US Olympic Basketball PreviewTuesday, June 28, 2016 9:00
A look at the US Olympic men’s basketball team.
Who & What to Expect From The 2016 US Olympic Basketball Team
The talk of the summer as far as the Olympic Games are concerned, has been the horrible water conditions and the potential feat of the Zika virus. There have been some notable stars who’ve decided against playing in the games because of these concerns, the latest being golf’s Rory McIlroy.
The U.S. Olympic Men’s Basketball team, always the prolific favorite to walk away with the Gold Medal, will also be without a few of its brightest stars. Stephen Curry, the two-time NBA MVP, will sit this one out. His slight frame seems to be showing the wear and tear of two long NBA seasons and post seasons in a row. He wore down in this year’s postseason a bit after suffering ankle and wrist injuries. He was also spotted with ice bags on his shoulder during the Finals. He will take these few weeks off to heal a bit.
Kevin Durant was also thought to not be participating, considering he will be busy shopping for a new team and a new contract, but he has decided to squeeze in a little hoops this summer. That is welcome news for USA basketball fans and the team as well. Lebron James will almost surely not be going to Rio for the games however. After six straight trips to the NBA Finals and also playing in the 2012 Olympics, who can really blame him.
But no James and no Curry aside, this team coached by Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski, will still have a ton of firepower. The final roster has yet to be named, but here are some of the guys on the 30-man roaster. I think you’ll recognize them.
Some names you do not see that may have you wondering where they are include John Wall, Russell Westbrook, Timberwolves Rookie Of The Year Karl Anthony Townes, Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, Joakim Noah, Al Horford, and Isaiah Thomas.
Some of those players are injured, including Wall, Griffin, Paul and Noah. The others just show how much talent the USA Basketball Team has to pick from. Only 12 of those names will be going to the Games. Coach K will have some tough decisions to make, telling some of those guys they weren’t good enough. There will likely be some All Stars left off the roster in 2016.
So yes, even though there will be no Steph Curry and no Lebron James, the USA will still be the heavy favorites to win the Gold Medal. The only real question at the games will be how many points should you lay when betting on the USA to win each night, if you’re into that type of thing, of course.
Some of the more interesting bets will be which team will win the Silver Medal, and which team will win the Bronze Medal. The Spanish national team is always one a favorite to contend with big names like the Gasol brothers, Rudy Fernandez, Serge Ibaka, Ricky Rubio and Jose Caldero. They are the one team that can stay on the floor with the United States.
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