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Team USA Basketball 2012: Underrated Stars Who Will Carry USA to Gold

LAS VEGAS, NV - JULY 12:  Tyson Chandler #4 of the US Men's Senior National Team looks on during a pre-Olympic exhibition game against the Dominican Republic at Thomas & Mack Center on July 12, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The United States won the game 113-59.  (Photo by David Becker/Getty Images)
David Becker/Getty Images
Adam WellsFeatured ColumnistJuly 24, 2012

Kobe Bryant, LeBron James and Kevin Durant might get all the publicity for Team USA at the 2012 London Olympics, yet they are hardly the only players that need to succeed in order for the Americans to capture a gold medal. 

One thing that Mike Krzyzewski knows how to do is make sure that everyone is integrated and comfortable with their role on the team. He has a way of putting players in a position to succeed that few coaches can match. 

Since depth will be of the utmost importance for Team USA in London, here are the overlooked players who will shine during the Olympics. 

 

Tyson Chandler, C

For all the things that Team USA has going for it, size is definitely not one of them. This roster is constructed to play on the perimeter, with very little margin for error from the shooters on the outside. 

As a result, Chandler's role as the starting center becomes vital to the success of this team. He has to grab every defensive rebound possible, while at the same time adding around eight points per game. 

There are teams that have size, like Spain, who can control the inside against the United States. Chandler might be the most important player on this team because of his ability on the inside. 

 

Anthony Davis, PF

Davis was a late addition to the roster after Blake Griffin went down with a knee injury. The No. 1 pick in June's draft is not nearly as explosive as Griffin, but he does add a dimension to this team that will make them stronger. 

I am not sure just how far along Davis' offensive game is, though he should have no problem standing in the paint and blocking shots because of his long limbs.

Even if Team USA doesn't end up being a powerhouse scoring team, it will be a sterling defensive unit with Davis, James, Bryant, Chandler and Iguodala. 

 

James Harden, G

Despite an inconsistent performance in the NBA Finals, Harden's stock should not be dropping as much as some would lead you to believe. He is just 22 years old and has emerged as one of the best players on one of the best teams in the league. 

Harden is a fantastic shooter on a team loaded with shooters. His ability to hit shots from beyond the arc will be invaluable for Team USA down the stretch, as they will need fresh legs to dominate from start to finish. 

Expect Harden to be the recipient of a lot of open looks when Bryant and James are being double-teamed. He will be averaging at least 12 points for Team USA. 

 

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