams on the boards while Harden, Stephen Curry (Warriors) and Kyrie Irving (Cleveland Cavaliers) have been the majority of team USA’s offense.

The rest of the roster includes Derrick Rose (Chicago Bulls), Rudy Gay (Sacramento Kings), DeMar DeRozan (Toronto Raptors), Mason Plumlee (Brooklyn Nets), DeMarcus Cousins (Kings) and Andre Drummond (Detroit Pistons).

The team will be led by Duke’s coach, Mike Krzyzewski, and it will be interesting how this team responses. Each player has a good opportunity to become a Most Valuable Player each night USA plays.

Players such as Davis, Harden, Curry and Irving are more likely to have bigger games since they will be starting and decide the plays the team runs during game.

Rose is a player to watch because he is recovering from a second knee surgery and has not played in the past two seasons with the Bulls. He has had some good performances during the team’s warm-up games, but lost the starting point guard position to Irving.

The team lost one of its best shooters and well-rounded defenders, Paul George (Indiana Pacers) during a team USA scrimmage earlier this month. Paul suffered a broken leg following a play where he landed awkwardly and his right leg bent the wrong way.

Minus George and other superstars, Team USA seems poised to win gold at the World Cup. There are not many teams to give the Americans a challenge.

Spain is the only contender capable of upsetting Team USA. With brothers Pau Gasol (Bulls) and Marc Gasol (Memphis Grizzlies) anchoring the Spaniards, it will be a challenge for the Americans to defeat Spain if the two end up meeting sometime in the tournament’s playoffs.

The two counties have history playing each other, dating back to the 2012 Summer Olympics in Beijing. Team USA won gold with a late surge from Kobe Bryant (Los Angeles Lakers) and others.

Spain knows Team USA well and might be very prepared for them when the Spaniards get their shot at the Americans.

For the start of the World Cup, U.S. only has to worry about the five teams in its group. Team USA is set to face the Dominican Republic, Finland, New Zealand, Turkey and Ukraine in Group C.

None of those countries are expected to give the Americans a tough time. Team USA should easily advance from the group.

U.S. faces Finland in its first match of the tournament Aug. 30 at 3:30 p.m. on ESPN. America faces Turkey on Aug. 30, New Zealand on Sept. 2, Dominican Republic on Sept. 3 and Ukraine on Sept. 4. All games are on ESPN either at 11:30 a.m. or 3:30 p.m.

Check out the full schedule of matches online.