Olympic Update: Thoughts on Dream Team VII
As predicted by Yours Truly, Chicago Bulls All-Star guard Jimmy Butler makes Olympic team
Even after 2016 NBA Finals MVP LeBron James informed USAB shortly after his Cleveland Cavaliers became the first team to rally from a three games to one deficit to win the NBA Finals over the 2015 NBA champion Golden State Warriors that he would not be playing during the Rio Olympics–there were plenty of other NBA All-Stars ready and willing to fill the void.
The additions on Monday of Carmelo Anthony, shooting guard from the New York Knicks and Kevin Durant, all-star center from the Oklahoma City Thunder should hopefully give this team much-needed athleticism and speed. Four of the guys just played in the NBA Finals, so they are going to be taking the play first, get rest later route similar to what Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen did together in 1992 at Barcelona and what Pippen would repeat in Atlanta in 1996.
But one name that I thought had a great chance of making it during the middle part of this past NBA season was All-Star guard Jimmy Butler of the Chicago Bulls. He is not afraid to create offensive opportunities on the fly and he can light it up from three at almost any spot on the floor. How quickly this team gels will be key during their upcoming five game exhibition tour.
And so, below is the roster in what hopefully will be an expected romp to another gold medal. But just like in Olympics past, be careful of the international teams firing up the three-point shot with the FIBA arc being a little over a foot less than the NBA’s standard 23’9″ length, 22 feet in the corners.
One other rule change to note, unlike in the NBA or NCAA–goaltending is allowed so players can take balls off the rim without being whistled for a turnover.
|Carmelo Anthony||Forward||New York Knicks|
|Harrison Barnes||Forward||Golden State Warriors|
|Jimmy Butler||Forward||Chicago Bulls|
|DeMarcus Cousins||Center||Sacramento Kings|
|DeMar DeRozan||Guard||Toronto Raptors|
|Kevin Durant||Forward||Oklahoma City Thunder|
|Paul George||Forward||Indiana Pacers|
|Draymond Green||Forward/Center||Golden State Warriors|
|Kyrie Irving||Guard||Cleveland Cavaliers|
|DeAndre Jordan||Center||Los Angeles Clippers|
|Kyle Lowry||Guard||Toronto Raptors|
|Klay Thompson||Guard||Golden State Warriors|