Back in September, giddy from 2008 Redeem Team's Gold Metal performance, I tallied up a list of players I thought deserved to be a part of the 2012 Team USA.
Looking back, while I stand firm in some of my selections, I was dead wrong in others. Overwhelming reader support and comments on my previous article have led me to begin periodically updating my 2012 roster, adding and subtracting players as they evolve.
Just as an introductory note, my main dilemma revolves around whether LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony will return for a third Olympic appearance. Historically, Team USA members rarely play on more than two teams. But, recent talks between James, Anthony and Team USA guru Jerry Colangelo could be a sign that both will return.
Here's what we have for Dream Team 2012 (2.0)
PG - Chris Paul
SG - Brandon Roy
SF - LeBron James
PF - Carmelo Anthony
C - Dwight Howard
6 - Deron Williams
7 - Devin Harris
8 - Danny Granger
9 - Andre Iguodala
10 - Kevin Durant
11 - David Lee
12 - Brook Lopez
1. Devin Harris over Derrick Rose - Previously I chose Harris over Monta Ellis and caught serious objections from readers... and this was before his 21.3 and 7.9 assists per output this past season.
I make this choice for two reasons: 1) maturity and 2) consistency in shooting ability. Don't get me wrong, Rose is dirty. His upside is incredible and in four years he will absolutely be one of the best two or three point guards in the league.
But Rose is raw. Devin Harris is polished. While both are lightening quick, Harris plays under control faster than anyone else in the league. Harris has a more consistent perimeter jump shot and is much more effective from the free throw line. As seen in the playoffs, while Rose can score in bunches, he struggles with free throws at the end of the game.
2. David Lee over Al Jefferson- Injury. That explains this pick for me. Jefferson is a bruiser down low and one of the great up and coming players. Who knows how he will recover after the knee injury?
With the Team USA being a four-year commitment, I'm not sure how willing and able Jefferson will be to devote the next four years to this when he has to rehab.
David Lee is also an incredible role player. He brings the intangibles to the table and has unmatchable intensity. A player like this would fit great on Team USA and help balance out the competitive egos and scoring mentalities.
Next Five In
Obviously if Dwayne Wade plays, he's in. Here are my next two or three players on the cusp of making the team.
- Derrick Rose
- Kevin Martin
- OJ Mayo
- Al Jefferson
- Troy Murphy
Reason I Like Troy Murphy: On a team dominated by guards, Murphy is a big body who can play the four or five. He can score, rebound, be a floor general, and he shoots lights out from three-point range.
Stat Line: 14.3 ppg, 11.1 rebounds, and .450 three-point percentage . The man is built for international play.
First Five Out From My Last List
- Greg Oden
- Tyson Chandler
- Mike Beasley
- David West
- Kevin Martin
Any comments? Good Picks? Dumb picks? Let me know! Until Dream Team 2012 (3.0)