Posted by John Schuhmann
LAS VEGAS – The media got to watch the final 10-minute scrimmage between the U.S. Senior Team and the Select Team on Thursday. The Senior Team won 26-16. Here are a few impressions.
First, here are the lineups we saw:
1. Rajon Rondo, Chauncey Billups, Kevin Durant, Kevin Love, Lamar Odom
2. Russell Westbrook, Eric Gordon, Durant, Jeff Green, Gerald Wallace
3. Westbrook, O.J. Mayo, Durant, Jeff Green, JaVale McGee
4. Westbrook, Mayo, Durant, Love, McGee
So you can tell a few things just from that.
First, Durant is The Man on this team. And afterward, in answering a question about the training process, coach Mike Krzyzewski talked about players getting used to three or four-minute stints in the lineup, but then talked about Durant getting used to 10-minute stints. Clearly, the league’s leading scorer is going to carry a big load on Team USA.
Second impression from the lineups (the first two, specifically) is that guys like Odom and Wallace are really going to play the five.
Don’t worry about guys who didn’t play. Again, this was just the last scrimmage of the day. Although Tyreke Evans sat out the entire day with a sore ankle and Danny Granger sat out the scrimmage portion with a bruised shin. Both may be back in action tomorrow.
Durant said afterward that he’s been holding back a little offensively, but for that last 10 minutes, the staff told him to be more aggressive. And he clearly was, scoring 14 of his team’s 26 points, and also dishing out two assists.
Six of the points came on catch-and-shoot threes. Two came on a pull-up, foul-line jumper off a curl screen. And the other six came at the free throw line after aggressive drives into the paint.
After Durant, I think the star of the 10 minutes was McGee. The last-minute addition to the roster was active. He had a block, a couple of interior shot-contests and a few strong rebounds, two of them offensive and one of those a huge put-back dunk off a Durant miss. McGee did go 0-for-2 from the line though.
Point guard shooting is going to be a big topic with this team, and Rondo missed two wide open threes in his time on the floor.
Saw some aggressive pick-and-roll defense from Love and a couple of dice deflections from Gordon.
The one player who stood out for the Select Team was Trey Thompkins, who will be a junior at Georgia this fall and was one of the stars on the U19 World Championship team last year. And not coincidentally, I noticed Jerry Colangelo talking to Thompkins after practice. Thompkins’ highlight was a jump hook over Durant on a post-up.
Dayton’s Chris Wright had the Select Team defensive highlight of the scrimmage though, stripping Durant clean on a drive to the hoop.
John Schuhmann is a staff writer for NBA.com. Follow him on twitter.