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Team USA Announced

I digress for a bit from my usuall talk about the wonderful world of ColdFusion and web application development to sports.  Team USA was announced yesterday and includes: Carmello Anthony, Carlos Boozer, Chris Bosh, Kobe Bryant, Dwight Howard, Lebron James, Jason Kidd, Chris Paul, Tayshaun Prince, Michael Redd, Dwayne Wade, and Deron Williams.  As much as I try to ignore Michael Wilbon, I have to agree with his assessment in today’s Washington Post.

On paper, this team appears destined for gold in Beijing.  But this isn’t 1992 in Barcelona.  The rest of the world has caught up.  Or at least they have fashioned the international game into a format that evens the odds against NBA players.  Let’s face it, the international game is a slightly watered down version of our NBA.  At best it’s somewhere between college and the NBA.  Big men with little or no shooting touch, but with imposing inside presence are sacrificed in favor of smaller, quicker forwards with great range.  Shaq would never survive in international play.  His shooting is too big a liability.  We’ve lost our edge and so begins the mission to restore our dominance in the sport we invented and have dominated for the better part of the last 100 years.

I do feel that this is perhaps one of the better balanced teams we have put forward.  Kobe and Tayshaun make up two of the league’s best defenders, while Chris Paul and Deron Williams are two of the best young playmakers on the floor.  Jason Kidd provides international experience and leadership.  Lebron is, well Lebron is Lebron…enough said.  Kobe is coming off one of the best seasons since his days with Shaq.  We still have size with Dwight Howard and Carlos Boozer inside and the lights out shooting of Michael Redd.   As I watched the qualifying tournament last year, one thing that struck me was defense.  Team USA had the ability to turn up the defense when needed to provide lots of points off turnovers.  I’m still picking Team USA to win it all, but it won’t be the walk in the park Barcelona was.  These guys are going to have to work to win this one.  They should still win comfortably though.

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