by Marcel Mutoni / @marcel_mutoni
Group play has ended for Team USA in the World Championship, and despite some inconsistent play, the squad is undefeated. One of the bright lights has been Eric Gordon, whose latest performance (during a romp of Tunisia) could bring the young shooting guard even more shine.
Coach Mike Krzyzewski admitted to reporters that Chauncey Billups’ spot in the starting lineup isn’t necessarily secure.
ESPN reports that Gordon could end up taking over for Billups as the tourney moves into the knockout stage:
Eric Gordon played so well in the second half Thursday against Tunisia, he may have earned himself a spot in the starting lineup … “Yeah, we’ll take a look at it. We’re always open for everything,” coach Mike Krzyzewski said after his team played sluggishly for the majority of the game before pulling away in the final 14 minutes — led by Gordon’s shooting — to defeat winless Tunisia 92-57 and finish preliminary-round play 5-0.
“I do think we’re going to make quicker subs,” Krzyzewski continued. “We’re going to get back to more of how we started and how we played the first two games of this pool. I didn’t think the confidence level of our bench was where it needed to be during the first part of the pool play, but I think it is now. And for us to win we’re going to need all 12 of those guys playing well, not just the starting unit.”
“I’m not really worried about that. I wasn’t expecting to start any games here,” Gordon said. “My role is to just come in the game and be effective shooting the ball. That’s what I came here to do.”
Shooting will become more and more critical for Team USA over the coming days, and with Billups currently playing out of position at the big guard spot, it may be time for Coach K to tinker with his starting lineup.