The Chicago Bulls will definitely have Derrick Rose back for a full NBA season and they hope they will dethrone the two-time NBA champion Miami Heat come June in the NBA Finals. The Brooklyn Nets have Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Jason Terry and they will have new Nets coach Jason Kidd lead them to the Promised Land and get an NBA title. When the NBA season starts, look for these things to expect: 1) Watch out for Alex Len, the center for the Phoenix Suns and expect him to get 15 points-10 rebounds a night, 2) the duo of Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson shoot the lights out of the gym every night, and 3) expect Chauncey Billups to have an impact on Andre Drummond and Greg Monroe’s development as basketball players.
It seems the U.S. basketball program is intent on making its players going to represent basketball players from this country based on talent and athleticism. If that is the case, the Americans will have trouble defending bigger players whose basketball talents lie in the areas of length and size. They will keep running against the world’s best basketball players and if that is the case, the world will take their bigs and take it down low against the Americans where they lack the size against the world. I think the U.S.A. basketball program should rethink organizing and retooling a reinvented basketball team based on length and size. If I were to organize a team against a Spanish team that has the likes of Pau Gasol, Marc Gasol, and Jose Calderon, I would like to have a defensive-minded and solid distributing point guard in Rajon Rondo. I would like to have Rondo match up against Jose Calderon. What about Pau Gasol and Marc Gasol, you say? Greg Monroe and Lamar Odom. The Gasol brothers gave the Americans a bunch of headaches and the Americans didn’t like the Gasol brothers patrolling the lane. What about Brazil? Leandro Barbosa against Ty Lawson. The quicker Barbosa is a lot to handle for Lawson. Nene? I’d put the lighter Kevin Durant who is my favorite bench warmer on Nene. Durant on the perimeter will open up the paint for Odom and Monroe, whoever is the 4 or 5. Whatever the thinking the U.S. basketball program has about athleticism, it’s working against the world’s best basketball players, however it has trouble defending and keeping the world’s big post players from scoring the basketball on the inside. They might want to rethink about going with length and size, if that’s what they want to see in their own best basketball players.
I expect to see Ben Gordon contribute in some big way to the Charlotte Bobcats’ offense. I really don’t see the Bobcats having an exciting season to the NBA playoffs. Expect Charlotte to make an impact with their youth movement.
The Cleveland Cavaliers will be held back by the lack of depth. Kyrie Irving is the engine that runs the ship and he is the engine that will stop running the ship also. There will be no surprises here in the Cavs’ season.
The Mavericks get Elton Brand to pair up with Dirk Nowitzki? What are they thinking? Darren Collison has come abroad now with his scoring offense first and his assists-to-turnover ratio second. They’ve got Chris Kaman and O.J. Mayo from the Memphis Grizzlies now.
Watch and see the Denver Nuggets get hammered by Javale McGee’s personal development. He will hold back the Nuggets’ positive process as Denver is rebuilding behind their new acquisition in Andre Iguodala, their best perimeter defender.
Expect to see the Detroit Pistons rebuild in these better days behind draft pick Andre Drummond as he pairs up with Greg Monroe in the frontcourt. The Pistons aren’t expected to do any better, but is Tayshaun Prince happy in Detroit these few declining NBA seasons of missing the NBA playoffs?
The Golden State Warriors are in need of some really good bench players. They signed Andrew Bogut last season during the trade deadline. Watch and see how Harrison Barnes develops for the Warriors. He is a good NBA player who will be expected to thrive in this type of competitive and physical environment.
The Houston Rockets have too much youth. They have a lot of players on their roster who are either rookies or are 26 years old and under. They don’t have a clear-cut leader for this team. Better be Jeremy Lin or they’re really lost.
What the Americans need now if they are really interested in competing in world basketball tournaments and the Olympics is a big post player who can score and defend. They might have it in Kevin Love, if U.S. personnel are willing to help Love develop against the world’s best and talented basketball players outside of the United States. If U.S. personnel are willing to develop more low-post players, they must try and get Demarcus Cousins to mature physically and mentally as well as Greg Monroe. Cousins and Monroe will make great pivot players around the basket, given the mental and physical effort in personal development. They aren’t high in character development, but they will make up more in their mental and physical efforts. Tyler Hansbrough will make a great hustle player for the Americans. If Hansbrough is willing to give up more summers and play for the Americans, I guarantee Tyler’s hustle play will inspire U.S. basketball and help the basketball program improve immensely. Getting superstar players like Chris Paul and Kobe Bryant does help inspire team play, but you will need role players like Hansbrough who will give an all-out effort and leave-it-out-there mental and physical attitude on the basketball court. I also think having Louis Amundson will help U.S. basketball a lot. Players like Kevin Durant, Lebron James, and Carmelo Anthony will be talented and strong enough to defend and score in the post, however their strengths on the basketball court lie on the perimeter and mid-range, where they do the most damage by shooting and making the basketball from beyond the three-point line.
Non-USA Basketball Team U.S.A. Basketball team
PG Tony Parker PG Rajon Rondo
SG Leandro Barbosa SG Joe Johnson
SF Andrea Bargnani SF Tayshaun Prince
PF Dirk Nowitzki PF Paul Millsap
C Zydrunas Ilgauskas C Greg Monroe
PG Jose Calderon PG Ben Wallace
SG Manu Ginobli F/C Kevin Durant
SF Carlos Delfino SG/SF Anthony Morrow
PF Tiago Splitter F/C Kevin Love
C Andris Biedrins SG/SF Rudy Gay
PG Patty Mills PG Ty Lawson
SG Marco Bellinelli G/F Josh Smith
I was recently approached by a supervisor/friend of mine at JobPath and I asked him what I thought of the Americans being outplayed by the world’s best basketball players not playing for the United States of America. He told me, “we have to pass better, we have to shoot better, we have to make our layups better,” which was a point of view. He didn’t concede that the world outside of the United States has better basketball players. If I were to construct a Dream Team from the NBA to represent U.S.A., who would it be? I suggest picking players that would considerably be good for a skill-set for a position. Rajon Rondo has said in Hoops Hype he has no interest in playing for the U.S. basketball team at the Olympics. He would make a good starting point guard. Rondo’s play making and his shooting has overlooked his entire basketball repertoire and he is a fantastic point guard and knows how to run a team. Joe Johnson has a silky smooth jump shot and he is athletic enough to take on the best shooting guards at his position. I like having Tayshaun Prince at my small forward position. He is long and lanky and has the offensive and defensive skill set to create his own shot and baffle the opposing small forward with his length. I like Paul Millsap at the power forward position. His toughness, his ability to hit the boards, and find his own offense is unique to Millsap at this position. Greg Monroe is my center for this U.S. basketball team. His shot-blocking ability and prowess on the rebounds are valuable for my team. As far as the basketball bench goes, Ben Wallace would make a great sixth man. His energy and defense are assets for helping boost an American offense with having Rondo, Millsap, Prince, and Johnson a go at it. In this situation also, Kevin Durant should fill out a reserve role in helping Team U.S.A. with his perimeter shooting, length, and defense on the seventh spot down the bench. Also, Team U.S.A. should have a three-point shooting specialist and it should be Anthony Morrow, a sharpshooting guard and forward for the New Jersey Nets. Kevin Love is next down the list and he should help Team U.S.A. with offense and rebounding. In the tenth spot, Rudy Gay will be Team U.S.A’s top perimeter defender. As 11 and 12 goes, Ty Lawson would make a great backup point guard here. I think Josh Smith should make my U.S. basketball squad. He has the skill-set to be a shooting guard because he is a reliable shooter and he can rebound and play defense with small forwards and power forwards and is agile enough to overpower slower power forwards and athletic enough to outwit bigger small forwards. I’m looking forward to comments, because I know definitely well that the world’s best basketball players come from outside the United States now.