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FIBA World Championship Roster Preview: Does Rondo Make Team USA?

We’re approaching the dog days of the offseason right now with Summer League having long past, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be any basketball for you junkies out there. Instead, we have the FIBA World Championship coming up later this month, starting August 28th in Turkey.

As most of you already well know, Team USA has cut itself down to 15 players, with Rajon Rondo being one of the guys still in contention to make the final cut of 12.

All the squads don’t have to trim themselves down to 12 players until August 26th, so there is still plenty of time for the spots to shakes themselves out. Business picks up this weekend where Team USA faces France in a friendly exhibition at Madison Square Garden in preparation for the event.

In the meantime, I am joined frequent CelticsHub podcast contributor and “international expert” Rich Keefe, who is also a reporter at 98.5 The Sports Hub here in Boston and co-author of The Sports Brief. The two of us break down the 2010 World Championships in-depth. A few of the questions we dissect:

* What are the exact differences in the international game from the NBA?
* Will Rajon Rondo make this roster?
* Who will be the other cuts to trim the roster down to 12?
* Will Team USA run into any trouble in this tournament?

To listen, click on the link below and press the play button. You can also press the arrow button on the right side of the player to download the mp3.

CelticsHub.com USA World Championship Team Podcast 8-12-10 by BRobb8

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    Rondo is a good PG, if he can enhance his 3-point, i believe will be the best 3PGs in the NBA, bless Rondo and celtics. expecting the next season.

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    no don’t do it we dont have time 2 start the new season with something bad happening but if he dosent get hurt then we are go 2 go nd win it all the celtics

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    Rondo makes the team. He is a pure one and a lockdown defender. I think he gives you more than Chauncey at this stage and Westbrooke.

  • micha

    Fun interview!
    Still, I think team USA will have a much harder time this year than what you predict. Gasol is not playing for Spain, but he’s far from their “main gun”. He’s important, but Spain has the best backcourt in the Championship hands down. Plus, I believe this inexperiensed bunch will have a very very hard time against a hardened Greek squad. They’re bringing their main core minus one guy (Papaloukas), they have a deep understanding of international basketball and are easily the best defensive team. They have some impressive big guys, who can run the pick n’ roll blindfolded. Without a dominant body in the paint, it’s gonna be very hard…

  • zebulon


    “Spain has the best backcourt in the championship hands down”

    You are sorely mistaken. I’m assuming you meant to say Spain has the best Frontcourt in the championships, because Marc Gasol/Victor Claver is probably a better frontcourt than anything involving (godforbid) JaVale McGee or even Kevin Love at center.

    But even if that is what you meant, Brazil is easily the frontcourt leader, with any combination of Varejao, Splitter, and Nene (any NBA would be happy with that rotation! Talk about mobile, defensive bigs).

    In terms of the Backcourt, team USA is clearly the best in the competition. Chauncy, Rondo, Curry, Westbrook, Rose, Gordon – any combination of these six is more capable than the Rudy/Rubio combination, particularly in terms of defensive ability. If team USA goes anywhere in these championships, it is going to be powered by their slew of point guards, and the playmaking and athletic abilities they possess.

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  • Oso

    Nice article. I really love Rondo game, but he needs to improve outside shooting. It is the same problem with D. Rose, but I prefer Rajon intensity in both sides of the floor.

    zebulon it seems clear that you don´t know anything about the Spanish team. Claver plays at SF. The starters of the team are Gasol and Garbajosa, (with Fran Vazquez and Felipe Reyes off the bench), while the starters of the backcourt are Navarro and Calderón (Ricky, Rudy, Llull and San Emeterio off the bench) and the SF´s are Mumbrú, Claver and eventually Rudy. But the main strenght of the Spanish team are not the names, it is the team spirit. Pau´s lost is very important but it will allow the team to give more in defense.

    In my opinion the best player of Brasil is Splitter, far better than Krusty Varejao and Nené, but he has ploblems when playing against strong and tough players like Gasol or Felipe (At least he use to have problems when playing aginst them in the Spanish league). And they also have a very strong backcourt with Barbosa and Huertas, but they have an absolut lack at SF.

    Anyway USA is always the main favorite, but they have some weak points, like the absence of good centers and the pitiful 3 points shoot of their PG´s (except Billups). That can cause the team big troubles when facing zonal defenses. Another weak point is the lack of experience of most of the players in international contest

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