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Team USA Update

Still a lot of power on the roster

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NBA: Indiana Pacers at Boston Celtics
 Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum (0), defending  Indiana Pacers guard Darren Collison (2) here, is a strong candidate for Team USA.
David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

A lot of people in the states have more or less given up on Team USA but Jerry Colangelo and Coach K laid down a template that is going to be hard to stop: defend three point shooting, force turnovers and get out in transition.

They also made a wise move by getting a consistent group of guys into camp and building camaraderie and esprit de corps across seasons even though that’s being challenged somewhat this season. The basic idea of a pool of candidates was a real game changer, no pun intended.

It’s a formula that’s been highly successful to date as Aussie Chris Goulding acknowledges:

”I can understand it’s disappointing that the so called biggest names aren’t going to be there, but when you’re talking about Team USA and the likes of [Khris] Middleton and [Kemba] Walker, these are superstars of our game. The way I see it is Australians have been wanting an NBA team to come here for years and even with these withdrawals, the Team USA that competes will still have more talent than any NBA team.

”They may not be as strong on paper as if they had LeBron or Curry or Harden, but by no mean feat do we think they are going to be easily beatable.

”Either way, to see Australia’s NBA stars wearing the green and gold is a spectacle in itself and one which should sell out Marvel Stadium.”

For all of the comments about superstars, it’s worth remembering that Mike Krzyzewski always had guys on his rosters who were willing to be role players. Think Kobe Bryant, who was willing to just defend or DeMarcus Cousins, who really wanted to be on the team in 2016 and was willing to be a reserve.

As we’ve noted before, when you look at NBA coaches, who is the master at getting the most out of a roster? Who really manages to find guys to fill roles and get people to sublimate to the group?

That’s Gregg Popovich. It’s entirely possible that he’s exactly the right guy to coach this group.

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