Monday, August 13, 2012

LeBron James, Kevin Durant lead player grades for Team USA

The 2012 version of the Dream Team was able to run the table in the London Olympics to win gold. While it wasn't without a couple of scares (a 99-94 win over Lithuania in group play and their 107-100 win over Spain in the gold medal game), Mike Krzyzewski was able to improve his overall record as a head coach in international play to 62-1 by guiding a less than full strength and undersized team. Almost every player on the roster contributed to their run to the gold, so with that being said, here's the grades for each player.

Carmelo Anthony: B+
Anthony is a near-prototypical '4' in international ball, as he has the size to deal with most international post players, but his offensive skill set and athleticism make him a matchup nightmare for opposing coaches. Anthony didn't show up big in the gold medal game, but put up very solid numbers throughout pool play, including dropping 37 points in just 14 minutes in the teams' 83-point drubbing of Nigeria. Overall, Anthony finished second on the team in scoring, and made half of his 46 three-point attempts.
Stats: 17.8 mins, 16.3 points, 4.8 rebounds, 1.3 assists

Kobe Bryant: C+
Bryant struggled early in the tournament, but came up with some big buckets later in the tournament, including hitting a barrage of second-half threes to break open a close game against Argentina in the semifinals. Defensively, Kobe often guarded the opponents' best perimeter player, and largely did a great job in shutting those players down.
Stats: 17.5 minutes, 12.1 points, 1.8 rebounds, 1.3 assists

Tyson Chandler: D
Chandler struggled with foul trouble throughout the Olympics, limiting his minutes and productivity on the court, as he was rarely able to find a rhythm. Despite his own struggles, Chandler did a solid job communicating on defense, and also sparked the team by getting a technical foul against Spain in the gold medal game.
Stats: 11.3 minutes, 4.0 points, 4.0 rebounds, 0.5 blocks

Anthony Davis: C+
Davis was able to make some exciting plays, but largely only saw playing time when the game was well in-hand. The experience of playing and practicing alongside the best players in the world will do wonders for his development, even if he assumed the Christian Laettner-type role for this team.
Stats: 7.6 minutes, 3.7 points, 2.7 rebounds, 0.4 blocks

Kevin Durant: A+
Durant seemed a man possessed throughout this entire Olympics, as his loss in the finals seemed to have him extra motivated to bring home the gold. Durant became the United States record-holder for most points in a single Olympics (156), as he was simply unconscious shooting, nailing a ridiculous 52.3% from three (34-65). He also brought consistent effort on defense, finishing first in blocks (5) and second in steals (13) for Team USA.
Stats: 26.0 minutes, 19.5 points, 5.8 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 1.6 steals, 0.6 blocks

James Harden: D
Harden couldn't seem to find much of a rhythm, as his inconsistent minutes likely played a part in that. Like Anthony Davis, Harden was largely a garbage-time player, as he logged the second-fewest minutes on the team. The most surprising part of Harden's struggles were at the free throw line, where he missed two of his four free throws in the gold medal game, giving Spain a (very small) glimmer of hope.
Stats: 9.1 minutes, 5.5 points, 0.6 rebounds, 0.8 assists

Andre Iguodala: C+
Iguodala was one of the "glue" guys on this roster, as his team-oriented offensive game and ability to defend were what earned him playing time. He was able to provide a spark against Argentina during pool play to help pull away after the starters play left something to be desired. Even though his numbers don't look great, he always seemed to take high-percentage shots, and is one of the better communicators on defense.
Stats: 12.1 minutes, 4.3 points, 2.8 rebounds, 1.4 assists, 0.6 steals

LeBron James: A+
James continued a historic year by providing leadership, toughness and the all-around game that has made him a three-time NBA MVP. He became just the second player to win the regular season MVP, an NBA Champion, Finals MVP and an Olympic gold medalist. The other? Michael Jordan. LeBron provided the team with leadership, as well as excellent all-around playmaking. With the gold medal game still tight late in the fourth, LeBron had a thunderous dunk followed by a three-point dagger that just about wrapped up the gold for Team USA. He also accumulated 45 assists against just 8 turnovers while playing point-forward for an astounding 5.6 to 1 assist/turnover ratio. James also became the first USA national team member to record a triple double, as he logged 11 points, 14 rebounds and 12 assists in the quarterfinals against Australia.
Stats: 25.1 minutes, 13.3 points, 5.6 rebounds, 5.6 assists, 1.4 steals

Kevin Love: B+
So much for the talk about Love seeing a reduced role due to some struggles in exhibition play. Love was an absolute beast on the glass, grabbing a team-high 7.6 rebounds in just 17 minutes per game. A large portion of his buckets came on second-chance points, as his size and nose for the basketball saw him grab 3.4 offensive boards per game. While he struggled at the free throw line (17-30) and wasn't especially strong on defense, Love was the only true big man to consistently contribute in London.
Stats: 17.0 minutes, 11.6 points, 7.6 rebounds

Chris Paul: B
Paul was very steady in the Olympics, and led the team in steals (20). He also provided solid on-ball pressure, often forcing opposing point guards into turnovers while also slowing down the oppositions' ability to get into their offensive sets. While he also had some head-scratching moments (13 turnovers), Paul almost always took solid shots, and nailed 13 of his 28 three-pointers attempted.
Stats: 25.8 minutes, 8.3 points, 2.5 rebounds, 5.1 assists, 2.5 steals

Russell Westbrook: B-
Westbrook played largely as a backup two-guard in London, and was nearly unstoppable at times, as his combination of speed and explosive athletic ability led him to average a free-throw attempt nearly every four minutes by constantly attacking the basket. He also did a good job of providing on-ball pressure, and averaged just under a steal per game.
Stats: 13.8 minutes, 8.5 points, 1.6 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 0.9 steals

Deron Williams: C
Williams was solid from three in London (40.6%), he struggled from inside the arc, oftentimes trying to draw contact on a drive without getting the foul call, as his overall field goal percentage was just 39.0%). Williams did a solid job of distributing on the second unit, having a 4.6 to 1 assist/turnover ratio, and also played solid pressure defense when called upon.
Stats: 18.0 minutes, 9.0 points, 1.5 rebounds, 4.6 assists

No comments:

Post a Comment