U.S. Olympic Basketball 2012: Players Who Must Step Up for Team USA in London

Josh SchochAnalyst IIIJuly 27, 2012

BARCELONA, SPAIN - JULY 22:  LeBron James #6 of the US Men's Senior National Team looks on during a Pre-Olympic Men's Exhibition Game between USA and Argentina at Palau Sant Jordi, on July 22, 2012 in Barcelona, Spain.  (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
David Ramos/Getty Images

After running Spain out of the gym in their Olympic exhibition game, Team USA is poised to win the gold medal in London, but will need these guys to step up if they are going to do so.

A 5-0 exhibition run may have left the Americans confident in themselves, but they cannot become overconfident. If these players become too relaxed they will be burned, and the U.S. could leave the Games early.

Whether these guys will need to be stars or just pull their own weight, they are the crucial players for the 2012 Olympics.


Tyson Chandler

The only center on Team USA's roster, Tyson Chandler has been struggling.

Big time.

He is averaging just 2.4 points and 3.4 rebounds per game despite starting in all five games. He needs to play well on both ends of the court for the U.S. because he is their only seven-footer.

After Spain scored inside almost at will in the first half of their exhibition game, the need for Chandler grew, and now the team needs him more than ever.


Kevin Durant

The NBA's scoring leader, Kevin Durant has been hot during the exhibition games. He is averaging an impressive 17.6 points per game, and is second on the team in scoring.

However, his true worth is because of his effort. He is grabbing an impressive five rebounds per game, which leads the team.

Durant is playing incredibly well and has been huge for Team USA. While he isn't getting all the press, he will certainly be key in a gold medal run for the U.S.


LeBron James

NBA MVP. Olympic gold medalist. NBA Champion. NBA Finals MVP.

LeBron James has finally done it all after winning the NBA title this year with the Miami Heat. Now he looks to build on his legacy, winning his second Olympic gold.

LBJ has been a stud for the Americans, leading the team with 18.6 points and 4.0 assists per game. He is also averaging 4.8 rebounds per game, which is second behind only Durant.

The King is proving that he is the best player in the world today, and he will need to continue this trend in London for the U.S. to win gold.