With Kevin Love and Blake Griffin withdrawing from Team USA, the chances for Sacramento Kings star DeMarcus Cousins to make the team increased ten-fold as the group is looking for depth in the frontcourt to take to the 2014 FIBA World Cup. But according to an earlier tweet from ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, second-year center Mason Plumlee may get the nod over Cousins.
2 things from Team USA: post practice games between Durant/Harden/George are epic; Mason Plumlee likely to make team over DeMarcus Cousins
— Brian Windhorst (@WindhorstESPN) July 31, 2014
In a general basketball sense, choosing Plumlee over Cousins is a colossal failure. When judging talent, Cousins wins the race by a long shot. But in the vacuum that is international player, Plumlee may be a better fit alongside the likes of Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry, Anthony Davis, etc.
When competing in international play, the theme is more-so up-down than a slowed, methodical approach. Plumlee’s ability to run with the guards, rebound, and block shots fits into that. Cousins’ post play isn’t really what Team USA opts for.
The real question, if Plumlee is getting the nod over Cousins, is why Andre Drummond isn’t getting more consideration for a roster spot. Like Cousins, he’s a much better talent than Mason Plumlee, but unlike Cousins, Drummond style of play mirrors Plumlee’s more than it does Cousins. Drummond struggles a lot on the defensive end, but when it comes to finding a big body to potentially throw at Spain’s big men and deter opponents in the paint he fits the mold.
With the Team Showcase exhibition game tomorrow and Plumlee-Cousins being on separate teams, we may get a live opportunity to see why Coach K and company could opt for the lesser talent over a 20-10 guy in DeMarcus Cousins.