Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Team USA - And Then There Were 16 (With Predicted Final Roster)

Still remaining in the U.S. pool of players are guards Derrick Rose, Stephen Curry, Kyrie Irving, Klay Thompson, DeMar DeRozan, James Harden, Kyle Korver, Damian Lillard; forwards Kevin Durant, Anthony Davis, Chandler Parsons, Gordon Hayward, Kenneth Faried; and centers DeMarcus Cousins, Mason Plumlee and Andre Drummond.

Sorting this media report by position:
PG -- Rose, Curry, Irving, Lillard

SG - Thompson, DeRozan, Harden, Korver, Hayward

SF - Durant, Parsons,

PF - Davis, Faried

C - Cousins, Plumlee, Drummond.

Word is that Cousins (injury status - insane) is almost certainly gone.  So what are your three remaining cuts? 

1) I would say Lillard is almost certainly gone.  He is a full step below his competition at PG.  Unless Rose or Irving gets injured, Damian will see the final cuts as a bad Omen.

2) We obviously have too many SGs and not enough SFs (Paul George's horrific injury costing us a lot of minutes at that position).  I would say that Hayward is almost certainly a cut.

3)  Therefore, the final cut comes down to Korver and DeRozan.  Since Coach K appears willing to keep Curry (1/2 white), Thompson (same), Parsons (white), and Plumlee (white) he has 3 of 12 already as white-equivalent.  So that spells doom for Korver.  DeRozan is more athletic and gives energy that Korver cannot.  Durant will be playing 35 mpg in close games, so he will get to shoot 10+ threes a game.  Curry is a top 5 shooter.  Klay Thompson when left alone is a great shooter.  Irving is streaky, but when he gets it going he is a 5-6 3PtA a game guy.

My predicted Final Roster, starters first

Curry, Irving, Rose
Harden, Thompson, DeRozan
Durant, Parsons
Davis, Faried
Drummond, Plumlee

Unless the opponent has a good 6'10" plus center, the lineup in crunch time will likely be

Curry, Harden, Durant, Davis and whoever else has shown the hot hand from 3 that day.  Klay Thompson and Chandler Parsons will have every opportunity to shine.  With Paul George, we would have had an amazing top 5 (##1, 4, 5, 12 and 14 in the league in WS).

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