The 2014 version of USA mens basketball team isn’t exactly a roster that is filled with house hold names. There is no Dwyane Wade, LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, Blake Griffin, Kevin Love, LaMarcus Aldridge, Chris Paul, Kobe Bryant or even Paul George. In fact, only a handful of players on this roster would be on the team if all of the best players in the game were available. Even though they only have a few players who have even been all-stars at this point in their career, they do have plenty of young and talented players. Emerging stars like James Harden, Steph Curry, Kyrie Irving and Anthony Davis all have played a big role in the success of Team USA as it has gone undefeated so far. Add in names like unsung hero Kenneth Faried as well as Klay Thompson, DeMarcus Cousins and the recovering Derrick Rose and you get the nucleus of a team that has done a lot more damage than most people expected.
With such a young and unproven team, they have struggled at the beginning of most games. In fact, today was no different. The USA led just 43-35 at half time in their semi-final battle with a very game Lithuania squad loaded with talent. Like every other game in the World Cup, the second half was the difference as the American team ran away with a 28-point win. They were sparked by an outstanding third quarter that saw them stretch their lead to 27 going into the fourth quarter. Four players did most of the damage in the win with Kyrie Irving leading the way. He finished the night 18 points and a team-high four assists. He was joined in double figures by fellow starters Steph Curry and James Harden as well as Klay Thompson. Harden and Thompson tallied 16 a piece while Curry knocked down three shots from beyond the arc on his way to 13 points.
The finals should be much tougher matchup with either Serbia or France as the opponent, but even without the games best players, the Americans still have enough talent to bring home the Gold. And what a better way to prove that the USA has the best basketball talent in the world than to win the World Cup with what is basically a “B” team.