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NBA Lines - USA Powerhouse

Posted by Elio Masi on 7/11/2012 10:44:32 PM

NBA Lines – USA Powerhouse

What do Carmelo Anthony, Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant, LeBron James, Kevin Love and Russell Westbrook all have in common? They’ll all be going to the 2012 Olympics lines in London in hopes of earning a second straight medal for their country. Considering there will only be five returning players from the 2008 team - LeBron James and Kobe Bryant among them - there will be plenty of new faces in the USA jersey.

With the Americans announcing their final roster Saturday, Blake Griffin, Andre Iguodala and James Harden made the final cuts after fantastic NBA lines seasons. Considering the other nine spots were pretty much locked in since the start of training camp, the final roster for the returning champs wasn't much of a surprise. Perhaps one of the deepest teams to ever be put forward by any nation at the Olympic lines level, expectations will be incredibly high for USA. The 12 players going to London to represent USA and help defend their “Champion” status are:

LeBron James - F, 6-8, 250, Miami Heat
Kobe Bryant - G, 6-6, 205, Los Angeles Lakers
Carmelo Anthony - F, 6-8, 230, New York Knicks
Kevin Durant - G, 6-9, 235, Oklahoma City Thunder
Chris Paul - G, 6-0, 183, Los Angeles Clippers
Russell Westbrook - G, 6-3, 187, Oklahoma City Thunder
Deron Williams - G, 6-3, 209, Brooklyn Nets
Andre Iguodala - G/F, 6-6, 207, Philadelphia 76ers
James Harden - G, 6-5, 220, Oklahoma City Thunder
Blake Griffin - F, 6-10, 251, Los Angeles Clippers
Kevin Love - F, 6-10, 260, Minnesota Timberwolves
Tyson Chandler - C, 7-1, 240, New York Knicks

Many are saying the 2012 team looks a lot better on paper then the 2008 team did, including the returning players themselves. For the Americans, this is incredible news considering they blew out every team they played in ’08 with the only exception being Spain in the finals. “When I think about ’08,” Chris Paul stated, “we were really good then. But like me, LeBron and D-Will, all of us talk about, you’ve got to think about how much better all of us are now than we were in ’08. All of us as players, we shoot the ball better. Guys are more athletic, guys are more confident. One through 12, no question we’re deeper than we were in ’08.”

With players such as Howard, Rose and Bosh all out due to injuries, it’s no question that the team would have been an even greater threat with them in the lineup. But considering where the ’08 team ranked and how the ’12 team measures up to them, they are once again the undisputed favorites. With all eyes on them and the expectations of ‘Champions’ raining over them, it becomes their medal and title to lose.

“I think we have guys on the team that are definitely hungry at this point, especially young guys that want to go out and prove themselves,” Carmelo Anthony went on to say. “They’ve been showing that over the last couple of days in practice. What we put together in ’08, we will never duplicate that again. But this is a new team, this is a new situation and this team wants to form their own identity.”

Considering the amount of pressure the Americans are currently under, it’s only natural that Anthony tries to downplay the comparisons to four years ago and bring forth the possibility of falling short of their goal. However, at the same time, any fan of American basketball will look at the USA team and consider the medal is basically theirs at this point in time; a presumption that would make falling short devastating for American basketball.

Elio’s Edge
Led by two of the greatest players to ever hit the court in Kobe Bryant and LeBron James, it’s no question that the Americans will definitely have a room filled with leadership and immeasurable talent. With LeBron finally earning his first NBA Championship ring and Bryant having yet another fantastic NBA lines season, the duo will look to make an incredible year even better. It should be all the more interesting now to watch them play once more, with the entire world watching.

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