The Grizzlies officially announced Sunday that Rudy Gay is among the 20 NBA players who are finalists for the U.S. Olympic Team, which will play this summer in London. To read the full release, click here.
Rudy performed well in the 2010 World Championships, winning a gold medal.
But even though the World Championships are generally considered the bigger accomplishment in FIBA basketball, the 2008 Olympic team was considered the “A” Team and the 2010 team the “B” team. Of course, USA Basketball can only carry 12 players, so the obvious question: Will Rudy make the cut? Here’s a quick analysis on Rudy’s odds, given who else is on the list:
First of all there are no-brainers to make this list. It’s basically an All-NBA team, not to mention that most of these guys were on the 2008 Olympic Team, so let’s get those out of the way:
LeBron James. Kobe Bryant. Derrick Rose. Dwight Howard. Kevin Durant. Dwyane Wade. Carmelo Anthony. Chris Paul.
Yikes, I am STUNNED at how quickly 8 of 12 spots got filled.
Next, we look at positional needs. Of the 8 players above, we have two point guards, one center, five wing players (SG/SF). So we need more bigs/post players to defend & rebound the ball.
Tyson Chandler. Rebounding/Defense
Kevin Love. Rebounding, plus he can shoot from distance
Chris Bosh. Rebounding, defense, shooting
Blake Griffin. Rebounding, dunktastics.
But here’s the thing: You could just as easily swap Lamar Odom out for Chris Bosh. You could put Lamarcus Aldridge in for Kevin Love. Because of his sheer athleticism in the post, I don’t see Blake Griffin being left off.
So where does that leave our dear beloved Rudy Gay? Well I hate to say it, but unless one of the wing players above is injured (and in this wacky compressed season, there’s a good chance one of them will be — DWade is already dealing with 3 injuries; Carmelo has back and ankle issues), the chances of Rudy making the roster are pretty slim. If one of those guys does go down, then Rudy would likely need to beat out guys like Andre Iguodala and Eric Gordon (currently injured). I like his chances there.
But first things first: Keep up the strong play Rudy and let’s make the first All-Star team! Then . . . Western Conference Finals? From there . . . sky is the limit . . .