Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The US Men's Basketball team announced

PG Jason Kidd
PG Chris Paul
PG Deron Williams
SG Kobe Bryant
SG D-Wade
SG Micheal Redd
SF Lebron James
SF Carmelo Anthony
SF Tayshaun Prince
PF Carlos Boozer
PF Chris Bosh
C Dwight Howard

This is an interesting blend of players. You have the two best players in the NBA, LeBron and Kobe. You have one of the best, if not the best, pure offensive talent in the NBA in Carmelo Anthony. You have one of the best perimeter defenders in the league, Tayshaun Prince. You have arguably the two best PGs in the league in Williams and Paul. Dwight Howard is there to block shots and clean up on the boards/alleyoops.

I am on the fence on what I believe about this team as a whole on whether its constructed well or not. I do believe there are positives and negatives on the team though, as I will now discuss:

- The point guards. Paul and Williams are great point guards, their ability to score and pass will provide a good compliment to spell Kidd. We all know about Jason's leadership when it comes to International play. A U.S team has never lost in International Play with Kidd as the starting point guard

-Michael Redd provides outside shooting that the US normally lacks. His dead eye shooting is something that can bust open a zone defense with ease.

- Having the two best players in the league (Kobe, LeBron) is a formidable starting combo at the 2 and 3 spots. Imagine them on the court with any one of those PGs? That is a scary thought.

- Dwight Howard provides a menacing inside presence, as he is an elite rebounder and blocks/alters many shots in most games.

- Versatility- LeBron James, Kobe, Carmelo, Deron Williams, Chris Bosh, and Tayshaun Prince provide a versatility as they all can play multiple positions


-Michael Redd is the only shooter on the team. It's nice that he's here but we could use someone else like a Jason Kapono.

- Dwight Howard is the only true inside presence on the team. Someone like Kevin Garnett or Tim Duncan would have been nice in this regard. Even Tyson Chandler could have been useful on this team.

- Dwyane Wade is on the team. The team has one true inside presence in Howard. It has one true shooter in Michael Redd. They already have three bigger, better, more explosive versions of Wade (Anthony, Bryant, James), so why not replace Wade with a player like Shane Battier, Jason Kapono, Tyson Chandler, Joe Johnson? They each would help in an area that isn't as strong as our current batch of perimeter players. Battier would provide three point shooting and great defense. Kapono would provide a dead eye, spot up shooter who would thrive given all the attention the guys like Bryant, James, Williams, Paul and Anthony will receive.

All in all, I think this team will win the gold. I have confidence in Jason Kidd to lead the team to the best of his abilities and keep everyone in the flow of the game. The team is just too talented, especially given the caliber of PGs on the team, not to win. I am not a big fan of how the team is constructed especially considering that we could use another shooter, or an inside presence.

I do like the fact that we finally made a commitment to adding defense with adding Dwight Howard (inside presence) and Prince to improve the perimeter defense. I like the slashers on the team, I like the point guards, and I like the fact that we have Howard, but we have one too many slashers. If we lose, I have a feeling that will be our shortcoming.

My prediction- the US takes the gold medal.


Anonymous said...

I think that another outside shooter should be the #1 priority. When the defenses sag and clog the middle, basically negating the strengths of the current team (Post/slash play), we will need a sharpshooter.

I'd especially like to see Ray Allan added to the team. I was impressed by his solid defense in the finals. He's also one of the best shooters in NBA history.

Unknown said...

One think i don't think you touched on all that much is the extreme lack of depth in the front court.

With 3 bigs, and just one center, what happens when someone gets in foul trouble? Sure maybe carmello can play some 4, But aside from Howard there isnt one inside post defender on the team. and aside from boozer you dont have a guy who can play with his back to the basket.

Against a team like china, going up against yao, you are going to need another inside threat. While most will look and say this team needs another shooter, i say a big who can rebound, defend, and score with his back to the basket is a much bigger need. Like an Al Jefferson type. You need shooters in a zone, but having 2 post threats is also important against a zone.