In a late-night press release, Team USA has announced their much-anticipated 12-man roster for the 2014 FIBA World Cup:
Named as members of the official 2014 USA Basketball World Cup Team were: DeMarcus Cousins (Sacramento Kings); Stephen Curry (Golden State Warriors); Anthony Davis (New Orleans Pelicans); DeMar DeRozan (Toronto Raptors); Andre Drummond (Detroit Pistons); Kenneth Faried (Denver Nuggets); Rudy Gay (Sacramento Kings); James Harden (Houston Rockets); Kyrie Irving (Cleveland Cavaliers); Mason Plumlee (Brooklyn Nets); Derrick Rose (Chicago Bulls); and Klay Thompson (Golden State Warriors).
Missing from the Men’s National Team roster are Gordon Hayward (Utah Jazz), Damian Lillard (Portland Trail Blazers), Kyle Korver (Atlanta Hawks), and Chandler Parsons (Dallas Mavericks), all last-minute cuts before finalizing the roster.
Prior to the official decision, there was a huge spotlight on the frontcourt. With Anthony Davis’ roster spot guaranteed and Kenneth Faried inserted into the starting lineup following Kevin Durant’s withdrawal, it was expected that only two of the Drummond-Cousins-Plumlee trio would make the team and this debate created heavy discussions within the basketball community.
Drummond and Cousins were superior talents to Plumlee, but reports led many to believe Plumlee had a leg up in the race over the two. Cousins is easily the best reserve big on the roster, but his inability to defend in international play made many think the Kings’ star was on the bubble.
In the end, coach Mike Krzyzewski and team managing director decided to keep all three, bolstering the frontcourt depth, with Spain undoubtedly on their minds.
The other cuts were expected. Damian Lillard’s game fits the international style of play, but redundancy in regards to skill set forced him to be the odd-man out, with Stephen Curry and Kyrie Irving getting the nod over him. James Harden looks to remain the starting small forward with Rudy Gay and Klay Thompson getting the bulk of backup SF minutes–Gay will also play spot minutes as small-ball power forward.
This leaves DeMar Derozan as the odd-man out of the rotation which leads to bigger questions of why he made the roster. Keeping Hayward, Parsons, or Korver as an emergency spot-up shooters seemed to be ideal.
The 2014 FIBA World Cup kicks off with the United States team taking on Finald on August 30 in Spain.
Tags: 2014 FIBA World Cup Brooklyn Nets Chicago Bulls Cleveland Cavaliers Damian Lillard Denver Nuggers Derrick Rose Detroit Pistons Golden State Warriors Houston Rockets NBA New Orleans Pelicans Sacramento Kings Stephen Curry Team USA Toronto Raptors Usa Basketball