Red, White and Better: A Look at The 2010 USA FIBA Championship Team
In 2010, USA Basketball did not put their best stars out on the court. But while LeBron, Kobe and Howard sat home, a new group of stars arrived.
Led by Kevin Durant, a group of young, up and comers showed that through chemistry, hard work and selflessness, a team could succeed on the highest level.
All of the players on the team have been extremely effective so far this season. The lessons that they learned on and off the court, in addition to the tough practices and desire to learn from one another made this team work well. It was a special circumstance, but in the end, will end up being one of the best things that ever happened to this group of guys.
This will one day be known as the FIBA effect.
This is a look at the guys that played on the 2010 USA FIBA Championship team and the progressions they have made in the 2010-2011 NBA season.
Pts. 17.9 / Rebs. 5.3 / Assts 2.0 / Steals 1.0
Pts. 24.1 / Rebs. 5.5 / Assts 2.8 / Steals 1.5
Pts. 21.3 / Rebs. 5.5 / Assts 2.6 / Steals 1.3
Granger never played the type of role that he was supposed to for team USA, playing in only seven games, but still puts up over 20 points a game for the Pacers.
Pts. 15.8 / Rebs. 5.8 / Assts 4.6 / Steals 1.3
Pts. 17.1 / Rebs. 6.5 / Assts 5.8 / Steals 1.7
Pts. 14.5 / Rebs. 6.3 / Assts 5.7 / Steals 1.3
Forced to play a lot of PF during the tournament, Iguodala became an important contributor. While his numbers are down from a season ago, they are still above his career average. With the high number of wing players on the 76ers and the entrance of second overall pick Evan Turner, don't be surprised to see Iguodala traded before the trade deadline; he would be a great defensive stopper and a nice complimentary piece to contending teams.
Pts. 18.0 / Rebs. 4.2 / Assts 5.8 / Steals 2.0
Pts. 17.5 / Rebs. 4.5 / Assts 5.9 / Steals 1.9
Pts. 20.1 / Rebs. 3.3 / Assts 5.6 / Steals 2.2
In a crowded backcourt, it was not always easy for Curry to find time. But playing daily with the likes of Derrick Rose, Russell Westbrook and Chauncey Billups has made him a better player. This season, though slowed by injuries, Curry has showed continued promise for a Warrior team that has shown great improvements from last year.
Pts. 15.4 / Rebs. 2.9 / Assts 5.6 / Steals 1.0
Pts. 19.5 / Rebs. 3.1 / Assts 5.6 / Steals 1.1
Pts. 14.4 / Rebs. 2.0 / Assts 5.4 / Steals 1.2
The elder statesman on the team, Billups provided experience, a good veteran presence and was tied for the second most minutes played on a team that needed stability. Though his numbers are down this year, his leadership still has Denver as a contender in the Western Conference. He has always been a winner, and it shows through his work with the younger guys on the 2010 gold medal team.
Pts. 8.1 / Rebs. 8.8 / Blocks 1.4
Pts. 6.5 / Rebs. 6.3 / Blocks 1.1
Pts. 9.5 / Rebs. 9.2 / Blocks 1.4
Chandler's effects on his Dallas Mavericks team can be seen mostly in the toughness he adds. His time working on the USA team as one of only three big men have taught him how important it is to crash the boards like he used to and defend the paint.
Dirk Nowitzki recently said, "I don't think Ray Allen or Paul Pierce were great defenders before K.G. got there," Nowitzki said, "But, K.G., with his energy, his defense, his mentality and his high-octane self, he kind of changed the whole momentum on the defense. I think that's what Tyson did here."
Pts. 17.7 / Rebs. 5.6 / Assts 1.8 / Steals 1.3
Pts. 19.6 / Rebs. 5.9 / Assts 1.9 / Steals 1.5
Pts. 21.0 / Rebs. 6.0 / Assts 2.6 / Steals 1.5
Rudy Gay has become the go to guy in Memphis. At 24, Gay has proven that he wants to the ball at the end of the game, and the team is happy to oblige. He is one of the top beneficiaries from his time working with Team USA, and his stat line agrees. Look for him to take an even bigger step over the next two season as he enters the thick of his prime.
Pts. 14.7 / Rebs. 9.0 / Assts 4.1 / Blocks 1.0
Pts. 10.8 / Rebs. 9.8 / Assts 3.3 / Blocks .7
Pts. 16.0 / Rebs. 9.9 / Assts 3.2 / Blocks .9
Odom took the rebounding crown for team USA, grabbing 69 boards in nine games. He played a majority of the time at the center position, guarding the other team's biggest and most physical player.
This has translated well back to this time with the Lakers. Although he has always been a major rebounding contributor, with the early season absence of Andrew Bynum, Odom stepped in and showed that he can shoulder the load for a team that has won back to back titles.
Pts. 17.6 / Rebs. 2.7 / Assts 3.1 / Steals 1.1
Pts. 16.9 / Rebs. 2.6 / Assts 3 / Steals 1.1
Pts. 23.9 / Rebs. 3.3 / Assts 4.6 / Steals 1.2
Indeed folks, Gordon has taken the leap. Alongside Blake Griffin, the Clippers finally have the pieces that they can be proud of. Gordon has become a monster attacking the basket and getting himself to the free throw line like a star should.
During the FIBA Championships, Gordon took on an important scoring role for the team with the fourth highest total. He was in the game during crunch time, providing a solid jump shot and a slashing ability that he has taken with him back to the 2010-2011 regular season.
Pts. 25.5 / Rebs. 6.2 / Assts 2.7 / Steals 1.2
Pts. 30.1 / Rebs. 7.6 / Assts 2.8 / Steals 1.4
Pts. 27.4 / Rebs. 6.6 / Assts 3.0 / Steals 1.1
You might be asking, if Durant was the top dog on the team, why isn't he centerpiece of the article? Well, Durant has not been the most affected by the tournament. We already knew he was great and that this season was going to be another great display in a long and successful career. Unfortunately, the amount of basketball he has played in the last calendar year has brought about some nagging injuries.
He was the single most important player to the team, taking them on his back when it counted. We will not see the true impact of the championships until the playoffs when the ball is in his hand and he is told to go out and win the game for the Thunder.
Pts. 16.8 / Rebs. 4.9 / Assts 6.9 / Steals 1.4
Pts. 16.1 / Rebs. 4.9 / Assts 8.0 / Steals 1.3
Pts. 23.1 / Rebs. 5.0 / Assts 8.5 / Steals 2.0
In Kevin Durant's absence, Westbrook shined. He is showing that he is also one of the best all around guards in the league, and has the rare ability to play on or off the ball. Both he and Durant are so close in the rankings because of neither of them have the ego problem.
His coming out party came against the New Jersey Nets during a triple overtime game. Besides his acrobatic dunk and scoring, Westbrook scored all of his team's points in the third overtime. He stepped up and took over when it was needed and asserted his dominance. This is something you learn from watching KD and also something you're born with.....
This guy has the potential to be special.
Pts. 19.5 / Rebs. 3.9 / Assts 6.5 / Steals .8
Pts. 20.8 / Rebs. 3.8 / Assts 6.0 / Steals .7
Pts. 24.3 / Rebs. 4.4 / Assts 8.4 / Steals 1.0
Derrick Rose is now the focal point of a legitimate Eastern Conference contender. The former No. 1 overall pick has joined the company of the other elite guards in the East and beat our Rajon Rando for a spot on the squad.
Along with Boozer and Noah, Rose joins a trio of players ready to win both now and in the future. He has the rare ability to score with his jump shot, driving and slashing abilities while also making others around him better through his drive and kickout ability.
Equally as important.....he has the clutch gene.
Pts. 13.8 / Rebs. 10.8 / Assts 1.7 / Blocks .4
Pts. 14.0 / Rebs. 11.0 / Assts 2.3 / Blocks .4
Pts. 20.8 / Rebs. 15.5 / Assts 2.3 / Blocks .4
Finally, the Minnesota Timberwolves have something to be excited about.
Kevin Love is dominating on the boards. Put it in perspective that the last 30/30 NBA game came from Moses Malone. Whenever you are in the same company as Malone, you know that your doing something right.
Love did not have as much of an impact on the World Championship team, but he took a lot of lessons he learned competing against other big men.
He has always been a good rebounder, but he has taken his game to a new level. Look for Love to be a top rebounder for the next decade.
The Best Of The Rest
Luis Scola (27.1 PPG)
Carlos Delfino (20.6 PPG)
Linas Kleiza (19 PPG)
Leandro Barbosa (16.2 PPG)