What Went Right for Team USA, and Who Should Go to London in 2012?

Chendaddy@nbacheapseatsCorrespondent ISeptember 13, 2010
Kevin Durant, FIBA World Champion. (AFP PHOTO/BEHROUZ MEHRI)
This is how a real man plays defense. (AFP PHOTO/BEHROUZ MEHRI)
TeamAssist Ratio% of FGM 
Assisted
Spain18.3%61.2%
Serbia17.5%57.8%
Turkey17.1%52.7%
USA17.0%53.4%
Argentina16.0%53.1%
Lithuania14.5%48.7%
Brazil's healthy frontcourt duo of Varejao and Splitter. (REUTERS/Mark Blinch)
  • Greece's Sofoklis Schortsanitis (who decimated the 2006 team)
  • Argentina's Luis Scola (Mr. Video Game God Mode)
  • Spain's rotation of Marc Gasol, Felipe Reyes, and Fran Vasquez
  • A healthy Anderson Varejao alongside Splitter 
Danny Granger in a familiar spot with Team USA: on the bench. (Getty Images)
  • PG Chris Paul - Injuries dimmed his star last year, but still the best point guard in the world.
  • SG Kobe Bryant - Will be 34 by then, but can provide that Jason Kidd-like veteran leadership and Bruce Bowen-like defensive presence.
  • SF Kevin Durant - He just spent all summer proving why he belongs here. I'll go a step further and say any time Durant is on the court, he should be their #1 scoring option.
  • PF LeBron James - Lots of success playing the 4 last time in Beijing. No, I don't expect him to actually take a summer to learn post moves, but his size, strength, and athleticism allow him to guard any 3s and 4s on the planet.
  • C Dwight Howard - Best rebounder and post defender in the world.
  • 6 Dwyane Wade - Same as last time.
  • 7 Deron Williams - Best back-up PG since Stockton played behind Magic in 1992. Maybe better.
  • 8 Chris Bosh - Likely will still be the best post scorer on the team.
  • 9 Andre Iguodala - The versatility he demonstrated this summer means he should always be able to find a role.
  • 10 Greg Oden - Of course I'm assuming his next two years are major injury-free, but he'll likely be the second-best defensive big man in the league by 2012. I'd put Andrew Bynum here, but he's never been in the Team USA program and hasn't been the picture of health either. If both are still what they are now, go ahead and bump Carmelo Anthony in.
  • 11 Brook Lopez - Then again, maybe he'll be the best post scorer on the team.
  • 12 Eric Gordon - Every team needs a zone-buster off the bench, but Gordon's defense sets him apart from past ones like Michael Redd and Mike Miller.
  • Carmelo Anthony - He was the best player on the 2006 team, but he proved to be expendable in 2008 and is a far less efficient scorer than Durant.
  • Amar'e Stoudemire - We need defense. Chris Bosh gets the nod over him on account of having zero knee surgeries to Stoudemire's five.
  • Kevin Love - Again, defense.
  • Russell Westbrook, Derrick Rose, Rajon Rondo - All great players, but Chris Paul and Dwyane Wade can both do what they do except better, although that certainly may not be the case by 2012. What none of them can do right now is consistently make three-pointers, which is why Gordon got the last spot.
See you in 2012. Or not. (AFP PHOTO/ARIS MESSINIS)
Being World Champions, the next time Team USA ever needs to play another FIBA game will be for the Olympics. Until then, no more international basketball articles! See you during the NBA season!