Tuesday, June 24, 2008

There Is Only One "Dream Team" & News

The one and only "Dream Team". USA named its Beijing Olympic Team today. (read about it below.)

Today the U.S Olympic basketball team was named. Although it is a stronger outfit than the Bronze Medal 2004 Athens team, I feel they will have their work cut out for them if they are to capture the Gold in Beijing.

The team is very strong on the perimeter with Kobe Bryant, LeBron James and Jason Kidd anchoring the guard positions.

They have great depth at the point guard position with Kidd (who has never lost in the red, white and blue colours), 2008 NBA MVP candidate Chris Paul and always improving Utah Jazz PG Deron Williams.

At shooting guard you have options in the way of Bryant, Dwayne Wade and the only pure shooter on the roster, Milwaukee Buck Michael Redd.

The small forward position is loaded with James, Carmelo Anthony and defensive specialist Tayshaun Prince. You have a nice mix here with Anthony being your best international player at this position and maybe on the team.

The "big man" department is where I see the USA team being vulnerable. Dwight Howard, Carlos Boozer and Chris Bosh are your only true interior players. Foul trouble could see the USA forced to play "small ball".

Although Boozer has experienced the Olympics before, I'm not sold on him being a force at the international level yet. Packing the defense in will force Boozer to make some decisions. This is not a strength of his. While both Bosh and Howard are still maturing as players and will be tested for sure against some of the veteran international players.

This lack of depth here will see Anthony log a lot of minutes in the four position. Going with this type of line up should be advantageous for the Stars and Stripes with Anthony having the ability to knock down the perimeter shot.

The point guards on this roster are primarily penetrators so having a big to spread the floor is a necessity for the PG's to be effective. Remember, in the past players like Stephon Marbury have struggled due to the inability to knock down the outside shot.

I was surprised they did not pick another legitimate "lights out" shooter to go with Redd. If he is having an off night or tournament, Kobe and Carmelo better to hitting from the land of plenty.

If they cannot consistently knock down perimeter shots, the USA better get used to facing a lot of zone defense again.

The strength of this team will their pressure defense. The wings will play the lanes like a hawk knowing the Howard or Bosh is back there to help if they get beaten on a backdoor play.

In Athens I saw James have an impact on the game by just playing the lanes and creating easy baskets. I look for more of the same from this team, but with better success as Bryant will be doing the same on the other wing and Prince backing these guys up.

If this team can create a lot of points from their defense they will not have to worry about their half court offense. The only trouble is, to win a medal you will be forced to play in the half court by the European teams.

Carmelo Anthony is the key to success for the US. His ability to play both inside and out will create mismatches against all opponents. He needs to be huge in Beijing if they are to win back the GOLD.

The NBA Draft is fast approaching so ESPN's Chad Ford has put forth his 6.0 Edition Mock Draft. He currently has Aussie Nathan Jawai going to the Minnesota Timberwolves at number 34.

If NBA rumours are for you, check these out.

Carmelo to miss first two games for DUI.

NBL News:

NBL and BA to merge, eventually.

Stephenson to be rubber stamped as Bullets owner. (side note: If this goes ahead and Jeff van Groningen is involved, Joey Wright will not be the coach.)

Latest on Jawai.

Crosswhite could become a Snake.

Former Towel Boy trying to save the Kings.

Shaq rapping and killing anyone who gets in his way.

5 comments:

Snoop Wogg said...

BA and NBL to merge...maybe with their combined "expertise" a chook raffle could indeed, get off the ground. As for a successful, well promoted, fiscally sound national league. Well, the jury is out. I'm just hoping that the strength of our regional cities pulls the league through. That and a great run in Beijing by the men. Oh, and a new gym in Liverpool that turns out to be not just an "Oasis". Keep up the good work JR, even if you feel more tired than Drewey at an opening ceremony - keep that flag high!

DJROD said...

There is only 1 DREAM TEAM!!! Well said JR!

Nothing will EVER come close to the original...

This team will win GOLD by a fair margin if you ask me - just too skilled, even for a half court game.

John Rillie said...

Snoop:

It will be interesting to see what changes happen. This thing keeps getting pushed back. I may be retired by the time the changes take effect!

John Rillie said...

DJ Rod:

We might have to have a friendly wager on this. I think the US may struggle against some of the bigger teams.

They have versatility, but can they mess together?

DJ Rod said...

I'm up for a wager!

I can't see them losing a game this time around.