Stars Who Must Step Up for Team USA at 2014 FIBA World Cup

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Stars Who Must Step Up for Team USA at 2014 FIBA World Cup
Andrew D. Bernstein/Getty Images

If you're expecting Team USA to sleepwalk its way to a gold medal at the 2014 FIBA World Cup in Spain, don't.

That would be a mistake. 

Though the Americans should still be considered favorites for top honors, the competition is going to play the Olympic champions significantly closer now that the roster has a distinctly depleted flavor. Not only have notable players declined invites and withdrawn from early consideration, but Paul George's brutal injury has been followed by another withdrawal, this time from Kevin Durant. 

Team USA lost its leader and best player, a man who just happened to be coming off a season in which he was named the NBA's MVP. Now, Mike Krzyzewski and the rest of the coaching staff is down to just two players with Olympic experience, left scrambling to find a way to live up to the expectations of dominance.

Fortunately, the American roster—even in its incomplete form—is replete with star power. To use a cliche phrase, there are plenty of prominent players who can step up, though they won't necessarily do so by filling the massive void let behind by KD. 

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