Posted by John Schuhmann
LAS VEGAS – David Lee is officially out for the summer, knocking the Team USA roster down to 19 healthy bodies. Lee was examined this morning in San Francisco by Dr. Bill Green and determined to have suffered a “mallet finger” injury.
Lee will wear a splint for six weeks, but should be ready for Warriors training camp in late September.
The list of true big men in Team USA camp is down to Tyson Chandler, Brook Lopez, Kevin Love and JaVale McGee. Coach Mike Krzyzewski called Lee’s absence “a big disappointment,” and said that he’ll now have to consider new lineups, perhaps with Lamar Odom playing the five.
“When those things happen,” Krzyzewski said, “we don’t know [the group] well enough to say, ‘this guy’s going to plug in here.’ Now that they’re not here, you see how they go.”
So it’s not as simple as saying that Lopez or Chandler is now the starting center.
“On paper is not the way to choose the team,” Krzyzewski said. “You look at it, and then you watch it.”
Lopez knows that nothing’s a given.
“Regardless of how many bigs are here, I still have to put my best foot forward,” the Nets’ center said. “I can’t come out here and play terrible and expect to get picked if I’m the only big here. They’re definitely going to pick the best players available, and I have to do my part.”