Team USA Camp: White tops Blue 114-96 in Intra-squad Scrimmage
Team USA concluded their five-day 2010 Las Vegas training camp with a hot-shooting performance to please the 11,635 fans in attendance and many more watching the national broadcast on ESPN2. The players had been getting after it all week long- fighting for what are believed to be several open spots on the roster. Camp ended with the White team shooting its way to a 114-96 victory over the Blue team.
The Whiteís Kevin Durant, the reigning NBA scoring leader, led all players with 28 points and was named the Player of the Game; but five more players from the White squad clipped the double-figure mark, including Andre Iguodala with 17, Eric Gordon with 16, Derrick Rose had 15 and Tyson Chandler scored 13. Chandler also collected a game-high 9 rebounds. Rose led the White with 8 assists, while Iguodala chipped in 5. Great team passing and hot shooting led the White squad to shoot 55.3% from the field in the contest.
Rudy Gay led the Blue team with 23 points, while O.J. Mayo scored 18, Russell Westbrook was credited with 14, and Jeff Green add 11 points and team-best 8 rebounds. The Blue hit 45.3% of their field goal attempts.
About ten players locked up spots during their week, led by Kevin Durant, Chauncey Billups and Lamar Odom. Tyson Chandler has been the teamís best center during camp, but also their best interior defender. If he can stay healthy, heíll be sure to make an impact and looks to have the starting track as the starting big. Kevin Love has used his high-energy, rebounding and versatility playing down-low or on the perimeter to lock himself up a spot, while Rudy Gay, had his spot seemingly locked up as a standout at Team USAís minicamp last year. Russell Westbrook, Derrick Rose and Stephen Curry seem to fit into Coach Kís scheme as they can all play off the ball, as well as some point; Curry will be the teamís designated zone buster and key perimeter shooter. Gerald Wallace seems to have found himself a spot as a potent rebounder and versatility, both offensively and defensively.
Rajon Rondo and Andre Iguodala both had strong performances in the White/Blue scrimmage this weekend, but both have shown an inability to shoot from the perimeter. Their lock-down defensive abilities could help push them onto the roster. Jeff Green and Brook Lopez benefit from a lack of size on the roster so far, but neither has shown brightly in camp so far. Danny Granger is another player whose roster spot may be in question; he shot better as the week went on, but suffered a shin injury, missing a day of practice and will be competing with Andre Iguodala for a spot. Eric Gordon may have played himself onto the roster or at least strong contention with his performance in the intra-squad scrimmage. He was one of the leading scorers for the White team and his defensive play has also gotten him praise. Tyreke Evans and O.J. are versatile guards, but Evans has been sidelined with an ankle injury, while Mayo has taken a backseat to the many Team USA guards.
By Chris Andrews - 7-26-10