With the 2014 FIBA World Cup just days away, Team USA was forced to cut its roster from 16 players to 12 on Friday night. Following a dominant 112-86 exhibition win against Puerto Rico, the tough news was delivered to Damian Lillard, Chandler Parsons, Kyle Korver and Gordon Hayward. These were difficult, yet understandable, decisions.
Coach Mike Krzyzewski's comfort level with Derrick Rose's health and the team's overall scoring and ballhandling on the perimeter allowed him to keep his plethora of big men. This move provides insurance against its key rival, Spain, and its powerful inside game.
While four quality players were cut, none were likely to play a key role. Instead, a player such as DeMar DeRozan, who played well in the practices and in the games, earned a spot on the roster with his overall versatility.
Without Korver, Lillard and Parsons, Team USA still has a collection of outstanding shooters led by the Splash Brothers -- Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson of the Golden State Warriors. In fact, Coach K told me earlier this week that this is his best shooting he's ever coached.
While many questions were answered with the selection of the roster, there are still concerns.