Team USA Basketball 2012: Players Who Will See More Playing Time in Later Rounds

Aidan MackieSenior Analyst IAugust 1, 2012

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 31:  Carmelo Anthony #15 of United States looks on against Tunisia during the Men's Basketball Preliminary Round match on Day 4 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Basketball Arena on July 31, 2012 in London, England.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

So far, so good for Team USA. 

Through two games, the Americans have flexed their muscles in Group A. 

The team crushed France 98-71 behind stellar play from LeBron James and Kevin Durant, and then dominated Tunisia 110-63. 

In the latter win, many of the United States' reserves received significant playing time to prevent an utter horror show in favor of Team USA. 

However, as the Olympic favorites makes their way through the tournament, they will meet teams capable of giving them a run for their money.

Therefore, it is critical that the best players be on the court for as long as possible.

Here are three players who will almost certainly receive more playing time in later rounds:


 Anthony Davis

After heating up the bench during Team USA's warm-up games and contest against France, Davis finally received extended playing time against Tunisia. 

To no one's surprise, Davis dominated. 

The 19-year-old shot a perfect 5-for-5 from the field, and he racked up an impressive 12 points and three rebounds in 14 minutes. 

In a team that lacks size and elite big men, Davis has been extremely solid. 

The No. 1 overall pick in this summer's NBA draft has shot an incredible 83 percent from the floor through two games in London. 

When Team USA meets teams such as Spain and Brazil, who possess tremendous combinations of big men, later on in the tournament, Davis will be relied upon to control the inside game. 


Kobe Bryant

It is shocking to think that Bryant has played the least minutes of any player on Team USA through two games. 

The NBA superstar has been on the floor a total of 21 minutes thus far, and his performance has been mediocre. 

The Black Mamba is just 4-for-11 shooting with 14 points and just two rebounds.

However, when Team USA meets strong competition in the knockout stage, expect Bryant to potentially lead the roster in minutes.

No other player is more capable of dominating opposing defenses than Bryant is.

The Lakers legend is also arguably the most clutch player on the planet.



Carmelo Anthony

Due to the presence of fellow star small forwards Kevin Durant and LeBron James, Anthony is not in the starting lineup. 

However, the Knicks star is arguably Team USA's best reserve. 

Anthony has been terrific through two games, shooting 9-for-16 from the field for 25 points in just 29 minutes. 

The Syracuse product has also been a solid contributor inside for the Americans, racking up 11 rebounds. 

Anthony is undeniably one of the most talented players on the roster. His combination of size, speed and shooting ability make him virtually impossible to match up against.

Expect Carmelo to play significant minutes against elite teams such as Argentina and Spain, as Team USA looks to rely on their superior athleticism to squeak out a win.


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