Thursday, August 26, 2010
The World Basketball Championships 2010 Preview - Group B
The World Basketball Championships are coming to Turkey next week. As such, here is a simple basic layman's check on each team participating.
Brazil - Nene will not be participating, but the 14th-ranked team by FIBA will be led by the Brazillian Greyhound, Leandrinho Barbosa. Barbosa will be the latest finding for the Nash Effect in Toronto. To compensate for Nene's absence will be a tag team of Sideshow Bob (Anderson Varejao) and Tiago Splitter, who's finally making his NBA debut this season with San Antonio.
Croatia - Led by former NBA guards Roko Ukic (formerly Toronto, now with Fenerbahce) and the once dubbed as the J-Kidd successor Zoran Planinic (formerly New Jersey, now with Khimki Moscow), the Croats might not be the best former Yugo republic in this division
Iran - They still have the core of the team that beat China for the FIBA-Asia title (granted they beat a home team without Yao Ming), the Motherland has hired away their then-coach Rajko Toroman (who led Iran to their first Olympics) to pull off the same magic, this time in our quest to qualify for London 2012. Obviously, they will be led by their NBA player, Hamed Haddadi.
Slovenia - The sleeper team in this division. No Beno Udrih, but Goran Dragic, ostensibly either as Steve Nash's successor or future Euro stud, will be quarterbacking this core group. Bostjan Nachbar (former of Houston and currently with Efes Pilsen) as well as Primoz Brezec will be around to chip in. Why sleeper? They finished 4th in the last Eurobasket.
Tunisia - FIBA World Championship debutantes and we really have no idea who they are really. They finished third in the FIBA-Africa last year.
United States - Most of the key cogs from the Redeem Team are not participating. With the exit of Rajon Rondo, the roster of the final 12 is set as follows:
G - Chauncey Billups, Stephen Curry, Eric Gordon, Derrick Rose, Russell Westbrook.
F - Kevin Durant, Rudy Gay, Danny Granger, Andre Iguodala, Lamar Odom,
C - Tyson Chandler, Kevin Love,
Considering the nature of rosters out there, they should have gone with a 25-and-under team (as suggested by Bill Simmons) with the core of the Redeem team (Kobe, Lebron, Wade, Melo, Dwight) + the young studs of the league (Rose, Curry, Durant, Lopez twins) instead.
Speaking of which, my ideal US lineup should be:
C - Dwight Howard, Brook Lopez, Robin Lopez
F - Lebron James, Carmelo Anthony, Kevin Durant, Josh Smith
G - Deron Williams, Chris Paul, Stephen Curry, Kobe Bryant, Dwayne Wade
Starting 5: Paul, Bryant, James, Anthony, Howard.
Top 4: United States, Brazil, Slovenia, Croatia