Introducing The U.S FIBA Team

The FIBA tournament isn’t for another month. But it’s been a while since I’ve talked about basketball. My fix only being met by writing lackadaisical wrestling stories, and other meaningless activities: like tending to my marriage.

It’s been so long since I’ve seen my friends, Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum, Marcus Smart, and my new bestie Kemba Walker. This year the roster is quite underwhelming. The established talent no longer deem playing for the United States as the high honor they once did solely because they’ve been there and done it already. There’s no reason to blame them. In fact, I’m happy the U.S isn’t fielding Anthony Davis and Karl-Anthony Towns. This’ll ensure larger roles for the young players in need of the exposure and experience. Brown and Tatum will likely be in the driver’s seat, especially if pass-first guard Kyle Lowry is given the starters nod over Walker. Donovan Mitchell, also known as: Gilbert Arenas 2.0, gets to experience playing with a center that doesn’t ruin the offense’s spacing.

What the United States is guilty of is relying too much on the talent of their roster to carry them to yet another gold medal. Of course, this strategy never failed. So why am I complaining? Because I’m bored by winning by a thousand every year. The world gets it. We are the best at the game we invented. Since 1992 the United States effectively carpet bombed countries dropping the best the NBA has to offer. There’s been some hiccups here and there, but only one time has the U.S failed to bring home the gold since incorporating professional players.

It’s time we do something different, to benefit the younger guys. No, I’m not advocating for returning to the days where only amateur athletes could represent their country. That is entirely unfair. How can you expect an 18-year-old to battle a more developed 29-year-old in his physical prime? How the Olympics classify “amateur” is laughable.

Despite the lackluster star power on the U.S side this is a very fun roster. P.J Tucker can guard all five positions and do almost everything Draymond Green does. He’ll likely see a lot of floor time since nobody is blocking him. I mean, how are you going to play Kyle Kuzma over Tucker???

At forward the team is the most stacked. The aforementioned Brown and Tatum are the ones with the highest upside. Tucker is the most accomplished and most reliable. Kuzma is the most overrated. Khris Middleton is a sharpshooter if you tell him the team he’s playing isn’t the Czech Republic, but the Boston Celtics. Julius Randle and Montrezl Harrell are high energy guys to come off the bench and galvanize the squad. Thaddeus Young is an underrated defender that can occasionally knock down an open jumper.

At guard you have a less promising crop. Lowry is a steady prescience. He won’t try to do too much and will play within the system. Perhaps he is the best candidate to start solely because he’ll rev up the engines of everyone else. Walker, on the other hand, I worry will make the game about himself and go the unnecessary extra mile. You can file Smart in the same category of Randle and Harrell. Except Smart isn’t the spark plug in the way they are. Smart is the heart and soul of any team you plop him on. He’ll dive for loose balls, get up in the opposing team’s best player’s mug and make his country proud while doing it.

At center, it’s obvious Myles Turner needs to start. He’s a future All-Star and Defensive Player of the Year candidate. He’s more athletic than Andre Drummond, and can score from beyond just around the basket. Brook Lopez possibly has a higher upside than Drummond also. Though he can’t defend worth a lick, he’s more agile and a better passer than Drummond. Lastly, there is Mason Plumlee. I don’t know why he is on this team.

Author: sailboatstudios

Hack. Amateur. Professional quitter.

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