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Report: Rose, Curry, Harden, Davis four of five Team USA starters vs. Brazil

Aug 15, 2014, 8:00 AM EDT

Team USA Practice Session Getty Images

It was one of our big questions heading into the Chicago training camp for Team USA — who would start and get the minutes in place of Paul George and Kevin Durant.

In the case of George at the three, the obvious answer was always James Harden and that seems to be where Coach Mike Krzyzewski is headed. (Yes, Harden at the three, Team USA is playing small as it did winning its last couple gold medals.)

At the four… still trying to figure that part out according to Marc Spears of Yahoo Sports.

Three guys on that list are not a shock. From the first day of camp Coach K had raved about Anthony Davis as the center for the type of ball they wanted to play, and Stephen Curry has always been at the two in the top units (it makes sense in international ball where shooting is a premium). Early on Kyrie Irving was getting the start at the one but Derrick Rose’s play pushed him here, plus now with Durant out they need scoring and Rose brings that.

As for the final starting spot, and looking at the guys on the roster, there are only three clear options to me: Rudy Gay, Gordon Hayward and Chandler Parsons. None of those thrill me, but with Davis at the five and an up-tempo offense those are the fits (then you can bring in DeMarcus Cousins with the second unit and change tempo if you want).

Of that group, I’d probably start Parsons, his versatility is the best fit in my mind. But Coach K doesn’t have to make that decision yet — that’s what exhibitions like Saturday against Brazil are for. Roll out a lot of different combinations and see what clicks. The USA has a couple weeks of practices and a few exhibition games to figure things out before settling on a starting five.

By the way, that Rose is starting is a sign of how well he’s playing. Smile Chicago fans.

  1. chicagosports2014 - Aug 15, 2014 at 9:23 AM

    G.O.L.D.

  2. malek773 - Aug 15, 2014 at 10:21 AM

    Rose is looking real good so far. I smell another MVP coming his way.

  3. saint1997 - Aug 15, 2014 at 10:22 AM

    With the versatility of players like Rose, McDermott, Gasol and Noah, even Thibs’ anaemic offensive system will be such a thrill with those talents, not to mention the always stellar defence.

  4. savvybynature - Aug 15, 2014 at 11:08 AM

    So the defenisive strategy is… Hope Anthony Davis can cover for all the weak perimeter defenders at the rim without getting in foul trouble?

    • vikes69 - Aug 15, 2014 at 12:16 PM

      derrick rose is an elite defender. If kyrie was starting it would be bad

      • dj3garrett - Aug 15, 2014 at 12:28 PM

        Rose is an elite defender?

    • sonnysuave - Aug 15, 2014 at 12:17 PM

      I have a feeling, he’ll be mindful of having to cover Harden’s back at all times… just like Noah had to cover Boozer’s back w/ the Bulls. Thank God that’s in the past!

      • savvybynature - Aug 15, 2014 at 2:28 PM

        I agree, but like I mentioned, I just hope he doesn’t get in foul trouble because USA’s depth in the front court is slim.
        That’s a lot of pressure for a young player with scant international experience. He’s a great player though, so if anyone can do it it’s him.

  5. geejon - Aug 15, 2014 at 11:48 AM

    Gordon Hayward? Yikes! It’s that bad? A guy that barely broke 40% fg and barely cracked 30% on 3’s? THAT guy is gonna make the final cut and might START?

    • savvybynature - Aug 15, 2014 at 2:32 PM

      He won’t be anywhere near the #1 option on Team USA though. He has a solid all-around game that should fit well, and his percentages should be better if he’s just being asked to shoot when he’s open rather than create his own shot.
      That said, I’d expect Parsons to get the nod since he’s the best 3-point shooter of the three, and they are really emphasizing floor spacing.

  6. sonnysuave - Aug 15, 2014 at 12:19 PM

    Harden’s gonna be the cancer/poison/black hole of the starters. Dood is gonna chuck up ill-advised shots like crazy, thinking he’s now the man w/ KD out. Hope the 6th man subs in for him first!

  7. bronx77 - Aug 15, 2014 at 12:27 PM

    Where’s the guy that went crazy on me because I suggested rose should start over Kyrie.

  8. philyeagles5 - Aug 15, 2014 at 2:51 PM

    Cornerstone and 3 role players right?

    • sonnysuave - Aug 15, 2014 at 4:10 PM

      Exactly my point! Harden will think he’s still the man on the USA team, and everyone else is a role player. If this happens, hope he gets put in check early!

  9. polkhigh4life - Aug 15, 2014 at 5:42 PM

    Yea he is….get over your distaste for Rose…when healthy he’s an all star at both ends…watch him…stop looking at box scores…

  10. Gigantor - Aug 17, 2014 at 3:52 PM

    Derek Rose was MVP. Chris Paul was a near MVP. Who is the better PG?

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