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Ask an expert: US basketball team bringing full-court press

Posted by Staff  August 1, 2012 07:25 AM

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barros_head.jpg Editor's note: Dana Barros played 14 seasons in the NBA, including six with Boston. He was named the NBA's Most Improved Player and an All-Star in the 1994-95 season, averaging a career-high 20.6 points per game. Ask him a question here.

On Team USA's competition...

You definitely have Argentina and Spain. Maybe I'm a little biased because I'm a shooter, but if they defend the line, I don't think any team can beat them. There are a few teams out there that are going to make 10-20 3-pointers and cause some problems. The biggest thing is to use their athleticism to defend the 3-point line, which will eliminate 99.9 percent of the teams.

Spain has some size in both Gasol brothers and Serge Ibaka. Where we really lack in depth is in the interior, especially with Tyson Chandler in foul trouble in some of these exhibition games, that's a team that has the wherewithal. They're not afraid because they play every day against those guys. That's the team that has the inside presence that has the one style other than the 3-pointer that could win, maybe not win, but that could create some issues at least.

On Team USA's search for a leader...

We won't really know who will be the leader until they hit some serious drama. Everything's gravy right now, but there could be a different situation when there's six minutes to go and the game is tied up. I think you'll find out who those players are or who that player is. I think each player may be capable of it, but in that locker room I'm sure there's going to be one or two guys that if they get tested will step to the forefront.

On Team USA's playing style...

In the first exhibition game, Team USA picked up full-court man-to-man on defense. The second unit came in and did the same thing. They used their athleticism. When you go past the starting five, it's a major drop off for a lot of those other teams and we don't have that. That constant picture not only eliminates the three, but it also enforces the athleticism that we are trying to create in the style of play and the speed of the game in the open court. They're playing a different style than you would ever see those guys playing in a season.

On Team USA's depth...

I think you'll probably see 10 guys go strong really early in the competition, probably everyone playing. If games get a little closer I think the rotation will tighten.

On Team USA's comparison to the "Dream Team"...

I think that the problem the team now would have is that they have no inside presence at all. You're talking David Robinson, Hakeem Olajuwon, Patrick Ewing, Karl Malone. This team has a much better athletic game, I wouldn't say they're better shooters, but their athleticism in the open court allows them to do a lot more things. But remember, I played in those times and there was no layup rules in effect. You couldn't go down the lane when Michael Jordan and those guys played.

I think that the '92 team would win, I honestly do. Over 10 games, they would win 6-7 games. To me, Kevin Durant is a good shooter, not a great shooter, he's a streaky shooter. Carmelo is a streaky shooter, LeBron is definitely a streaky shooter. If you pressure those guys and you don't let them drive to the basket, then I think they have problems scoring against those big guys inside.

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