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Wednesday, July 26, 2006

The Fab 15: USA Basketball Announces the Finalists for the World Championship Roster

USA Basketball Senior National Team Managing Director Jerry Colangelo and Head Coach Mike Krzyzewski announced the 15 finalists for the 12 man roster that will compete in the FIBA World Championship next month in Japan. Technically, no one is "cut" from among the 24 players who have accepted invitations to make a three year commitment to compete for the United States in international play. Everyone is still considered to be part of the team but 12 of the players will not be on the active roster. The selection process was made a little easier this time due to the fact that Chauncey Billups, Kobe Bryant, Lamar Odom, Paul Pierce, J.J. Redick and Michael Redd are unavailable because of injuries or personal reasons. Here are the 15 finalists:

Carmelo Anthony
Gilbert Arenas
Shane Battier
Chris Bosh
Bruce Bowen
Elton Brand
Kirk Hinrich
Dwight Howard
LeBron James
Antawn Jamison
Joe Johnson
Brad Miller
Chris Paul
Amare Stoudemire
Dwyane Wade

Shawn Marion would probably have been added to this group, but he developed soreness in his knee late in the team's Las Vegas training camp. The two players who are healthy and available but were not included are Adam Morrison and Luke Ridnour. The team will rest for five days and then begin the second phase of the Las Vegas training camp with a greater focus on the specific plays and sets that Kryzyzewski plans to run in Japan. Hinrich and Paul are the only true point guards among the 15 finalists but James and Wade can certainly handle playmaking duties as well.

posted by David Friedman @ 1:55 AM

4 comments

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4 Comments:

At Wednesday, July 26, 2006 11:44:00 AM, Blogger Joe said...

And zero real centers.

Not that Miller, Stoudamire and Howard are a bad rotation.

 
At Wednesday, July 26, 2006 3:14:00 PM, Blogger David Friedman said...

Granted, the U.S. team does not have a legitimate back to the basket center, but in the international game with the trapezoid lane there is not a premium on having that kind of player. The teams that are successful run motion offenses, are good at shooting from the shorter FIBA three point line and score in transition; this U.S. team should be able to do those things and, hopefully, will do a better job of defending against those things as well.

 
At Wednesday, July 26, 2006 4:15:00 PM, Blogger alternaviews said...

where are the pure perimeter shooters?

wasnt that the problem in '04?

where's Rip or Ray Allen?

 
At Thursday, July 27, 2006 1:39:00 AM, Blogger David Friedman said...

Alternaviews:

You raise a valid concern, although I would say that the big problem in '04 was that the team did not practice together long enough under international rules. Defending the three point line was also a problem for that team, again largely because of not having enough practice time to grow accustomed to the international style and shorter, shooting-fish-in-a-barrel FIBA three point line. I think that it is more important for the U.S. to defend well at the three point line than to make a ton of threes at the other end; the U.S. should be trying to push the ball and score in transition, taking advantage of the athletic ability of our players. In any case, despite the absence of Rip and Ray (I believe that both players turned down invites, but I am not sure about that off the top of my head), the U.S. has a number of players who shot well from the NBA three point line last year (23-9 compared to 20-6 for FIBA): Arenas (.435), Battier (.394), Bowen (.424), Hinrich (.370), Jamison (.394). Joe Johnson had a bit of a down year (.356) but shot .478 from three point land two years ago. LeBron and Wade will also thrive with the shorter FIBA line, in my opinion. What I really look forward to watching is Bowen and his flypaper D against the top perimeter threat on the opposing team, assuming that the FIBA refs don't completely take him off of his game.

 

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