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USA Basketball announces 20 finalists for Olympic team

Jan 16, 2012, 12:26 PM EDT

USA+Basketball+Senior+National+Team+Training+gMvzcmCmURol Getty Images

When USA Basketball sends a dozen players to the Olympics in London this summer, the roster will come from these 20 finalists, released by USA Basketball on Monday:

Guards: Dwyane Wade, Deron Williams, Chris Paul, Eric Gordon, Russell Westbrook, Chauncey Billups, Derrick Rose, Kobe Bryant

Forwards: LeBron James, Andre Iguodala, Rudy Gay, Kevin Durant, Carmelo Anthony, Chris Bosh, Blake Griffin, Lamar Odom, LaMarcus Aldridge, Kevin Love.

Centers: Dwight Howard, Tyson Chandler.

This is similar but a little expanded from the list leaked last week.

I don’t envy Coach Mike Krzyzewski and the cuts he has to make to get this down to 12. (Cuts he will have to make without a training camp as the Olympic roster has to be sent in by June 20, before the NBA finals likely end.) As I said before it really gets hard because I think you need to keep both Howard and Chandler on the roster at center to match up with the size that Spain will throw out there with Marc Gasol, Pau Gasol and Serge Ibaka off the bench. Spain and the USA are the two clear favorites to meet in the Gold Medal game.

If you keep those two plus the sure things such as LeBron, Durant, ‘Melo, Bosh, Kobe, Wade, CP3 and Rose and suddenly you are down to two final spots for a lot of good players. I think you need Kevin Love (his game fits well with international ball). Then with that last spot do you take Griffin or Aldridge for size, Odom for versatility, E. Gordon because he can shoot or a slasher like Iguodala or Gay? Let go of Chandler so you can take two of them?

Tough choices. But that is going to be one stacked team?

  1. mlblogsbig3bosox - Jan 16, 2012 at 12:43 PM

    So Bosh is a sure thing?? smh..

    • dafranchise03 - Jan 16, 2012 at 1:09 PM

      I dont mind seeing Bosh on team USA.

      Bosh played a big role for the team last time. They are not making an NBA team here. Bosh’s game fits well for team USA because he played good defense. You also have to consider the short time the team has together. Do you go with the new guy because he has the potential to be better or go with the guy you know can get the job done.

      • mlblogsbig3bosox - Jan 16, 2012 at 1:42 PM

        I’m not saying he shouldn’t be there, I’m just saying that right now he’s in the same situation as Love’s and Aldridge’s and the three should be taken in consideration. Maybe the three of them we’ll make the team we don’t know for sure but I do not think Bosh should be a sure thing.

      • dafranchise03 - Jan 16, 2012 at 2:04 PM

        The problem with taking those guys into consideration is he has to cut his roster down to 12 before any kind of training camp. He knows Bosh worked well for the team before so why take the risk in bringing in a new guy? What if Love or Aldridge cant play with the same intensity and defense Bosh showed in the last Olympics.

  2. narrabeen23 - Jan 16, 2012 at 12:49 PM

    Kurt, you are hilarious. Bosh is not a sure thing. I’d dump Bosh to make room for Love, Aldridge, and maybe even Blake Griffin.

    My 12:

    Guards: Kobe, Wade, CP3, Rose, Deron
    Forwards: LeBron, Melo, Durant, Love, Aldridge
    Centers: Howard, Chandler

    Rationale:

    Deron gives you another floor general while Paul is on the bench. Rose give you your athletic combo guard so no need for westbrook.

    At forward, your best post player on this team is Melo, I need one post big, hence why I take Aldridge over Blake. Blake’s game just isn’t quite there yet.

    I agree you need Chandler.

    • b7p19 - Jan 16, 2012 at 1:00 PM

      I would substitue Gordon for Williams, but not a bad list. Also, not sure if I agree that Chandler is a must. You would still have Aldridge to play the middle and Love and Lebron are fine at the w/ Durant and Melo at the three. So, I think you’re still 2 deep at every postion even without Chandler. I wouldn’t put up a stink, however, if Coach K goes big.

  3. kregaway - Jan 16, 2012 at 12:51 PM

    Totally agree first thought while reading was, “why is bosh a lock for the team?”

    • Kurt Helin - Jan 16, 2012 at 3:11 PM

      His game is a good fit for international ball — has range on the jumper, can rebound, plus has a gold medal from four years ago. Around the league he is considered a sure thing.

      • tcclark - Jan 16, 2012 at 5:51 PM

        So do Aldridge and Love’s games as well. They all have range on their jumper and I’d argue that Bosh is the worst rebounder out of the three. Plus 18 out of the 20 on this list have Gold Medals.

  4. jjacks1122 - Jan 16, 2012 at 12:56 PM

    At this rate, will Wade and Kobe physically be able to play this summer after the season?

    • b7p19 - Jan 16, 2012 at 1:02 PM

      Yeah, thats a question for sure itsn’t it? Iggy and Gay would be real solid Defenders/Slashers if they are needed. And Iggy is shooting like 50% from three so far this year. Only in an emergency though.

  5. max20characters - Jan 16, 2012 at 2:06 PM

    David Lee has been playing the best basketball of his life… Not even considered? No love.

  6. explosionsauce - Jan 16, 2012 at 2:42 PM

    Bosh a sure thing? What kinda talk is that?

    • cybikorpg - Jan 16, 2012 at 3:26 PM

      Bosh over Love because he can defend.

  7. cybikorpg - Jan 16, 2012 at 3:25 PM

    Easy 12

    Deron Williams
    Chris Paul
    Derrick Rose
    Kobe Bryant
    Eric Gordon
    Dwyane Wade
    Carmelo Anthony
    Kevin Durant
    LeBron James
    Chris Bosh
    LaMarcus Aldridge
    Dwight Howard

  8. tcclark - Jan 16, 2012 at 6:28 PM

    No player should be a sure thing. (especially not Bosh) It doesn’t matter how good you are on your team in the NBA. You won’t be playing with your team in the Olympics. What matters is finding the best TEAM of players to put out there. Guys like Eric Gordon and Andre Iguodala may not be the best players out of this group, but if you break them down into what they bring to a basketball team, Gordon’s shooting and Iguodala’s defense are easily more valuable to a team than Dwayne Wade’s driving ability. The whole team can drive well… hell iguodala and Gordon can drive well. But the whole team can’t play defense well and the whole team can’t shoot well.

    All 20 players with the exception of Chandler can score on a good to elite level so just picking the best scorers would be ignorant. Why is DRose a lock while Deron Williams isn’t. Both score on an elite level, yet Williams is a better passer, defender, and has more international experience (thanks to his time in Turkey). Why is Dwayne Wade a lock but Gordon isn’t when they both score on an elite level, yet Gordon can break a zone with his shooting ability and is a very underrated perimeter defender. Is the extra 3.2 points per game that Wade scored more than Gordon worth more than the more than 8% difference in there career 3 point percentages?

    There is a lot more to basketball than a players ability to score.

  9. ultimatecardinalwarrior - Jan 16, 2012 at 10:47 PM

    Are you ready for the lock of the century?

    Billups is on the USA team.

    • cybikorpg - Jan 17, 2012 at 1:45 PM

      Sarcasism?

    • cybikorpg - Jan 17, 2012 at 1:45 PM

      Sarcasm?

  10. scoregasmic - Jan 16, 2012 at 11:52 PM

    Thats one damn good problem to have, having to pick from those guys, can’t wait to see this team in action regardless who makes the cut

  11. isujames - Jan 16, 2012 at 11:53 PM

    Bosh would have been a lock on everyones squad before he came to the Heat and people now see him regularly.I would keep him on my roster over b. griffin now.In a couple years probably not.My twelve would be @ guard,Kobe-Rose-Wade-CP3 & D.williams.@ forward Love-James-Bosh-Anthony & Durant @ center Chandler and Howard.Why is Amare not on here???

    • boilerup1869 - Mar 20, 2012 at 8:07 PM

      cuz dwight n tyson are better than amare

  12. sweetnlow44 - Jan 17, 2012 at 12:14 AM

    If Bynum’s healthy, I’d easily take him over Chandler.

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