Kevin Durant is looking to lead a young Team USA squad to it's first FIBA World Championship since 1994.
Team USA continues to roll and show the world that even without our cream of the crop superstars, we can still be dominant. And many are probably saying, hold your horses. It has only been two games. The team has not played any of the major threats yet. And when they did play a tough competitor, they squeeked out a win by the smallest of margins (86 to 85 exhibition win over Spain).
Now I will admit, I had my doubts about this team when I heard that Kobe, Lebron, Melo, Dwyane, nor Dwight Howard would be playing. And frankly, I still do. But this team little by little is starting to put my mind at ease. They are young. Full of speed. Boasting with athleticism. Long at every position. They have some great shooters. And they are being led by Coach K, who all he knows how to do is Win, Win, Win.
I realize, this team still has three more pool play games before they even advance into the real tournament play. Can Kevin Durant and the boys take care of business against Brazil, Iran, and Tunisia? You better believe it. But the real questions start to arise when this team has to take on teams like Greece, Spain, and Argentina.
Well have no fear, Kevin Durant is here. This guy is the real deal. He is a shooting star that is still only 21 years old. He has quickly developed into one of the top all around players in the NBA, and possibly the best all around scorer. The kid has length, athleticism, and a pretty stroke. No team in this entire tournament, much less probably in the NBA, can really check this guy. Not to mention he has players like Derrick Rose, the human fast break himself to dribble drive and free him up.
I mean take a look at the US starting lineup. A major strength that top teams in the NBA have as of late is great length at every position. Durant is 6 foot 9 and long. Iguodala is 6 foot 6 with phenomenal athleticism. Lamar Odom is 6 foot 10 and reminiscent to a tree. Plus our backcourt of Derrick Rose and Chauncey Billups are both 6 foot 3 guys who can really get up and down the floor.
I will admit when Coach K picked this team, I did not understand why guys like OJ Mayo or Rajon Rondo did not make the squad. But now after seeing this team play, I am seeing the logic. He has a great chemistry going with this squad with a group of guys who really complement each other well. This has been a problem for US teams in the past, who have not been able to capture the FIBA World Championships since 1994.
Talent is not everything. Sure it helps, but it will not win you a major title by itself. Coaching, discipline, and overall team chemistry are what will take you to that Championship level. This team appears to have it all.
Look for Team USA to go all the way and bring back the FIBA World Championship to the United States for the first time in 16 years.
Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.