What Each Team USA Hopeful Must Prove at Chicago's FIBA Tournament Event

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What Each Team USA Hopeful Must Prove at Chicago's FIBA Tournament Event
Nathaniel S. Butler/Getty Images

With so many players forcibly or voluntarily removed from Team USA's roster, this group's primary focus is making it through Saturday night's exhibition against Brazil with a clean bill of health.

Avoiding the injury bug is just one of a number of challenges the remaining 16 players will face leading up to the World Championships in Spain at the end of the month, though.

Heavy on talent but light on size and experience, coach Mike Krzyzewski's team is still adjusting to life after Kevin Durant. The four-time scoring champ and reigning MVP withdrew from consideration for the team citing "physical and mental fatigue," via ESPN.com, forcing the roster to attempt to pick up the pieces he left behind on the fly.

"It's one of those things; you don't replace Kevin Durant," Krzyzewski told reporters Thursday. "You look different. And so we have today and [Friday] to look different before we play a really good team. That's of concern for me because we were pretty far along."

With 16 players vying for 12 roster spots, that adjustment period comes with the added pressure of competing for an official place on the team. While some have less to worry about than others, each of them has something to prove heading into this weekend's tuneup.

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