Hello once again athletes!!!
I know, I’m a little late on this, but why not let it fly? The U.S. Basketball Mini-camp (I made a post of the roster a while ago) held its grand finale on Thursday. If you have NBATv you could have caught the game, which I happened to have done. The young stars of the league were trying to prove that they belong on the 2014 FIBA roster. I want to give some insight on what went down in Las Vegas. Let’s do this like Nike!
Team USA’s intra-squad scrimmage to cap its mini-camp for young players vying for spots on the 2014 World Cup team ended with a decisive 128-106 victory for the White team, led by a game-high 23 points from Kyrie Irving.
The scrimmage was, well, just that: a scrimmage, with lax transition defense.Coaches Monty Williams and Tom Thibodeau made sure to get everybody involved, so the stats aren’t particularly gaudy but a few players stood out.
Irving shined for the winning team, looking like the best player on the court with a game-high 23 points to go along with seven assists. Kyrie Irving in an intra-squad scrimmage looked a lot like Kyrie Irving in an NBA game: comfortable, capable of beating pretty much anybody off the dribble, and finishing. His White squad trailed early, but they rallied to open up a 10-point gap in the third quarter and finished strong, with Irving providing the majority of the impetus. Chris Paul will play for the USA in 2014, and Derrick Rose wants to play as well, but one would have to imagine Irving has a strong shot of making the roster.
For the Blue team, Anthony Davis looked like a virtual lock for the 2014 World Cup roster after playing a deep reserve role on the 2012 Olympic gold medal squad. His jumper looked pure, as he canned his first five attempts from the floor and finished with 22 points on 13 attempts to go along with seven rebounds. With his jumper and length around the rim, he seems perfectly suited for international ball, and the United States will need all the help they can get against the bigs of their main international competition, Spain.
The rest of the squad was just trying to show their ability to fit in, knowing Mike Krzyzewski was watching from the sidelines. The coaches tried to put players in interesting scenarios — zone defense, two-point-guard sets — to see how they’d react to various things they might encounter if asked to be on a roster in international competition.
So, my final question is: Who stood out to you from the scrimmage game? Of course, there’s the Irving/Davis talk, but players who really stood out to me were Harrison Barnes, who put up a solid 18 points, Ty Lawson, who dished out 9 assists, and even DeAndre Jordan who was one rebound shy of a double-double.
That’s it for now athletes. Remember to check the blog every day, and read all of the amazing posts by the Reporters.