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Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Team USA Roster for FIBA Americas Tournament is Finalized

Team USA's roster for the FIBA Americas tournament, which starts in Las Vegas tonight, consists of Carmelo Anthony, Chauncey Billups, Kobe Bryant, Tyson Chandler, Dwight Howard, LeBron James, Jason Kidd, Mike Miller, Tayshaun Prince, Michael Redd, Amare Stoudemire and Deron Williams. Essentially, the team has three "bigs" (Chandler, Howard, Stoudemire), three point guards (Billups, Kidd, Williams) and six wing players (Anthony, Bryant, James, Miller, Redd, Prince). If Coach Mike Krzyzewski wants to use a big lineup then he can pair any two of his "bigs" with Bryant or James handling the ball alongside any two of the other wings; if he wants to use a small lineup then he can use Kidd at the point, Billups or Williams at the shooting guard, Stoudemire at center and any two of his wings as the forwards. Other combinations are also possible considering the versatility and athleticism that is present on the roster. One would expect the "normal" starting lineup to be Kidd, Bryant, James, Anthony and Stoudemire; James was Team USA's leading rebounder last year in the FIBA World Championships and can certainly be the nominal starting power forward. It is also possible that some of the starters will be switched from game to game, but I would like to see Team USA develop a regular rotation like every other FIBA team does. There should not be any disputes over who starts or who gets minutes; the most effective lineups should get the most time together, period.

For a variety of reasons, several of the players from last year's squad are not participating this time; the most prominent absentees are Dwyane Wade (second in scoring, 19.3 ppg, and fourth in minutes, 22.9 mpg), Elton Brand (fourth in scoring, 8.9 ppg), Chris Paul (third in minutes, 23.7 mpg, first in assists, 4.9 apg) and Kirk Hinrich (fifth in minutes, first in three point shooting percentage, .462). Their roles will likely be filled by Bryant, Stoudemire, Kidd and Redd (or Billups) respectively.

How will the minutes and shot attempts likely be distributed? I suspect that James, Bryant, Anthony and Kidd will each average between 23-25 mpg. Stoudemire will probably get the most minutes among the "bigs," provided that he does not get into foul trouble. Anthony and Bryant will be the two leading scorers. Kidd will almost certainly lead the team in assists, followed closely by James and then Bryant. Howard will get more minutes than he did last year and will probably lead the team in rebounding, followed by James, Chandler and Stoudemire. Just for fun, here are some hypothetical numbers:

Bryant: 18.5 ppg, 2.5 rpg, 3.8 apg
Anthony: 18.4 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 1.5 apg
James: 15.5 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 4.2 apg
Howard: 9.1 ppg, 6.5 rpg
Stoudemire: 8.5 ppg, 4.1 rpg
Redd: 6.5 ppg
Miller: 5.5 ppg
Billups 5.3 ppg, 3.1 apg
Kidd: 4.9 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 5.8 apg
Prince: 4.7 ppg
Chandler: 3.5 ppg, 4.3 rpg
Williams: 3.3 ppg, 2.0 apg

posted by David Friedman @ 8:08 AM

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