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Team USA’s system isn’t changing: They plan to use quickness, athleticism to pressure teams

Jul 28, 2014, 5:15 PM EDT

The U.S. head coach Krzyzewski watches his team against Spain during their men's gold medal  basketball match at the North Greenwich Arena in London during the London 2012 Olympic Games Reuters

Mike Krzyzewski has a model that has worked well for Team USA — if you have the deepest pool of top athletes in the world use that. Pressure teams on defense, get out and run in transition.

It’s worked to the tune of gold medals at the last two Olympics and one at the World Championship four years ago.

And even with all the guys who have dropped out of the Team USA pool for this summers World Cup (the new name for the World Championships), the style for Team USA is not changing how it plays, Krzyzewski told Marc Spears of Yahoo Sports.

“Our roster is built on quickness, athleticism and shooting. We’ve won these last three competitions because we’ve been smart defensively, knowing team fouls, we’ve shot more free throws, we’ve passed the ball well, had more assists and we’ve really shot the ball well. It’s different shots than they get in the NBA. A lot of them are stationary threes. What we hope we can hold our own in is our rebounding and post defense because we don’t have a lot of depth there on the inside.”

Krzyzewski’s phrasing suggested a few guys are pretty much locks for the 12-man roster: Kevin Durant, Anthony Davis, James Harden, Paul George, Stephen Curry, Damian Lillard and Klay Thompson. All of that list makes sense to me except maybe Lillard — he could make the team but at point guard there is also Kyrie Irving, John Wall and Derrick Rose. Does Lillard defend well enough to make that cut? If you carry three then Curry, Irving and one more seem to be the logical calls to me. And if Rose really is back at 100 percent it’s going to be hard to leave him off.

The bottom line is the Americans certainly have the athleticism to overwhelm almost any team… but Spain will provide a different challenge with the Gasol brothers up front.

  1. antistratfordian - Jul 28, 2014 at 5:24 PM

    Hmmm. If Team USA didn’t have LeBron to save the day on a few different occasions they may not have won gold in 2012. Spain is formidable with the two Gasols and Ibaka and Calderon and Rubio, etc. So I wish our boys much luck.

  2. innovativethinking87 - Jul 28, 2014 at 6:21 PM

    Lillard def should be a no brainer lock

    • spursareold - Jul 28, 2014 at 6:23 PM

      Sure, if they don’t care about defense at all. Unfortunately for him, they do.

      • innovativethinking87 - Jul 28, 2014 at 7:01 PM

        Yea and Kyrie plays better defense? I think not

    • muhangis - Jul 29, 2014 at 3:40 AM

      Then you are saying that for absolutely without a doubt he is a top 5 point guard in the NBA?! …. And that is not the case.

      (doesn’t have to be in this order)

      1. Chris Paul
      2. Kyrie Irving
      3. Rajon Rondo
      4. Russell Westbrook
      5. Derrick Rose
      6. Tony Parker
      7. John Wall
      8. Mike Conley
      9. Damian Lillard
      10. Eric Bledsoe

      ..You see what I did there? *I put some thought into it.

      • felisberto - Jul 30, 2014 at 6:42 AM

        Jeremy Lin should be there he is better than Kyrie Irving, Damian Lillard,. John Wall.
        the honest list should be:
        1 Tony Parker
        2 Jeremy Lin
        3 Chris Paul
        4 Russell Westbrook
        5 Kyrie Irving
        6 Rajon Rondo
        7 Damian Lillard
        8 Mike Conley
        9 John Wall
        10 Eric Bledsoe

  3. deezesoprano - Jul 28, 2014 at 8:27 PM

    Actually Durant won MVP last time… how did Lebron save the day? lol he did what durant did but durant scored more…..I can imagine what running the 4 without lebron will do for durants game

  4. shanelsweet - Jul 28, 2014 at 8:34 PM

    No way I’d take Irving over Wall. He’s a much better defender.

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