Dream Team, but not as you know it
NBA stars like Kobe Bryant will soon be able to do their talking on the court again (AAP Image/Alan Porritt)
The roster of the USA men’s basketball team has finally been confirmed, with no big surprises. Unusually, many players have been selected to play out of position.
Although it’s a shame to see so many stars dropping out, their replacements have definitely earned their place. But with reports indicating that designated starting point guard Chris Paul has sprained his right thumb, the question arises as who will be the starters.
In the interview with ESPN, coach Mike Krzyzewski expressed that this team will be built around the core nucleus of Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Kevin Durant and Carmelo Anthony.
At first glance, a layman might think they would therefore be the starters, but the traditional basketball philosophy tells us that a great team is not just about putting the best five players on court.
However, Krzyzewski hinted in the interview that he has picked an athletic team with skilful members capable of playing multiple positions. Are these players are good enough to make it work? Let’s at least entertain the idea and take a closer look at the starters.
Point Guard: LeBron James
If you have watched this year’s NBA finals, you would notice that James has leapt to another level of greatness, he showed the world that he is an elite passer, capable making assists out of double teams.
The King with a ring averaged 7.4 assists during the playoffs and made a whooping 25 assists in his final two games. Such figures were once thought only be able to achieved by elite point guards, but now a 6’8 athletic freak would beg to differ.
LeBron shocked the basketball world by showing us he has created a new hybrid position, the point forward. Numbers don’t lie, would you be willing to bet against the 2012 James that he can’t do it?
Shooting Guard: Kobe Bryant
Fifth on the all-time NBA point leader list. Enough said. And one more thing, it’s the Olympics, so Kobe can’t count any points scored in London towards the list, so he will pass. And for a guy who has made 5,418 career assists, they will be good passes.
Small Forward: Kevin Durant
The guy who edged out the fifth best scorer in NBA history this year to take out the scoring crown. Not only is he a once in a generation talent but his humbleness set him apart from other great players with greater egos. He will be the ultimate teammate who makes his teammates better and takes over games when needed.
Power Forward: Carmelo Anthony
One of the best pure scorers in the game, even when he had been struggling this year with the Knicks and in particular Jeremy Lin, he still managed to average 22.6 points a game.
He played the Power Forward position when Amar’e Stoudemire was injured, so fans don’t have to worry about the transition from small forward. Unguardable at times, he can also contribute by grabbing 5 to six rebounds a game.
Centre: Kevin Love
Although Tyson Chandler is the only true center in the team, Love has been absolutely dominating the board for the past couple of years, averaging 13.3 rebounds a game with the Timberwolves. He is also a 6’10, .372 career three point shooter, not that this team needs more offensive weapons.
Even with 3 of the 5 starters playing out of position and ignoring the fact that they have seven star players from the NBA sitting on the bench, I don’t think any team would come close to competing with the world’s latest dream team.
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