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NBA News: Team USA Basketball Takeaways

By Erik Lambert

Mar 5, 2014; Auburn Hills, MI, USA; Detroit Pistons center Andre Drummond (0) dribbles at Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah (13) in the fourth quarter at The Palace of Auburn Hills. Chicago won 105-94. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Team USA continues to tweak and shape its roster for the coming international play.  What are some NBA tidbits to take from the action?

Derrick Rose facing murderous competition at point guard

Perhaps there is such a notion as too much of a good thing.  While the USA roster is losing big men left and right, at the same time they seem to keep gaining a wealth of smaller stars, particularly at point guard.  Among the list include Stephen Curry, John Wall, Kyrie Irving, Damian Lillard and Derrick Rose.  Hopes were high that Rose, who has missed most of the past two seasons with knee injuries could use the competition with Team USA as a springboard to ready him for the 2014-2015 NBA season.  There is no reason to count him out, but the deck is undoubtedly stacked against him.  Unless he is sharpens up quickly, which is a lot to ask, it’s more likely he won’t make the cut.

Andre Drummond gaining steam with Kevin Love exit

One of the bigger losses the roster has suffered of late is All-Star Kevin Love.  Viewed as one of the key veterans with international experience, Love was forced to bow out due to the ongoing rumors regarding his status with the Minnesota Timberwolves.  Word continues to leak that he could be traded at any time, making his ability to compete difficult.  With him out, the door on the 12-man roster is wide open at power forward.  A current favorite to seize the chance is Detroit Pistons All-Star Andre Drummond.  Having averaged 13.5 points and 13.2 rebounds last season he is certainly on the rise and would give USA a much needed presence in the paint.  His primary competition for the spot will likely be DeMarcus Cousins, Anthony Davis and Kenneth Faried.

Kevin Durant now the center leadership of young roster

Another byproduct of the Kevin Love exit is the vacuum it creates in the leadership category.  Initially it was believed he and reigning MVP Kevin Durant would form the core of the team given their Olympic experience and success.  With Love gone, that burden has shifted entirely onto the shoulders of Durant.  Not only will be he tasked with helping bring along the younger guys, but he’ll also have to fulfill a lot of the responsibilities Love would’ve had, particularly providing a steady shooting hand from long range.  It’s a lot to ask from a guy who already has a enough on his place regarding the coming NBA season.