Rockets News

Highlights From U.S. National Team Showcase

By Tamberlyn Richardson
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Tonight on NBA TV the United Stated National Team is airing the Friday scrimmage game at 6:00PM Eastern Standard Team and re-airing it again at 11:30PM EST.  Watch for additional airings on Sunday, in my area (Toronto, Canada) NBA TV is airing it again Sunday March 16 at 1:00PM EST

The 34 Man roster who were in Vegas for the mini-camp included:

Point Guards:

Shooting Guards:

Small Forwards:

Power Forwards:

Centers:

* indicates new player added-

** last week Damian Lillard was listed as attending but is no longer on the list of 34 players

*** Players attending but injured

Many of the star players did not remain in Vegas for the scrimmage game due to commitments like LeBron James. Commentators noted James practiced hard and that he and James Harden went at each other  “had a very entertaining part of post practice”.  Many of the players expected to be on Team USA did not participate in the scrimmage like:  Stephen Curry and Rockets shooting guard:  James Harden .

Since the scrimmage was deemed voluntary only 14 of the main 34 elected to participate. Therefore four additions  were brought in to round out each squad to 9 players each including Houston Rockets power forward Terrence Jones. The other 3 were Arron Afflalo, Amir Johnson and Elfrid Payton

U.S. NATIONAL TEAM SHOWCASE:

Final: White: 134 – Blue: 128

Blue Squad Stats:

  • Barnes: 21P, 10R, 2A, 2Stl in 28:37
  • Beal: 8P, 3R, 4A, 50% from 3 (2 of 4) in 16:47
  • DeRozan: 15P, 3R, 6A, 42.9% from 3 (3 of 7) in 22:57
  • Drummond: 27P, 16R (9OR), 1A, 2Stl (BAD: 16.7% FT%) in 34:29
  • Faried: 11P, 9R, 5A, 1Stl in 29:16
  • Gay: 9P, 3R, 1A in 9:30
  • Oladipo: 25P, 9R, 5A, 2Stl in 23:14

plus additions: Payton (4P,3R,4A in 18:56) and Johnson (8P, 4R in 16:15)

White Squad Stats:

  • Carter-Williams: 13P, 5R, 3A, 1Stl in 26:23
  • Cousins: 24P, 11R, 3A, 3Stl in 22:30 (for my money he’s earned the 2nd big’s spot on the Olympic team)
  • Green: 2P, 4R, 10A in 19:52 * Tied Jones for game high plus/minus +7
  • Griffin: 15P, 7R, 4A, 1 Stl (and SEVERAL missed dunks) in 22:30
  • Leonard: 14P, 1R, 1A, 2Stl in 24:07
  • Plumlee: 2oP, 11R, 1A, 3Stk, 1Blk in 17:30
  • Thompson: 15P, 4R, 6A in 23:31

plus additions Jones (18P, 2R, 2A, 1Blk & tied game high +7 in 19:52) and Afflalo (13P, 1R, 1A, 1Stl in 23:45)

Game Notes:

  • Many players look rusty and that’s understandable given it’s mid August, but Blake Griffin repeatedly missed dunks as did a few others.  Then again we all know I’m not a big fan of him, so the whiffs by Mr. L.A. were thoroughly enjoyed in this household.
  • Terrence Jones getting invited to participate won’t find him on the U.S. Olympic Team next summer, but the experience is great for him and given he tied a game high plus/minus of +7 with none other than Draymond Green was impressive. In addition his 18 points were noteworthy
  • Though Drummond put up 27 points and Plumlee was consistent the fact Drummond shot under 17% from the free throw line is scary, and not a good scary!  I doubt either make next year’s Olympic team but we’ll see them both on future World Cup Teams.
  • Raptor fans might want to start smiling: DeMar DeRozan who has long been criticized for his inability to hit the long ball has obviously been working on his perimeter shot. In fact next to Bradley Beal (2 of 4 for 50%) he shot the 3 ball the best on the day a 42.9% (3 of 7). Further, both Klay Thompson and DeRozan showcased they understood these scrimmages aren’t for showing off, rather they are to determine overall game fundamentals and improving the overall team. In fact their stat lines were very similar but Thompson will likely get the nod over DeRozan barring an absolute break out year from behind the arc.

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