Would the U.S. win gold with this team?

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Would the U.S. win gold with this team? 

Post#1 » by post » Wed Aug 24, 2016 3:38 am

I thought of an interesting way the U.S. could challenge itself more in the Olympics, inspired by the realization there are only 1.4 NBA starters on the average non U.S. team, with Spain leading all with 5 when including Ibaka and Marc Gasol. So construct a U.S. team with any three NBA starters you want, but the other 9 players have to be NBA bench players. By bench player, i mean someone who has been in the league for at least 3 years and has played a majority of their career games as a non starter. I believe this would make things more equal between countries than throwing 12 NBA starters/11-12 NBA all stars out there. I think this team would function well together as well. If you don't think this particular team would win gold, how would they do and do you think my general idea could produce a gold medal team but with different players?

Team (with projected minutes played, which could be adjusted depending on the situation)


C-Dewayne Dedmon (13.3)
PF-Ed Davis (13.3)
SF-Lebron James (35.0)
SG-James Harden (35.0)
PG-Stephen Curry (35.0)


C-Cole Aldrich (13.3)
C-Jeff Withey (13.3)
PF-Taj Gibson (13.3)
PF-Darrell Arthur (13.3)
SF-Jared Dudley (5.0)
SG-J.R. Smith (5.0)
PG-Jarrett Jack (5.0)
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Re: Would the U.S. win gold with this team? 

Post#2 » by mojo13 » Thu Aug 25, 2016 5:04 pm

Yes...easily. Lebron is the best player in the world. He can bring up the caliber of the guys around him. Add Steph to the mix and look out. I am not sure that this team even needs Harden to win.

I think the toughest thing for the star USA teams, is for star players who play heavy minutes and key roles on their NBA teams to morph into the effective role players needed for a real team. Here you got guys who already know their roles and my guess chemistry could be formed much quicker.

This roster is better than the championship Cavs roster and could be argued it is a better built "team" than the USA team that just won gold.

Ask a fan of any other national team and my guess is that they would easily trade their current roster in for this. As a Team Canada fan, I couldn't do it fast enough.

Take Lebron, Steph and Harden an mix in the 9 worst American players in the league and I still think you have a gold medal team. Or in another look, take Lebron, Steph and Harden and the best American players not in the NBA and it is still a gold medal team.

That is a fun one to think about: Andray Blatche, Brad Wannamaker, Ekpe Udoh, Errick McCollum, Pullen, Bo McCaleb, Udoh, Q Miller, Marcus Williams, Deshawn Thomas, Mustafa Shakur, Daniel Hackett, Kyle Hines, Ricky Hickman, Andrew Goudelock...the list can go on and on. I bet you can find some great players there...and ones that know FIBA ball inside and out. Last report is that there are ~6,700 American basketball players playing oversees.
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Re: Would the U.S. win gold with this team? 

Post#3 » by post » Thu Aug 25, 2016 6:59 pm

I like having Harden on this team because he is a huge scoring threat as the third option that could handle 1st or 2nd option responsibilities consistently if needed. You could replace Harden with someone like Klay Thompson, but if Klay is cold shooting outside he is limited otherwise, whereas Harden is a major threat to get to the line at will while also being above average at shooting 3's.

I agree. As Barkley said, the team needs role players other than Deandre Jordan. I don't think he meant a 3 starter/9 bench player team, but i would be curious to see my team in action.

Only familiar with a few of those Americans playing overseas you mentioned, so i can't comment on the odds of a team like that winning gold. My gut reaction is i doubt it though, as i would the 9 worst nba players as the supporting cast. Who knows though. I'm sure there are people that would doubt my team.

Some statistical information i figured out that is very interesting, which i calculated by breaking down career and last seasons stats into per minute numbers and factoring in how many minutes each of the 12 players would play in a 48 minute game. So 7 out of 12 stay the same, but Jack, Smith, Dudley, Gibson, and Davis i give 8 minutes extra a piece to get a feel for how this team might look as an actual team playing in the league for 48 minutes a night.

117.4 ppg based on career numbers. It's been 24 years since any NBA team, Chris Mullin's Warriors, averaged more than that.
129.5 ppg last season. 14.5 more than the league leading Warriors last year. 3 more than the all time leading scoring team in nba history.
47.1 career rebounds. In the last 5 years they would've finished 2nd twice and 1st three times in the nba.
51.6 rebounds last season. Most of any team this century. I didn't look further back.
25.7 career assists. In the last 5 years they would've finished 2nd twice and 1st three times in the nba.
29.8 assists last season. Most of any team this century. I didn't look further back.

Also, this team has 3 of the top 11 and 5 of the top 43 in the league at defensive field goal percentage at the rim. Likewise with points saved per 36 minutes at the rim. So no easy baskets.

Finally, this may not be a good method, but in an attempt to get a rough estimate of how good this team is by other statistical measures and to get a comparison with the team USA that just won gold, i calculated offensive and defensive rating for last season.

My team:

Offensive rating=114.4, 2nd in the nba last season
Defensive rating=104.3, 6th in nba last season.

Team USA: 112.8 on offense and 104.3 on defense based on nba stats.
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Re: Would the U.S. win gold with this team? 

Post#4 » by NuggetsWY » Sat Sep 3, 2016 11:17 pm

Any team with three NBA starters is hard to beat without three NBA starters. It's possible, but hard and would take a team with some great players and true team work.

However, adding 9 NBA bench players still makes that USA team next door to unbeatable, at least for now. The gap is closing but it's still there.

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