Tonight’s scrimmage will go a long way in defining the final USA Basketball roster.
Tonight’s intrasquad scrimmage (10 PM, ET, NBA TV) marks the end of the first week of training for USA Basketball. It will also be decision time to determine who gets to go to Los Angeles for the next phase. The Blue Team will face the White Team, and according to NBA’s John Schuhmann, Kemba Walker seems a lock as a starter for the Blue group, with Donavan Mitchell as his back court mate. There is also a decent possibility that Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum will be starters at the wing position.
The closest thing to a certainty with this roster is that the starting backcourt will be Walker and Donovan Mitchell. The two have played together quite a bit in camp, Mitchell has looked like a budding star, and it’s fair to say that Walker has enjoyed the partnership.
On the wings
Both Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum are pretty safe bets to make the final roster, and there’s a chance they could be the starting forwards. Tatum shot very well in the controlled scrimmage that the media watched on Thursday, and Brown is arguably the most versatile forward in camp. Kyle Kuzma offers similar versatility, and it will be interesting to see where he stands in the rotation on Friday.
There are still questions about the fourth Celtic in Las Vegas, Marcus Smart. He remains out of action with calf tightness. In the end, USA Basketball may need Marcus’ defense, versatility and intensity, with the decision being made that he remain on the final roster. These decisions could be finalized as soon as tomorrow (Saturday) morning, with tonight’s scrimmage having a major impact on who stays and who goes. We will have the scrimmage results and the roster decisions as they occur. Stay with us.
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