After several days of team practices and workouts some of the NBA’s youngest and brightest stars matched up against each other for Team USA during an inter-squad matchup in Las Vegas.
Superstars Kevin Durant and Derrick Rose of the White team overpowered the Blue team 114-96, giving fans in Las Vegas and around the world a chance to see what Team USA will look like by the end of August for the 2010 FIBA World Championships.
Durant was the star of the game scoring 28 points on 10-of-17 shooting from the field during 29 minutes of play. He did have seven turnovers, but that is only a small blemish for Team USA’s best overall player.
Team USA has a loaded backcourt, headlined by Rose who finished the game with 15 points, eight assists, and five steals. His play during the scrimmage likely catapulted him into the starting point guard role for Team USA as it heads to Turkey at the end of August.
Others like Russell Westbrook (Oklahoma City Thunder), Eric Gordon (Los Angeles Clippers), Stephen Curry (Golden State Warriors), O.J. Mayo (Memphis Grizzlies) all had better games than former Kentucky Wildcats point guard Rajon Rondo during the scrimmage, making it difficult to read whether Rondo will sneak his way onto Team USA’s final 12-15 man roster. Mayo and Westbrook both finished with double-digit points (18 and 14), giving the Blue team an exciting backcourt tandem that must have Team USA President Jerry Colangelo salivating from the mouth. Gordon finished the game with 16 points, while Curry poured in 14 points.
There are some rather intriguing surprises from the scrimmage, coming from Rudy Gay (Memphis Grizzlies who scored 23 points for the Blue team on 7-of-11 shooting while draining 6-of-7 free throws. His play will likely give him a spot on the final roster at the forward position. Another surprise was Andre Iguodala (Philadelphia Sixers) who put up 17 points to go with five assists. Team USA President Jerry Colangelo will likely put Iguodala on the roster for his perimeter defense, an aspect that is sorely needed during foreign play. Last, but not least was the play of Tyson Chandler (Dallas Mavericks) had 13 points and nine rebounds likely giving him the starting center spot over the likes of Brook Lopez (New Jersey Nets) and JaVal McGee (Washington Wizards).
Next up for Team USA is another scrimmage game that takes place August 15 in New York against France. Colangelo will have a tough decision, but is expected to trim the roster down to 12-15 players by that time.
The mix of players may not seem to be all that impressive, but it will certainly be interesting to see how 2010 version of Team USA will match up against some of the world’s finest basketball organizations.