Monday, August 23rd, 2010 at 11:00 am  |  39 responses

Will Russell Westbrook Avoid Team USA Cut?

His strong play of late may force Coach K to keep him on the squad, reports the NY Times: “After practice Friday, Team USA guard Russell Westbrook and said all the right things. He said he was not worried about being the final cut on Team USA, that he had not spoken with Coach Mike Krzyzewski about it and that he was going to continue to play hard. His body language, though, told a different story. He looked away, slumped his shoulders and generally squirmed in his seat. After bailing out a sluggish American team with a Red Bull-like shot from the bench against Lithuania, Westbrook is going to make it a lot more difficult for Krzyzewski to cut him. He scored 12 points on 4-of-5 shooting, dished two assists and generally ratcheted up the tempo to a level in which the Lithuanians could not keep up … After winning the Player of the Game award, Westbrook reiterated that he had been trying to keep the cut off his mind. Team USA has 13 players and must trim the roster to 12 within 48 hours of its opener Saturday in Istanbul against Croatia. ‘I try to guard every night and try not to pay attention to what’s going on with the cut and who is getting cut and how many minutes they’re playing,’ Westbrook said.”

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  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Friend of mine favors keeping Gordon over Westbrook because of Gordon’s offensive versatility. He also says Gordon is defending well.
    But, I think Westbrook, while raw, brings a certain attitude to the game, and is probably the most aggressive defender on the team. And his midrange jumper is greatly improved.

  • http://www.kb24.com The Seed

    Cut Billups and Rondo, keep Curry, Gordon, Westbrook and Rose. BOOK IT!!

  • Ali

    Keep him! Trust me Coach K!

  • http://www.slamonline.com/ niQ

    Russell is contributing more than some of the other guards. Should definitely keep him, plus I’m sure the coach likes what he brings.

  • http://kb24.com Bigi

    Just lose the Mohawk!

  • Jer Boi

    You really hate Billups huh Seed?

  • http://google c_cantrell

    man i hope he gets to stay.. with him and durant both on team usa they could do good things.. but most importantly they could bring that experience back to the thunder and i believe this could help them help boost the thunder and contribute to their future success

  • slamfan4life

    He’s a good player but Rose is just like him except a better shooter, I’d have to cut him loose

  • http://google c_cantrell

    rose a better shooter? not from 3

  • SpaceJam

    Rose is a much better shooter than westbrook, overall and from 3. Keep Gordan b/c he is arguably the second best shooter of the entire group. Plus he has a good body for fiba ball and we already have rose, curry, and billups that can play point. And odom if you think about it.

  • Coney Islander

    Keep Billups and Rose, it’s not too late for those other guys to get some vacation in.

  • truth

    Curry or Gordon? Which one yall think should be cut?
    I think its a toss up..

  • lexluther703

    I would cut curry.. Billups and durant can carry the 3-point shooting load. Plus, Curry is scrawny and a tad bit soft when it comes to playing defense, while westbrook, even with all his offensive deficiencies, can make plays and brings a certain tenacity. Keep Rose, Rondo, Westbrook, and cut Curry

  • JayfromdaCHI

    We need a young core goin and we all no ROSE, RONDO, n WESTBROOK can carry da point position its between billups or curry who get cut but they will proly keep billups cuz hes da experienced one.

  • http://www.slamonline.com/online/media/slam-tv/2010/08/video-michael-jordans-love-of-the-game/ notblack

    RONDO and billups, West. dont even argue.

  • total scrotal implosion

    Cut currry. No defense, shaky haandles, one dimensional. And westbrook is a better shooter than rose, not by alot, but def better. Anyone who says otherwise hasnt seen much of wstbrook

  • http://google c_cantrell

    been saying the same thing all along

  • funkdoc

    Keep Curry. Okay, he’s one dimensional, but look at all the talent. Sometimes you just need a guy like Curry who can just shoot and shoot and shoot. If they keep guys like Rose and Durant, I’d rather have Curry open for three than Gordon.

  • http://thephotoriot.com davidR

    curry one dimensional? how so? he’s not just a shooter.

  • luv2ball

    Curry is the only pure shooter on the roster, Gordon is more of a rhythm shooter. With every other guard, teams can slip underneath the pick and roll. With Curry you can’t do that. Also, Curry can catch and shoot, so he will be a zone buster. I just don’t think you can cut Curry. Gordon, Rondo, Westbrook and Rose are basically the same type of players. I’d even go so far as to cut Danny Granger.

  • luv2ball

    I’d also love to see Curry/Billups in high screen and rolls with Durant. I bet Coach K is saving that.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    I’d rather cut Rondo.

  • http://gmail dirty frank

    I think the Rose/Wstbrook shooting argument is a toss up. I think they need to keep Curry and cut Westbrook.

  • Robb

    Rondo and Billups? not gonna happen. Currys gonna be cut.

  • Chou

    I think Rondo, Rose and Westbrook brings the same stuff on the table. Out of the 3, Westbrook is the odd man out, methinks.

  • JTaylor21

    TSI, Rose is the better shooter than westbrook from mid range by a healthy margin. You must not get WGN in your household.

  • Jacob (from Australia)

    Watch some games, get rid of Rondo.

  • inmypjs

    Westbrook was the odd man out. His FG% is not as good as the other guards but he plays better defense. I think he was ready to get cut until he became player of the game against Lithuania. Now it’s between Curry and Gordon. Gordon is pretty much the same player as Rose, Billups, and Westbrook so why even keep him when you have similar but better players than him?

    Curry, on the other hand, provides a different dimension to the game. He is the only pure shooter on the team and he’s a better passer too. One of the reasons that Team USA has lost many times in the past including a bronze finish in the Olympics is because they did not have an outside shooter to spread the floor. For this reason alone, and it’s a crucial one, Curry is the wise choice over Gordon.

  • Brad

    i agree with Bigi that thing looks stupid lol

  • total scrotal implosion

    Gordon is a better shooter than some seem to realize. And cutting granger would be dumb, hes the secret weapon. I wish theyd cut rondo but they wont. Itll come down to curry vs gordon, hope curry goes home

  • http://sfjdkldsfl.com Jukai

    Rondo wont leave cause of his star power alone. They’ll cut Curry, use the injury excuse

  • marchalmadness

    why is everybody hating on Rondo, didn’t yall see the NBA playoffs?
    I hate Boston but he’s a great player, against the zone defence USA will play against you have to keep the best shooters i guess.
    good luck coach k;-)

  • riggs

    cut rondo? you just cut the best defense on the damn team smfh @ yall.

  • DDB

    I am not a Westbrook fan at all but the US should absolutely keep him. He and Eric Gordon provided the spark against Lithuania and Westbrook played very well again against Spain.

    With the way everyone on the US has been defending, I think they should cut Rondo. Rondo looked awful against Lithuania and he won’t be able to score in international play. He can not shoot at all and is not tough enough to deal with the physical play.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Westbrook is almost as good a defender as Rondo.
    Rondo is averaging fewer than 3 points and just as many turnovers as assists. He is a poor shooter, who is not a beast at taking people off the bounce and forcing his shot at the rim. I understand he’s a floor general, but he’s not on the same level as Jason Kidd in that respect, and I think his shooting is much worse.
    I like Gordon. I watched the game against Lithuania this morning and that dude was balling on both ends. With Rose and Billups, Rondo is really just not needed. I say Rondo should go, and Love should play more.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    ESPN is reporting that Rondo is on the bubble. Yessssssssssss

  • DDB

    I’m with you AllenP…it took some guts to cut Rondo (if that really occurred). He’s one of the young stars the league is trying to make you believe in and you hear the hype swirling around him in the playoffs like he was a top 3 PG in the league. Top 3 PGs would make this team.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Dude is a great point guard.
    In the NBA.
    They aren’t playing in the NBA.

  • Jacob (from Australia)

    I told you.
    This is FIBA, he was lost.