Erik Horne: “Yet, the 27-year-old is just two seasons removed from shooting 39.8 percent from
3-point range in 80 games between Detroit and Oklahoma City. The Thunder doesn’t have a small forward on the roster with Singler’s combination of size (6-foot-9), length and shooting ability. There’s hope the 6-7 Huestis can contribute, but he has just five Thunder games to his credit and spent most of last season in the D-League, where he made just 31.3 percent of his 3-pointers.”
Mark Kizla of the Denver Post: “With LeBron James, Stephen Curry and Russell Westbrook back at home, getting some well-deserved rest, Team USA does not have an alpha dog. Our old friend Carmelo Anthony is past his prime. Kyrie Irving has some mad skills, but stepping out of King James’ shadow, it is apparent that Cleveland’s young point guard lacks the chops to step up and direct a team loaded with all-star egos. Durant bolted Oklahoma City as a free agent, taking the path of least resistance to an NBA championship by joining Golden State. There was nothing wrong with that decision. Working hard and landing your dream job is a cornerstone of the American dream.”
Pelton and Ford talk best sophomores. Cam Payne doesn’t get a mention.
Fran Fraschilla on USA-Spain: “I don’t expect Team USA to turn into the San Antonio Spurs overnight. But in order to exploit the matchup advantage, the ball has to move better so that Spain can’t lock in five defenders on one or both scorers. Playing a smart and experienced defensive team will not yield satisfactory results if USA resorts to hero ball. Fortunately for the U.S., there were certainly signs of better offensive rhythm and flow versus Argentina. So, instead of Durant and Anthony finding the ball, the ball must find them. That part is up to their teammates.”
Erik Horne: “The primary reason Abrines didn’t play much in the group stage for Spain was the logjam of guards in front of him. Sergio Rodriguez, Rudy Fernandez and Juan Carlos Navarro have a combined nine years of NBA experience. Sergio Ilull is a top guard for Spanish giant Real Madrid and was a second-round pick in the 2009 NBA Draft. Ricky Rubio starts for the Minnesota Timberwolves. Even the 34-year-old Calderon — Spain’s 11th man, often seen chatting casually with Abrines on the bench during their five-game run through Group B — is an 11-year NBA veteran.”