Tuesday, August 24, 2010


With Rajon Rondo's withdrawal, the U.S. National basketball team has finalized it's roster for the 2010 FIBA World Championships.

Just days away from the start of the 2010 FIBA World Championships in Turkey, Team USA has it's final roster. After a DNP against Spain, Boston Celtics all-star guard Rajon Rondo felt he was on the bubble and decided to withdraw from the competition in order to take care of family business.

With a 12-man roster that does not include Kobe Bryant, Lebron James, or any of the 12 players that took the gold medal in the 2008 Olympics, Team USA will have their work cut out for them and their share of skeptics. This is how the roster will break down:

Guards: Chauncey Billups (Denver Nuggets), Stephen Curry (Golden State Warriors), Eric Gordon (Los Angeles Clippers), Derrick Rose (Chicago Bulls), Russell Westbrook (Oklahoma City Thunder)

The team is stacked with small, quick guards. Billups will get playing time at the off-guard spot because he is big enough to handle the smaller guards of opposing teams. Curry will provide some much-needed outside shooting. Gordon is the wildcard of the team. He is the only true off-guard of the group. He is a great outside shooter and can make strong, hard drives to the basket. If he continues to perform as he has in camp, he will be an integral part of the team's success.

Forwards: Kevin Durant (Oklahoma City Thunder), Rudy Gay (Memphis Grizzlies), Danny Granger (Indiana Pacers), Andre Iguodala (Philadelphia 76ers), Kevin Love (Minnesota Timberwolves), Lamar Odom (Los Angeles Lakers)

Durant is expected to be the star of the team but Iguodala has looked great. He has seemed to take great pride in his defense and has been extremely active at both ends of the floor. Lamar Odom got the start at center against Spain and is the kind of big man that is necessary in international play. He has worked with Rose to form a deadly pick-and-roll combination. The two-time defending champion probably will not light up the stat sheet but is expected to do a lot of the little things and provide veteran leadership to the team.

Centers: Tyson Chandler (Dallas Mavericks)

The team will go small for the tournament but might regret cutting Javale McGee. It will be difficult to replace Chandler's size if an injury occurs. McGee is the perfect up-and-down type of replacement that would fit in with the team's fastbreaking strategy. The team will look to Chandler for shot-blocking and rebounding.

Obviously, the team is not nearly as talented as it's predecessor. However, this team will play a different style in order to capitalize on it's strengths. Expect to see a fast-paced team and more zone defense. Spain is probably the favorite to win the competition but Team USA can beat them with a solid team effort.