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Food for Thought: Who on Team USA Deserves Standing Rib?

Charles BennettSenior Analyst IOctober 11, 2016

Food for Thought: Who on Team USA Deserves Standing Rib?

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    As a homage to commentators who award wieners or turkeys, I have an occasional series where I award food to players for good plays, good games and good series.

    Today, the subject is the USA Men's Basketball team in their five pool play games.  The food given out are the various entrees and sundries of two great British dishes: standing rib roast and bangers and mash.

    Here are six players who deserve pieces of food

Green Beans: Anthony Davis

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    Green beans are a traditional side dish in Britain, as are asparagus spears. Both are green and you've probably surmised that this award is going to a "greenhorn."

    Of the two scrubs—under age 23 and no international experience—on Team USA, Anthony Davis has outperformed James Harden on a per-game and per-48 basis.  

    The 19-year-old rope-a-dope victim is proving that he deserved to be chosen, with 26 points in 46 minutes of garbage play to go along with a dozen boards and three blocked shots.

Mashed Potatoes: Kevin Love

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    I resisted the temptation to highlight the mashing of Carmelo Anthony's parts during the Argentina game and instead fell back on my original intent to award the mash to the strong facilitator in Team USA's first five games.

    Kevin Love has 30 rebounds, and is third on the team in scoring (13 PPG).

Yorkshire Pudding: Andre Iguodala

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    Much as the starchy potatoes complement pork bangers, this high-rise bread-batter dish complements a nice cut of standing rib. And it goes to this second unit player, one of only two players on Team USA with 20 boards and 10 assists.

    The versatile Andre Iguodala is seemingly everywhere, being an integral part of the second unit press defense that won the Tunisia game. He has five steals; and half of his rebounds come on the offensive side of things, many of them leading to putback dunks.

Pork Banger: Kevin Durant

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    Now we're coming to the main courses, and the two players who are getting it done for the United States. Seemingly every game opens with an early three-point shot from Kevin Durant. Durant actually leads the team in three pointers with eight coming in the Argentina game alone.  

    Durant leads the team in defensive boards and in points, and is second to Love in total rebounds and to Paul in steals. 


Standing Rib Roast: Carmelo Anthony

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    Standing rib—known as prime rib in America—is a delicacy in English steakhouses and pubs. And it goes to the man who broke the single-game scoring record in the third quarter against Nigeria on Thursday.

    Carmelo Anthony has 87 points in 79 minutes on 58 percent shooting. Enough said.

Trifle: LeBron James

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    You finish off a great meal with cake, pudding, fruit, and port wine. So, naturally, this dish goes to a great Team USA finisher.

    LeBron James actually isn't anywhere close to being the team's leading scorer, only averaging 11.6 points per game in 22.2 minutes. However, we wouldn't have won the Lithuania game if he hadn't taken over in the third quarter.

    Besides giving us points and leadership when we need it, James is actually third on the team in assists and steals.

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