DeMar DeRozan came off the bench for Team USA to lead the second unit and his team with a team-high 13 points, 5 rebounds and a game-high 6 assists in an embarrassingly easy 105-62 win over a grossly overmatched Dominican Republic team. Rudy Gay also scored 13 points off the bench.
Commanding win from USAB tonight v. DR. Congrats, team USA! pic.twitter.com/bPbDypTN4D
— NBA TV (@NBATV) August 21, 2014
With cuts on the immediate horizon for Team USA, there is a temptation to try and read something into tonight’s individual performances, but that would be a huge mistake. Team USA wasn’t challenged at any point during this game and the hardest part for their players was to remain disciplined and continue to play team basketball rather than merely showing off against a group of players that had no chance of stopping whatever Team USA chose to do. USA Basketball Chairman Jerry Colangelo and Coach Krzyzewski didn’t learn anything about their players that they didn’t already know.
Derrick Rose sat out Wednesday’s game and the continuing knee soreness has to be raising concerns – not for Team USA, but rather for the Chicago Bulls. Rose can help Team USA, but Kyrie Irving got the start in his place, shot 5-5 for 12 points, and the Team didn’t really look any different. Damian Lillard can easily fill in as the third point guard, so the decision about whether Rose goes to Spain or stays home is really between him, his coach and his doctors.
Stephen Curry, James Harden, Kenneth Faried and Anthony Davis remained in the starting unit and Klay Thompson stayed in the sixth man role so these decisions appeared to have been confirmed.
DeRozan reaffirmed his usefulness to Team USA off the bench as both a facilitator and a scorer and the longer he was in the game, the more the second unit’s offense seemed to flow through him. His 6 assists was a team high.
While the Dominican Republic didn’t provide much – if any – resistance, their lack of size without Al Horford made assessing Team USA’s big men even more difficult. The 7’ Karl-Anthony Towns is only 18-years-old (Kentucky), but he got a chance to try and guard the Team USA centers for 10 minutes, so take what was witnessed in this game with a huge grain of salt. The Dominican’s only NBA player is the 32-year-old Francisco Garcia and this team just split a pair of games with the University of Kentucky. Kentucky vs Dominican Boxscore (Game 2, 63-62).
Garcia scored 14 points for the Dominican Republic on Wednesday.
Next up for Team USA is Puerto Rico and they recently lost to the Dominican, so get ready for another meaningless contest that will provide no useful information to Colangelo and Krzyzewski. Team USA might not want to announce any decisions on cuts before they have to, but they already have all the useful information available.
A boxscore for this game is available from the Team USA website.
Anyone who suggests Colangelo and Krzyzewski are making decisions based on either of these two games in New York is blowing smoke.
Chandler Parsons, Kyle Korver and Mason Plumlee were DNP-CD – read into that what you will.
Will DeMar DeRozan Make Team USA? Who Gets Cut?
The Toronto Raptors All-Star wing DeMar DeRozan survived the first round of cuts for Team USA, however, the final roster is limited to 12 men and those cuts are expected to be made before the Team leaves after Friday night’s game in New York to play their final friendly exhibition contest against Slovenia in Spain just ahead of the World Cup on August 30. So the question becomes, who gets cut?
photo credit Paul Saini Fylmm.com