Aug 1, 2014; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Team USA Basketball head coach Mike Krzyzewski walks over to observe injured Paul George as he is tended to by medical personnel during the USA Basketball Showcase at Thomas & Mack Center. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

As Team USA Basketball Prepares For DC; Final Cuts Take Center Stage

The entire Team USA Basketball staff has quite a decision to make, and it come as soon as Thursday.

As the US men’s basketball team prepares to take on the Dominican Republic later today, the impending final cuts could be what takes center stage tonight at Madison Square Garden. Not because USA coach Mike Krzyzewski is going to be holding a mic at center court while he announces who, and who won’t, be heading to Spain later this month, but because the final cuts could very well be decided by the players themselves.

On the basketball court.

Last weekend, during USA’s scrimmage against Brazil, it was pretty evident to point out the players who are on the bubble. All you needed to do was look at a stat sheet, even an unofficial one.

Chandler Parsons, Kyle Korver and Damian Lillard all saw very limited playing time. In more dire circumstances, Andre DrummondDeMar DeRozan and Gordon Hayward never even managed to see the court.

With the US roster currently at 16, coach K and USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo will be looking to make four more cuts. A roster of 12 needs to be submitted to FIBA by Aug. 29. We’re nearly a week away.

The only spots that are “secure” at the moment are reserved for Anthony Davis, Derrick Rose, James Harden, Kenneth Faried, Steph Curry and Kyrie Irving or — as coach K and Colangelo like to refer to them as — the “core” players of this team.

Other than that, anyone and everyone is up to be cut. But it’s likely down to the six mentioned above. There are six players essentially competing for two spots — and those two spots will need to be won tonight against DR.

 

NOTES: Derrick Rose sat out his second consecutive day of practice Tuesday to “rest” his knees. He’s still scheduled to play in Team USA’s exhibition game Wednesday night against the Dominican Republic – ESPN

Coach K also believes that DeMacrus Cousins will be available to play against DR on Wednesday. Cousins sat out last weekend’s scrimmage against Brazil due to a knee injury – ESPN

 

 

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