How pathetic were the last 8 years for USA basketball that we have to redeem ourselves in the Olympics this year? I am not trying to be an arrogant American here, but we should not be trying to redeem ourselves of anything basketball related in the world arena. Over the last 8 years our best players were being selfish and arrogant and we put together teams hi-lighted by the likes of Richard Jefferson, Stephon Marbury and Shawn Marion. It is true that the world game has advanced, but not to the point that we would lose to Puerto Rico and Greece whose total population between the two countries can't be more than the state of New Jersey. But alas, we took our dominance for granted and here we are trying to restore the glory and redeem ourselves as the best in the world. After 2 games against a very spirited Chinese team and an Angolan team whose only goal was to lose by less than 40 do we really know anything about our team? Probably not, but I am going to give the players a grade anyway.
Jason Kidd: C-
All I have to say about Jason Kidd is "whatever". Its nice and all that you got off your rocker and came over to be the baby sitter, but feel free to contribute to the team at some time. Its time to give the floor to Chris Paul and Deron Williams full time.
Kobe Bryant: C+
Feel free to hit a shot Kobe. Your defense has been really good and I understand you are not trying to take over and be the main scoring option, but 1-15 from a really short 3 point line just plain sucks.
Lebron James: A
Dude is a freak and playing like an absolute animal on both ends of the floor. The only drawback to his game so far and the only thing keeping him from an A+ is his poor free throw shooting, 3 of 8 so far.
Carmello Anthony: C+
Horrible against China, played better against Angola. He is obviously not on this team for his defensive abilities so feel free to start being better offensively.
Dwight Howard: A-
The Man Child. I would trade AK, Boozer and Memo to get him on the Jazz. In the whole world, only Lebron can compete with this guy physically. I would like to see him rebound a bit more and block a few shots, but over all he is playing great.
The 6th ManDwayne Wade: A+
The MVP so far. His stat line for the first games:
38 Points, 13 of 15 shooting, 2 of 3 from 3, 10 of 12 Free Trows, 5 Boards, 3 Steals, 2 Assists.
Keep in mind that he has played a total of 36 minutes or just barely what he would have in 1 NBA game. He has missed a total of 4 shots including free throws. No more needs to be said.
The Rotation Players
Deron William and Chris Paul: B+
I hate putting these two together, but they really are playing very similar roles right now and both are doing it very well. Deron and Chris are both playing very solid overall games; scoring some, assisting some, rebounding a little, being a pest on D and between the two of them should be getting all of the PG / backup SG minutes at Jason Kidd's expense. The team excels when one or both of these two are on the court.
Chris Bosh: B
The Predator is playing some really good ball right now, but tends to get pushed around a bit by bigger opponents. He and Dwight Howard are a good change of pace combo for that position.
Michael Redd and Tayshaun Prince: B-
Both are here to do one thing that they do really good and nothing else. Redd is here to shoot and soften up a zone and Prince is here to be a defensive pest and cause havoc. Redd's shooting could be a little better, but overall they are meeting expectations with their current roles.
The Victory Cigar
Carlos Boozer: D
Tell me if this sounds familiar. Boozer has the ball on the low block at point blank range and misses the easy jump hook or attempts to finesse a finger roll when he should have just rammed it down some poor guys throat. Or how about this one, Boozer is guarding a so-so player in the low block and gets blown by on a simple spin move for 2 while he is left standing there with his back still facing the basket. Its almost like he thinks the guy is still in front of him. Point is, it was easy to look past the defensive short comings when his offense was so brilliant, but throughout the playoffs and now these first two Olympic games I am officially concerned.