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Monday, July 26th, 2010 at 10:55 am  |  23 responses

USA Prepares For World

A Showcase Concludes 2010 USA Men’s National Team Training Camp.

Before the past week of camp in Las Vegas, people were worried about Team USA’s chances in this summer’s World Championship. Now, after a lot of practices, scrimmages and one nationally broadcast showcase, people are starting to warm up to this year’s version of Team USA. Before heading to Turkey in late August, the team will make one more stop in NYC at Nike’s inaugural World Basketball Festival (which we’re celebrating with a special issue due out next week). Until that hits newsstands, we hope this USA Basketball press release recapping Saturday night’s game holds you over:

Even though a pair of forwards led each team in scoring, depth and talent at the guard position, just as it had been throughout the USA Men’s National Team’s week-long training camp in Las Vegas, was on display in the USA White’s 114-96 win over the USA Blue in the 2010 USA Basketball Showcase at UNLV’s Thomas & Mack Center.

Both teams, playing in the intra-squad scrimmage that concluded the USA National Team’s 2010 Las Vegas training camp that opened July 20, combined to shoot 29-of-51 from 3-point range, and the White’s 14-of-29 (48.3 percent) mark from behind the arc helped lead it to a 114-96 win in front of a crowd of 11,635 and an ESPN2 national broadcast.

“We had a terrific week,” USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo said. “We had a great response from our players. They really worked hard. They were aggressive, and we really got a lot out of this week. (There’s) tough decisions for us going forward for us.”

The White’s Kevin Durant (Oklahoma City Thunder) led all scorers with 28 points, and was named the player of the game. But five more players scored in double figures for the White squad, including Andre Iguodala (Philadelphia 76ers) with 17, Eric Gordon (Los Angeles Clippers) had 16, Derrick Rose (Chicago Bulls) scored 15 and Tyson Chandler (Dallas Mavericks) was credited with 13 points (6-of-6 FGs) while raking in a game best nine rebounds.

Rudy Gay (Memphis Grizzlies) led the Blue with 23 points, while O.J. Mayo (Memphis Grizzlies) scored 18, Russell Westbrook (Oklahoma City Thunder) added 14 and Jeff Green (Oklahoma City Thunder) tossed in 11 points and grabbed a team best eight rebounds. Durant shot 10-of-17 from the field and 2-of-3 from 3 for the White, which shot 55.3 percent from the field. The Blue, meanwhile, hit only 45.3 percent of its fieldgoals, and out-rebounded the White, 39-37.

In addition to his 15 points, Rose led the White with eight assists, while Iguodala added five. Rajon Rondo (Boston Celtics), who scored seven points, led the Blue with six assists.

“As a coaching staff, we thought it was a really good week,” aid USA Men’s National Team and Duke University head coach Mike Krzyzewski. “As always, coming to Las Vegas for USA Basketball was terrific.  We want to thank the fans, so many people coming out for an intra-squad game, and it being on ESPN. It was a good showcase event for these guys.  They’ve done a really good job this week and we’re getting to have a personality for our basketball team right now and anxious to get down to 15 and go to New York and try and personalize the team a little bit more.”

Stephen Curry (Golden State Warriors) previewed the kind of game it would be when Rose found him for an open 3-pointer 40 seconds in. That started the White on a 16-7 run to open the game, a run during which Iguodala and Gordon also knocked down 3s.

The White led 22-12 after Danny Granger (Indiana Pacers) hit a 3-pointer of his own midway through the first quarter, but the Blue charged back with 3s from Gay and Mayo to pull within 29-23 at the end of the first.

The Blue would fight back to tie it at 29, though, thanks to six straight points from 7-foot forward JaVale McGee (Washington Wizards) to start the second quarter. After falling slightly behind, the Blue again deadlocked the score at 38 with 4:30 to play in the second quarter after Gay hit his third 3 of the game. Gordon, Durant and Iguodala, though, led the White on a 18-6 run to close out the first half, giving the White a 56-44 lead at the break.

Durant perhaps sealed his player of the game honor in the first four minutes of the third quarter, scoring 10 points in that span. When Granger hit a bucket with 4:35 left in the third, the White’s lead had expanded to 74-59, and they appeared to have the game well in hand.

“We have so many great guys on this team,” Durant said. “We have three or four point guards, two or three wings and couple of bigs, so you can play hard for three minutes straight, and then somebody is going to come in and get you and play the same way. I think that’s what unique about this team.”

The Blue, however, refused to surrender.

Gay and Mayo scored on back-to-back possessions to end the third quarter, then Mayo hit a 3 and Westbrook cruised to a fast-break layup off a steal to start the fourth and the Blue had closed within nine points, 83-74, with nine minutes still to play.

“I think this game was definitely a test for us,” Gay said. “That’s what we scrimmage for. We came out here and we tested to see exactly where we need to be. Personally, I think – I can always get better – but I think I did pretty good out there.”

Chandler, though, scored eight of his points in a five-minute stretch in the fourth to buffer the Blue’s lead 99-84 and the White never threatened the outcome again.

Four of the White squad’s players made at least two 3-pointers, including Curry, who shot 3-of-7, Iguodala (3-of-3), Durant (2-of-3), and Gordon (4-of-7). Meanwhile, Gay shot 3-of-4 from 3-point range to lead the Blue, while Mayo made 3-of-6 tries.

Tyreke Evans (Sacramento Kings) did not play after suffering a right ankle injury during training camp.

The 2010 Showcase ended a week of training in Las Vegas for the Men’s National Team, which will compete in the 2010 FIBA World Championship in Turkey from Aug. 28 to Sept. 12. While 19 players participated in the Las Vegas training, the USA official roster for Turkey will number 12. After a short break, finalists for the USA team will reconvene for training in New York City from Aug. 9-16.

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  • http://Yahoo Shanoooooo

    kevin Durant: Leader of the B team.

  • http://kamandatungi.blogspot.com Conan O’ Rhymin

    Kevin Durant = The anti-LeBrawn.

  • http://www.slamonline.com/ The Promise

    Great young squad was picked this year, I think they will win it, they have more than enough talent, they will just have to get used to the international style of play and the rules. Durant needs to step in as the leader of this national team. He’s the superstar, he needs to take a lot of shots, and make em too. I think the starting 5 will be Rondo, Iguodala, Durant, Chandler, and probably Lopez because of his sheer size. Good lookin squad. Stephen Curry needs to be on the team also. Home boy can burn it up.

  • http://screwjams.tumblr.com cramzy

    yeah, anti-lebron now….give him a few years and some success. We’ll figure out how to tear him down…

  • Ken

    That trophy is so weak…it looks like the kool aid pitcher. Anyway, hope the US team does well. I love seeing Durant succeed.

  • catface34343

    I think someone should help him hold that thing up….he looks unstable holding all that weight

  • http://donnellsuggs1gmail.com Donnell Suggs-Atlanta Voice reporter

    Gold Medal here we come!

  • http://www.slamonline.com Eboy

    I must be one of the only people in the US that doesn’t have a warm fussy feeling about a KD-led squad going for a gold medal in 2012.

  • T-Money

    E: Aren’t they all coming back for 2012?

  • http://www.alllooksame.com Tarzan Cooper

    promise, that starting lineup is stupid, you obviously know nothing about this team, chauncey is starting for one.

  • Overtime

    not sold on this tea, dont kno if they will gel quickly enough and adapt to international play.
    Also, kobe, wade etc will more than likely be back for London

  • Irfan

    Seriously, what’s the point of giving a MVP title to a showcase game opposing two halves of the same national team? That’s really US basketball at his best!

    As for a KD-led team, I guess it’ll be better than a Lebron-led or Carmelo-led or KG-led team. This skinny guy is humble, clever, ready to learn and evolve. This is what it takes to face another type of play, other rules like travelling (Lebron ^^) or the zone and no defensive 3 seconds.
    It’s funny to see that many US fans think they are the best team even without all the members of the Redeem Team. I’m French, and we won’t have any chance of medal without Turiaf & Noah (Parker and Pietrus can be more easily replaced in our team). But when you look at the Spanish roster even without Pau it seems to me they have the best team right now. Greece, Brazil, Turkey, Serbia, Bosnia or Argentina can’t be overlooked too.

    Anyway the funniest thing about this US team is how LeBron and others (but LBJ more specifically) faked being enthusiast and proud in 2008 but indeed only wanted to play on the biggest stage to conquer a bit more the Chinese market (over 400 million NBA fans!).
    LeBron gave the military salute and all but he didn’t want to come, in order to shoot a movie?! And now that his movie is cancelled because he showed that he wasn’t up to the hype, he won’t come anyway?
    Carmelo won’t come because his wedding takes him all summer?!
    As for D-Wade, I understand his non-venue because his divorce seems to be very tough, and staying for kids is another matters!
    The injured ones (Kobe, CP3 and all) have an excuse of course. But for many others I just don’t get why they’re not coming. The US paint will not be the best, by far.

    I hope the US team wins silver because they’re not the best team at this moment but I’d like to see a more or less star-free team do better than the “LeBronze” teams. Just to shut up some fans.
    Lamar Odom, although he doesn’t always seem very committed, plays well with his national team; and the youngsters in this rosters all seem sympathetic to me (not Rondo though) so it would be nice to see a non-arrogant, non-star-loaded US team do well.

  • Pingback: SLAM ONLINE | » Jennings Leads NBA Stars Past Team China

  • JTaylor21

    Okay, lrfan just because you write a bunch of chicken sh*t doesn’t mean u know what the hell ur talking bout. Was Mj in the olympics every four years. No, neither was old grouchy grandpa magic. One time is enough for this evil a** country, land of the freedom, my a**. So take a look under your toilet sink and gulp down the first liquid you see, fu*kboy.

  • Robb

    @ cramzy I don’t see KD becoming an arrogant self centered @∫∫hol€ like Lebron. The kid’s got values, his upbringing has nothing to do with Lebron’s, he knows who he is and where he’s going. He is the anti lebron, absolutely.

  • http://slamonline.com Spaceship Jay

    No Eboy; my feelings are cold and clammy as well.

  • hangtime Hec

    God forbid any of these players in the USA world become good friends. We wouldn’t want them to have daydreams of playing together in the same team. Just kidding. Good luck representing red blue and white.

  • NicoKolya

    Still dont think USA is the favorite. We wont know how good this team is until they play Spain in Madrid on August 24th. I wanna see how they match up against Marc Gasol and Fran Vazquez. They may be missing Pau, but itll be hard to notice. IDK if you guys have ever seen a Ricky Rubio highlight reel, but they dude at the receiving end of all his passes seems to always be Fran Vazquez. Rubio’s gonna make him look like Pau all by himself. If Rose or Rondo can stop Rubio and Calderon (the two best non american point guards in the tournament IMO) from distributing the ball to USA’s weak points they can win. Keep in mind spain hasnt done worse than silver in anything since 2005, and the entire country is on a roll right now sportswise…

    The other litmus test I’m still waiting on is a matchup against a team with capable big men. Turkey (who, may i remind you, is the host) has 3 or 4 bigs that either just signed to NBA teams or will in a year or two, not to mention two agile 6-10 guys in Hedo and Ilyasova. That matchup would be tricky unless USA could exploit them on the perimeter.

  • 919BW1LL

    DAMN! So Harsh, but i think Howard said he was coming to play. Either way Durant is a beast and even without Kobe and the gang, they will be fine. Video Game James needs to sit out. Hommie might get sniped! LOL!

  • http://Www.lkz.ch Darksaber

    Guards: top notch. Forwards:not too shabby. Centers: umm. One showcase is nothing. Get a few friendlies against FIBA B-Teams (Poland, Deutschland etc) and we’ll see how they gel. The hype is all it is right now, just hype.

  • Ronald

    @Ifran: Most of the players you mentioned didn’t want to give the 3-4 year commitment because they’re not sure what’s going to happen with their team in the upcoming future. I’m sure if it was just a one tournament commitment players like Melo would have joined.

  • ab_40

    Spain Serbia and USA are in me humble opinion the favorites. Brazil also has a shot. Turkey is gonna play very well on their own continent and the gym is gonna be rocking if they win or lose. I hope they play the semis vs the us that would make the us players see that college crowds arn’t all that

  • http://google c_cantrell

    get used to seeing durant lift trophies

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