Aug 1, 2014; Las Vegas, NV, USA; USA Team White center DeMarcus Cousins (36) and guard Kevin Durant (52) celebrate after a play during the USA Basketball Showcase at Thomas & Mack Center. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

NBA Rumors: Team USA Rumblings As FIBA WC Approaches

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With only days remaining until Team USA’s first exhibition game against Brazil Aug. 16, Team USA returned to the practice court for the first time since the Blue/White scrimmage a couple of weeks ago.

Even though it was only one practice, there was a little bit of everything — fallout from the Paul George injury, a “major change” to the team’s offense and yes, unfortunately, an injury.

Here are the rumblings out of Team USA’s first practice in anticipation to Saturday’s exhibition game against Brazil in Chicago.

USA coach Mike Krzyzewski was surprised with Kevin Durant‘s withdrawal from the team – ESPN

United States coach Mike Krzyzewski says he was surprised by Kevin Durant’s decision to leave the team last week because of “physical and mental fatigue.”

“Yeah, I was,” Krzyzewski said after Team USA’s practice in Chicago on Thursday. “No question. I was.”

Coach K’s offense will have to undergo a “major change” after the departure of Kevin Durant, and Rudy Gay could be at the center of such changes – ESPN

Still, Krzyzewski knows he is going to change his entire game plan because of Durant’s decision. Much of Team USA’s strategy, especially on the offensive end, was based on Durant’s presence.

“We had the whole team building what we were doing around him,” Krzyzewski said. “In everything, because you have really one of the great scorers at the 4. So how does that change your offense? It changes your offense immensely.”

Rudy Gay might be at the center of some of those changes. The Sacramento Kings’ small forward has a ‘legitimate chance’ to make Team USA’s 12-man squad, according to Colangelo.

DeMarcus Cousins, who suffered a knee injury during practice on Thursday, says he’s fine despite the scare — ESPN 

DeMarcus Cousins injured his right knee while going for a loose ball, but the Sacramento Kingsstar seemingly dodged a bullet, as an MRI revealed no structural damage.

Team USA announced that Cousins is day-to-day.

“USA Basketball National Team member DeMarcus Cousins suffered a knee-to-knee collision with a teammate during Thursday’s USA practice in Chicago. According to USA Basketball team physician Dr. Lisa Callahan (Hospital for Special Surgery/New York Knicks), an MRI was done and revealed no structural damage. Cousins is listed as day-to-day,” the team said in a statement.

Team USA faces Brazil in Chicago Saturday, the Dominican Republic Aug. 20 and Puerto Rico two days later. Both games will be played at Madison Square Garden. 

 

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