Hard to believe it’s time for the summer Olympics again…I swear these years are going by at light speed! The finalist roster for mens’ basketball came out a little over a week ago and there’s some names that should come as no surprise. It reads like the All-Star ballot. The difference is you have to realize that these guys are playing, not against their peers, but against the best all around players in the world.
Aside from the superstars who are shoo-ins to make the team (Kobe Bryant, Carmelo Anthony, Lebron James, Chris Bosh, Dwight Howard and Dwyane Wade), here are my 5 picks of the guys that should suit up this summer:
1) Kevin Love: If this guy played for a marquee team, he’d have a top selling jersey and be making cameos in DJ Khaled videos. Alas, Love is often left out of the “top X” conversations because he plays for a wack team. Or maybe because it’s because he’s white (a la Jordy Nelson). At any rate, Love reminds me of a young Tim Duncan or Brad Miller. His moves are fundamentally sound, he’s a great defender, he can post up, and he’s becoming a decent long range shooter. For the 2nd consecutive season, he’s averaging a high double-double at 25 and 14. He’s not a ton of flash like Blake Griffin, but he’s solid enough in size and athleticism to fair well against the bigger Euro guys. Quiet as kept, I’d prefer to see him over Blake Griffin in the worldwide arena. Plus the Wolves won’t make the playoffs, so he’ll have that extra rest.
2) Chris Paul: His name consistently comes up when you mention the top PGs in the league. Some people say Paul is top 5, but not top 3; their reasoning is like saying Biggie is not 1 of the best to ever do it because he only has 2 full albums. The bottom line is, CP3 was the Peyton Manning of the Hornets. With him, they made the playoffs 3 out of those 6 years. Without him, they’re ranked close to the very bottom in assists and points per game so far. On the Redeem Team of 2008, Paul backed up Jason Kidd and shot for 50%. My only issue with CP3 is his height. However, that can work in his favor in terms of being faster with quicker hands than his counterparts. (I see him starting in the back court w/ D. Wade and Rose will come off the bench)
3) Chris Bosh: Say what you want about this guy, but he balls the F out when Wade and Lebron are slippin! In the NBA, he’s a power forward with the handling and passing skills of a 3 guy. Unfortunately for him, in the 2008 Olympics, he came off the bench for Dwight Howard. In my opinion, if LaMarcus Aldridge makes the team, Bosh will be able to stay in his true lane as PF. He’s making a great case for himself by shooting 54% and averaging 20 points per game.
4) LaMarcus Aldridge: Dwight Howard will be the starting center, so as his backup there’s a few PFs to choose from, but only 1 center. By the way the Knicks are playing, Tyson Chandler’s yellow ass better not make the got damn team! I haven’t watched many Blazers game, but statistically, Aldridge and Gerald Wallace are as good as a front court as Griffin and Jordan are in LA. He’s long, he’s physically solid, but still quick for a big guy. Against the Magic, he and Marcus Camby held Howard to 13 points and 5 for 9 on the floor. I did see that game and I was thoroughly impressed by L.A’s defense on the switch against the best defensive player in the game.
5) Andre Iguodala: I still say Iggy’s dunk is 1 of the greatest snubs in dunk contest history. And the fact that he hasn’t made the Eastern all star team multiple times is a travesty as well. With a 14-6 record in the East, Iggy’s teammates are giving the 76ers a little notice. The fact that he’s averaging career lows right now doesn’t mean he’s bad; he’s just surrounded by role players like Lou Williams, Jrue Holiday, and Elton Brand. His shooting percentage has stayed the same the last 3, 4 years so no real surprise there. The only problem I see in making (or not) the national team is he’s plays the SF position. And with Melo, Lebron, and Durant playing the 3, I expect him to play a total of 12 minutes throughout the entire series.
* From playing on the 2008 team to barely playing in Phoenix, it’s mind boggling that Michael Redd has a few gold medals -_-