A few thoughts from a meaningless Team USA scrimmage
I’m not sure how much you want to read into 24 minutes of basketball played on a colorful court on the stage at Radio City Music Hall. Basically, you don’t -- the scrimmages in practice where Mike Krzyzewski got to tinker with the lineups meant a lot more than this.
Still, here are few thoughts heading into some “friendlies” over the weekend. Break out the bullet points:
* This was not really pretty basketball, in large part because guys had to adjust to shooting on a court on the stage at Radio City Music Hall. Stephen Curry adjusted - he knocked down four threes in the second half. Eric Gordon has played well but he likely will be one of the three cuts because Team USA needs Curry’s shooting.
* Tyson Chandler is looking good, more like his old Hornet self, and that includes a great block on Rudy Gay early in the game. The USA needs someone to protect the rim and Chandler is that guy.
* Plus Chandler had the golden basket, the game-winner in sudden death overtime.
* Both teams fell in love with the jumper and really struggled with it. Part of that is the setting, but this is a smaller Team USA and with the closer-than-the-NBA three-point line it becomes very tempting for these guys. They still need balance, they still need points in the paint, even if that comes of penetration and not post ups. Live by the jumper, die by the jumper.
* Tyson Chandler looked good, JaVale McGee did not. He struggled to find his way and his shot selection was, um, questionable. Despite Team USA’s lack of size he may be on the chopping block.
* Kevin Love is going to get some of those minutes at the five. And he will do well with them.
* Andre Iguodala was the game MVP and seemed to play well off Kevin Durant. Playing well off Durant will get you minutes on this team.
* For those at Radio City Music Hall, there was Q&A’s during the time outs with Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade, Chris Paul, Amare Stoudemire and even Krzyzewski. Nothing serious was asked. And Nike did not ask LeBron James to answer questions in front of a New York crowd. Probably wise.