November 27, 2021 | 4:30 pm
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Tidbits to watch around the USA Men’s Basketball team

The USA Men’s Basketball team is on a mission for gold but it appears that part of that operative is to seek and destroy. Despite not having the elite of the elite on the roster, there is a little doubt the team will win another gold medal and do so in convincing fashion. Kevin Durant, Carmelo Anthony, Klay Thompson, Kyrie Irving and the others on the roster are nothing to scoff at but they seem to be taking it personal that some are deeming them B-list superstars (with the exception of Durant of course).

So instead of 40-50 point blow outs some are suggesting that 25-30 point margins might be more in line with the caliber of players the United States is sending over to Brazil Early indications of a minor step-back have been greatly exaggerated and with an unnecessary chip on their shoulder this team has the look of basketball murders that their international counterparts aren’t remotely prepared for. Unfortunately for the fans tuning on TV that doesn’t make carry for great watchability–unless of course you like massacres.

But there are a few things to look out for during their inevitable capture of the gold medal that tickle our fancy.

How does DeMarcus Cousins react to all the wining and domination?

  • DMC is the only Olympian that hasn’t even sniffed the playoffs. That has to be a point of contention for the talented big man who has expressed his frustration with Sacramento management previously. Cousins might get a taste of winning, hear stories of playoff battles from his counter parts and finally request that the Kings ship him to greener pastures as rumors have suggested. Either way it will be nice to see ‘Boogie’ on the winning side of things even if it’s only for a short time.

kevin-durant-kyrie-irving-demarcus-cousins-basketball-usa-basketball-exhibition-game-china-usa-850x560

Will the Olympic experience save Kevin Durant from becoming a full villain?

  • Durant’s decision to join the Golden State Warriors has been with much scrutiny and angst from those around the league. However, watching someone as likeable as Durant usually is help bring home the gold for his country could have a humanizing effect on some. Well at least until the Warriors start their season and they start treating the NBA like their own personal Rio Olympics scorching the competition.

Can Harrison Barnes gain knowledge that preps him for a larger role in Dallas?

  • Barnes will likely see his playing time fluctuate in Brazil but the experience he is going to get by being around so many premier guys should be invaluable. This should be an opportunity for him to pick the brains of leaders, former MVPs, scoring champions and the like as to how they command their respective teams. Granted he’ll still have Dirk Nowitzki to rely on when the season starts but the future is firmly in his hands…hopefully this will help him get ready.

LAS VEGAS, NV - JULY 21: Draymond Green #14 of the USA Basketball Men's National Team shoots during practice on July 21, 2016 at Mendenhall Center on the University of Nevada, Las Vegas campus in Las Vegas, Nevada. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2016 NBAE (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)

These Olympics aren’t likely to provide much in the way of  competition but can really lay the foundation for what happens in the NBA in the future with some of the backstories that will be present. Players gain confidence, comfort and in some cases an affinity for others on the roster they might not have otherwise. So tune in and support the USA team while looking for the hidden gems that could become the headlines in the season(s) to come.

 

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