Hinrich Probably Won't Survive Final Cut For Team USA
By Mike McGraw
Posted Monday, July 30, 2007
Kirk Hinrich was a late addition to Team USA last year. This time, he could be a late subtraction.
The U.S. National squad is looking at some difficult roster cuts before the Olympic qualifying tournament begins in Las Vegas, while Hinrich is facing difficult competition.
It’s probably safe to assume Orlando’s J.J. Redick will not make the final roster, so Team USA will need to get from 16 players down to 12 once practice resumes Aug. 13.
At the July 22 intrasquad scrimmage, only Redick played fewer minutes than Hinrich’s 13. The Bulls guard finished with a mundane 4 points, 1 assist and 3 turnovers.
The Team USA coaching staff recognized last year that Hinrich is not a true point guard and played him behind New Orleans’ Chris Paul during the FIBA World Championships in Japan.
Paul is not participating this time around, but the selection committee demonstrated a preference for point guards by adding New Jersey’s Jason Kidd and Utah’s Deron Williams to the roster, while Detroit’s Chauncey Billups is on hand after an excused absence last year.
Since the U.S. managed only a bronze medal at the World Championships, it’s also possible that players who were not with the team a year ago will have an edge over the players who were in Japan.
Injuries are bound to change the outlook when it comes to the final 12 spots. As it stands now, Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony and Kidd are locks. There isn’t much size available, so Amare Stoudemire, Chris Bosh, Dwight Howard and Tyson Chandler are all strong candidates.
For the final four spots, Billups and Williams probably have an edge on Hinrich, Tayshaun Prince could push Shane Battier off the squad, one outside shooter between Mike Miller and Michael Redd should make it and the coaching staff may want to see Seattle rookie Kevin Durant get some international experience in advance of the Beijing Olympics.......
Re: Hinrich Probably Won't Survive Final Cut For Team USA
I like Hinrich as much anybody, but they already have enough solid perimeter defenders who are superior to Hinrich on offense. He probably wouldn't get any playing time anyways behind Kidd, Billups, and Bryant.