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Bullets @ Tokyo Olympics - Beal commits to Team USA; Hachimura leads Team Japan

Moderators: LyricalRico, montestewart, nate33

Besides Rui, will we see either Beal and/or Westbrook at the Olympics?

YES, ONE OF THEM WILL BE ON ROSTER
3
75%
NO, NEITHER OF THEM MAKES IT
1
25%
 
Total votes: 4

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Bullets @ Tokyo Olympics - Beal commits to Team USA; Hachimura leads Team Japan 

Post#1 » by FAH1223 » Wed Jun 9, 2021 6:00 am

Jayson Tatum could be the Team USA building block for Tokyo Olympics, with eyes on Dame Lillard and Steph Curry


By Joe Vardon Jun 7, 2021

In the closing moments of an overtime game in Shanghai, way back on Sept. 3, 2019, Jayson Tatum rolled an ankle.

At the time, team doctors didn’t believe the injury was serious. But it sure was impactful, with ramifications perhaps stretching two years into the future.

Team USA points to that ankle injury for Tatum as a deciding factor in its FIBA World Cup misfortunes. Had the Boston Celtics star been healthy, the Americans feel they would not have fallen in the quarterfinals to France, and surely would not have finished a sorely disappointing seventh place. Tatum, of course, believes that too, and if his urge to avenge that injury, and what happened because of it, is strong enough, he might very well lead Team USA into the Tokyo Olympics next month.

“It definitely is something to think about,” Tatum said last week, after the Celtics were knocked out of the playoffs by the Brooklyn Nets. “Obviously, going two or three years kind of without much of a break, but obviously that’s an incredible opportunity, and something I’ve got to think about further down the line.”

The NBA’s first round of the playoffs is complete, and a whole new crop of stars are now free to commit, or not, to Team USA for Tokyo. Tatum headlines that group, along with Damian Lillard of the Portland Trail Blazers, Bradley Beal and Russell Westbrook of the Washington Wizards, and Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo of the Miami Heat. They join a pool that already included Stephen Curry of the Warriors, Zion Williamson of the Pelicans and Zach LaVine of the Bulls, among others.

There are two other big names whose NBA team lost in the playoffs, perhaps you’ve heard of them? LeBron James and Anthony Davis are officially on vacation, after the Lakers lost in six games to Phoenix, but neither LeBron nor Davis is expected to play for Team USA due to their terrible seasons of injuries, according to a source close to both players. Kawhi Leonard and Paul George are on the list, but their Clippers survived Game 7 against Dallas (which has no American stars in the Team USA pool) on Sunday — the final game of the entire first round.

Curry, according to a source, is “50-50” on whether he takes his first crack at Olympic gold. Lillard is believed to have strong interest in playing, though no final decision has been made.

Tatum is the kind of linchpin around which Team USA managing director Jerry Colangelo could build a roster. Conversations with prospects are “ramping up,” he said, though he chose not to disclose with whom or name which players out of the pool of 57 NBA stars had expressed a desire to play.

Training camp in Las Vegas starts in early July, and now that the first round of the playoffs is over, the pace to begin putting the 12-man roster together is accelerating.

Tatum, 23, is coming off the finest season of his pro career, with averages of 26.4 points and 7.4 rebounds. He hung a 50-piece on the Nets in in Game 3 of that series, Boston’s lone win. The Celtics made a deep playoff run last fall, playing into the Eastern finals in the Disney bubble, in September. And then their new season started on Dec. 23, followed thereafter by Tatum battling for weeks a case of COVID-19, which left him short of breath even after his return to the court.

That’s what he means by saying he hasn’t had much of a break. He suffered a bad break when he turned his ankle in the waning moments of that early round World Cup win over Turkey, as he passed the ball to Milwaukee’s Khris Middleton for the game-winning bucket in overtime. That game — which you can read about here — was bonkers, with coach Gregg Popovich being run over on the sideline and Joe Harris nearly getting into a fight. It also turned out to be the last game Tatum played in the tournament.

The Americans won three more after the injury, including over Giannis Antetokounmpo and Greece, but lost to Evan Fournier, Rudy Gobert and Frank Ntlikina and France after leading that game late. The Americans lost again the following night to Nikola Jokic, Bogdan Bogdanovic, and the Serbians, before winning a seventh-place game over Poland, in Beijing.

Team USA entered the China tournament with a lesser roster, one mostly void of the star power the Americans usually possess when they field a team of pros. Tatum, though he’d already played in a conference finals, was not yet an All-Star — that would come the following February. But he was gifted then and a potential difference maker Team USA didn’t have.

There were four Celtics on that 2019 American squad. Jaylen Brown missed this season’s playoffs after wrist surgery and is a “no” for Tokyo. Kemba Walker has said he is looking forward to a long, full offseason to heal his ailing knee, which would make him an unlikely candidate. Marcus Smart could do it, but he was among the players Colangelo had to recruit after all the stars turned him down. The Americans are hoping to avoid a repeat.

From the Wizards, Westbrook captured Olympic gold in 2012. Beal, meanwhile, wanted to play for Team USA in 2019, but withdrew his name to attend the birth of his child.

The Lakers have three other players — Andre Drummond, Montrezl Harrell and Kyle Kuzma — who are in the Team USA pool. The Americans had trouble recruiting big men for the 2019 team (settling on Brook Lopez, Myles Turner and Mason Plumlee). Kuzma was originally on that team, but a leg injury forced him off the roster.

Julius Randle, the NBA’s most improved player, is in the pool and available after the Knicks fell to Atlanta in the first round. His injured teammate, Mitchell Robinson, is in the pool, as is Miami’s Duncan Robinson.

If you’re wondering, Memphis’ Ja Morant and the Blazers’ CJ McCollum are not in the American pool of 57.
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Re: Bullets @ Tokyo Olympics - Will Beal and Westbrook play for Team USA? 

Post#2 » by nate33 » Wed Jun 9, 2021 2:16 pm

Beal? Yes. He'd be real good in international competition with his reliable midrange game, though he'd probably have much less success drawing fouls on his drives to the rim.

Westbrook would be terrible. His game is not suitable for international rules.
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Re: Bullets @ Tokyo Olympics - Will Beal and Westbrook play for Team USA? 

Post#3 » by keynote » Wed Jun 9, 2021 2:25 pm

I suspect Beal will get an opportunity because many players will consider opting out to recuperate after a compressed season.

I really hope he gets an invite. The Olympics is prime recruiting season.
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Re: Bullets @ Tokyo Olympics - Will Beal and Westbrook play for Team USA? 

Post#4 » by FAH1223 » Wed Jun 9, 2021 3:29 pm

nate33 wrote:Beal? Yes. He'd be real good in international competition with his reliable midrange game, though he'd probably have much less success drawing fouls on his drives to the rim.

Westbrook would be terrible. His game is not suitable for international rules.

keynote wrote:I suspect Beal will get an opportunity because many players will consider opting out to recuperate after a compressed season.

I really hope he gets an invite. The Olympics is prime recruiting season.


I believe both Westbrook and Beal are part of the 57-man training camp invitation
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Re: Bullets @ Tokyo Olympics - Will Beal and Westbrook play for Team USA? 

Post#5 » by keynote » Wed Jun 9, 2021 3:43 pm

FAH1223 wrote:
nate33 wrote:Beal? Yes. He'd be real good in international competition with his reliable midrange game, though he'd probably have much less success drawing fouls on his drives to the rim.

Westbrook would be terrible. His game is not suitable for international rules.

keynote wrote:I suspect Beal will get an opportunity because many players will consider opting out to recuperate after a compressed season.

I really hope he gets an invite. The Olympics is prime recruiting season.


I believe both Westbrook and Beal are part of the 57-man training camp invitation


Right. I meant invited to the actual roster.
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Re: Bullets @ Tokyo Olympics - Will Beal and Westbrook play for Team USA? 

Post#6 » by FAH1223 » Sun Jun 20, 2021 12:24 am

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Re: Bullets @ Tokyo Olympics - Beal commits to Team USA; Hachimura leads Team Japan 

Post#7 » by nate33 » Sun Jun 20, 2021 12:38 am

Beal really has been remarkably durable over these past 4 years. A crazy season with a condensed schedule, followed by the playoffs, and now he's going straight into the Olympics. Most other heavy-minute stars are so beat up that they would prefer to rest.
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Re: Bullets @ Tokyo Olympics - Beal commits to Team USA; Hachimura leads Team Japan 

Post#8 » by SUPERBALLMAN » Sun Jun 20, 2021 1:29 am

Maybe Beal won't make the team and he can use it as motivation next season for being "disrespected".
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Re: Bullets @ Tokyo Olympics - Beal commits to Team USA; Hachimura leads Team Japan 

Post#9 » by SUPERBALLMAN » Sun Jun 20, 2021 1:32 am

It's funny all the tweets by Hughes & Mayo etc only mention Beal and don't say anything about Westbrook.
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Re: Bullets @ Tokyo Olympics - Beal commits to Team USA; Hachimura leads Team Japan 

Post#10 » by SUPERBALLMAN » Sun Jun 20, 2021 1:34 am

Who is the Olympic coach? Is it still Coach K?
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Re: Bullets @ Tokyo Olympics - Beal commits to Team USA; Hachimura leads Team Japan 

Post#11 » by FAH1223 » Sun Jun 20, 2021 5:07 am

SUPERBALLMAN wrote:Who is the Olympic coach? Is it still Coach K?


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SUPERBALLMAN wrote:Maybe Beal won't make the team and he can use it as motivation next season for being "disrespected".


I think he has a roster spot if he wants it. He’s been in the USA basketball program for awhile though I just realized he hasn’t played internationally since 2010 at the U-17 World Championship where he won Gold.
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Re: Bullets @ Tokyo Olympics - Beal commits to Team USA; Hachimura leads Team Japan 

Post#12 » by Dark Faze » Sun Jun 20, 2021 3:55 pm

Great opportunity for him. Only concern is the lack of rest this off-season. Going to have to really manage him his minutes this upcoming season.

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