Team USA recently lost to Australia, the first time that the United States had lost an exhibition game or major tournament game with NBA players since 2006.
The loss ended what was previously a 78-game win streak. While it came with little consequence considering the World Cup has not yet started, it stands to reason that fans were not left satisfied. Perhaps no complaint is more valid than the fact that this roster simply has less talent than previous iterations since the nation began sending its NBA players.
For example, the most recent Team USA (2016 Olympics) actually had seven representatives who had made All-NBA in 2015-16. Now, however, point guard Kemba Walker is the only one from Team USA who was awarded All-NBA considerations last year.
Further, we also looked at average stats produced by the players the season prior to joining Team USA for either the Olympics or the World Cup.
Walker ranked Top 10 overall in the NBA, scoring 25.6 points per game. Joining him in the backcourt, Donovan Mitchell is the only other player on the roster who scored at least 20 ppg last season. Back in 2008, the roster had eight players who scored at least 20 ppg the previous season.
Combined, Team USA averaged 14.9 ppg. The previous low was 17.2 ppg in 2002. That squad finished sixth at the World Championship.
Even though Walker is expected to be the top scorer for this team, he is also the player who averaged the most assists with 5.9 apg last year. Overall, the lack of a true point guard outside of Walker and Derrick White could wind up hurting them. The roster players averaged just 2.9 apg last season. Compare that with the 2008 Redeem Team, with players who averaged 5.7 apg during the season prior to the Olympic tournament.
Perhaps more alarming, though, is the lack of rebounders. Myles Turner, who projects as the starting big man, ranked outside of the Top 40 among all NBA players with 7.2 rebounds per game. The combined average among all players is 4.8 rpg. For context, the previous worst was 5.9 rpg in 2010.
Below are averages from previous years, showing just how much worse the NBA stats are from these players than other Team USA rosters.
Basketball, DunkWire, International, Research, World Cup, Evergreen, Featured, Top, Brook Lopez, Derrick White, Donovan Mitchell, Harrison Barnes, Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum, Joe Harris, Kemba Walker, Khris Middleton, Marcus Smart, Mason Plumlee, Myles Turner, Team USA, World Cup, Team USA, World Cup