U.S. Team gets started on Monday


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LAS VEGAS – The road to Spain for the U.S. Men’s Senior National Team begins Monday on the campus of UNLV. Nineteen players have gathered for four days of practices and an intrasquad scrimmage on Friday (9 p.m. ET, ESPN).

  • NBA TV will air Real Training Camp Live on Tuesday at 3 p.m. ET.

At the end of the week, USA Basketball managing director Jerry Colangelo aims to cut the list down to 15. After that, the group will take 12 days off before reconvening on Aug. 14. They will play three exhibition games in Chicago and New York before heading abroad, cutting the roster down to 12 along the way.

USA Basketball summer schedule
Dates Description Location
July 28-Aug. 1 Training camp Las Vegas
Aug. 1 USAB Showcase Las Vegas
Aug. 14-16 Training camp Chicago
Aug. 16 USA vs. Brazil Chicago
Aug. 18-22 Training camp New York
Aug. 20 USA vs. Dom. Rep. New York
Aug. 22 USA vs. Puerto Rico New York
Aug. 24-26 Training camp Gran Canaria
Aug. 26 USA vs. Slovenia Gran Canaria
Aug. 30-Sept. 14 FIBA World Cup Spain
Aug. 30 USA vs. Finland Bilbao
Aug. 31 USA vs. Turkey Bilbao
Sept. 2 USA vs. New Zealand Bilbao
Sept. 3 USA vs. Dom. Rep. Bilbao
Sept. 4 USA vs. Ukraine Bilbao
Sept. 6 or 7 Round of 16 Barcelona
Sept. 9 Quarterfinal Barcelona
Sept. 11 Semifinal Barcelona
Sept. 14 Gold medal game Madrid

There’s a lot more to do than just forming a final roster. Only five of the 18 players have National Team experience, either for the 2010 team that won the World Championship in Turkey or the 2012 team that won Olympic gold in London. Most of the others were in a mini-camp last year, but there’s still a lot of adjusting and chemistry building to do.

The U.S. has won the last three major competitions and has a 36-game winning streak, but there have been some close calls along the way. In a single-elimination, 40-minute-game format, anything can happen.

Head coach Mike Krzyzewski will rely on what has been a successful formula over the last eight years. It’s built on aggressive defense, speed, shooting and, of course, star power.

Like he did in 2010 (averaging 22.8 points per game on an effective field goal percentage of 65 percent), Kevin Durant will provide the star power. There’s no one in the world that can match up with the reigning MVP, who is even more dangerous when shooting from a shorter 3-point distance.

But Durant will need help on both ends of the floor for the U.S. to win the World Cup, automatically qualify for the 2016 Olympics, and avoid having to play next summer. There are some locks for the roster (those who played in 2010 or 2012), but there will also be some interesting competitions for the remaining spots.

The U.S. also has had a pretty consistent template for its roster for the last three international competitions. It typically carries just three true big men, with both forward spots being manned by players that are nominal small forwards in the NBA, a group that includes Durant, Carmelo Anthony, Rudy Gay, Andre Iguodala and LeBron James.

Once again, point guard will be a position of strength, especially if Derrick Rose is close to 100 percent after recovering from knee surgery. Rose hasn’t played competitively since last November, so he’ll be the big story on Monday and a great reason to watch Real Training Camp on Tuesday.

As the starting point guard of the 2010 team, Rose should have the edge on the others in camp, meaning that All-Stars Kyrie Irving, Damian Lillard and John Wall could be competing for one or two roster spots, depending on whether USA brass sees Stephen Curry as point or shooting guard.

While the talent is strong in the backcourt, late decisions by Blake Griffin and Kevin Love to sit out the summer have left the U.S. thin up front. DeMarcus Cousins, Andre Drummond, Kenneth Faried and last-minute addition Paul Millsap should be competing for two roster spots behind 2012 returnee Anthony Davis.

Spain’s frontline of Marc Gasol, Pau Gasol and Serge Ibaka could be waiting in the gold medal game on Sept. 14. But the hosts will have a tougher road to the World Cup final than the U.S., with Argentina, Brazil, France and Serbia all on their side of the bracket.

That’s more than a month away, though. For the U.S., the first step takes place on Monday.

32 Comments

  1. Istayonit says:

    I would like to see the Dominican Republic do something

  2. harrythehawk says:

    Is Al Horford representing Dominican Republic? Yeah! Go Kevin Durant! Go Paul Millsap! Go Kyle Korver!

  3. See red says:

    Bulls should trade rose. He just might get injured again during the summer this time rather than wait until November. It’s his fault I know, I respect what he has done, especially in 2011, but he is just too injury prone with his style of play. Thank for the memories, d rose, but it’s time to say goodbye.

  4. Chiao says:

    I don’t know why it said “China”, but Lebron James is in [Taiwan]!!!!!!!! NOT China

  5. Paulo Magnani says:

    Nene, Varejao, Splitter, Barbosa, …Go Brazil!!!

  6. Go Bulls says:

    Go Bulls

  7. CG says:

    That leaves Big Cuz as easily the best big. He’s gonna tear up those Europeans

  8. Mark says:

    I think they need a more reliable USA Team. Like Michael Jordan, Clyde Drexler, Charles Barkley.. DUH!!

  9. JP Rotger says:

    Somebody tell this guy that Argentina, Brazil, France and Serbia are all ON THE OTHER bracket (so is Greece). The only dangerous team for USA until the final could be Lithuania…

  10. Michael W says:

    Is Al Jefferson not good enough to get consideration for the team?

  11. Onur says:

    Well, this time Spain has a full and remarkable roster and they are playing their home! I truly do not want them to win but they seem like the favorite over the USA this year.

  12. Shimmeled says:

    Thats, the frontline? Where is, Mr.Duncan, or the big ticket? I think, we need a proven center. Im just saying…

    • Nick says:

      Well to be honest neither one of the are true centers. the only reason they were ever moved to center i because of injury. Yes they are both great players but neither want to risk injury when there coming to there final years in the NBA

    • bob says:

      Duncan doesn’t play for USA…. where have you been. and KG is old! why would we take him.

    • vmandrade23 says:

      I agree on the need of a proven center, but I’d go with a yougen center on Dwight Howard or even maybe bringing bakc Tyson Chandler. I mean, Duncan and Garnett probably don’t even consider international play anymore.

    • Average Joe says:

      What planet are you from? Duncan plays for the Virgin Islands and, in case you haven’t noticed, KG will be turning 38. Anthony Davis will do just fine in the 5 spot along with whoever they go with as his backup.

  13. aces says:

    Durant is the man and genuinely enjoys playing basketball. He goes deep into the postseason every year and still plays a lot of bball in the summer. Whether its world cup, Olympics or street ball.

  14. Chuck says:

    AD’s year, when the entire world takes him in.

  15. rafa says:

    come on Spain!

  16. ANTONIO says:

    I hope to see STEPHEN CURRY SUIT UP FOR USA

  17. nunya says:

    Lebron + Durant equals game over

  18. pau gasol says:

    Spain is going to win

  19. matt says:

    Derrick favors?

  20. chris says:

    you keep forgetting about Greece. We have in our roster 2 Nba palyers and we have proven that we can beat team USA

  21. jaynaz says:

    Why not Aldridge instead of Millsap?

  22. T gas TT ako says:

    this USA team is very much beatable,, its exciting to see the WORLD CUP this year

  23. larry oconnor says:

    Where is Lamarcus Aldridge? If Blake and Love are backing out there is no reason whatsoever not to have Aldridge on the team.