For the first time, Tom Thibodeau will coach against Derrick Rose.
The two Team USA rosters for Friday night's intrasquad scrimmage were revealed on Thursday, and Thibodeau's group of 10 does not include Rose.
It does, however, contain some serious talent. The USA White Team is led by a pair of 2012 Olympic gold medalists in Kevin Durant and James Harden. Durant, the reigning NBA and MVP, and Harden, an All-NBA First Team member last year, make for as dominant an offensive duo as there is in the Las Vegas camp; Durant and Harden combined to average more than 57 points per game last year on their respective teams and are both locks for the final roster.
With a surplus of wings and outside shooters, one of the most important battles this summer has been Team USA's power forwards and centers, and the Blue Team has the camp's most traditional, back-to-the-basket bigs in DeMarcus Cousins and Andre Drummond. The White Team is especially strong on the perimeter with sharpshooters Klay Thompson, Chandler Parsons and Bradley Beal, in addition to what Durant and Harden already bring.
The four points guards in camp were split up, giving Thibodeau Damian Lillard and Kyrie Irving - not Derrick Rose - to work with, in addition to stretch-four Paul Millsap, who joined the roster after Blake Griffin opted out with a back injury.
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The USA Blue Team, coached by New Orleans Pelicans head coach Monty Williams, is also led by a pair of London gold medalists in Stephen Curry and Anthony Davis. And if the Blue Team touts outside shooting, the White Team should have no problem getting to the lane at will. They tout the two quicker point guards in John Wall and Derrick Rose, while wings Paul George, DeMar DeRozan and Gordon Hayward all possess good size and attack the basket well. Kyle Korver should help balance out the outside shooting, while Kenneth Faried and Mason Plumlee - an addition to the team after playing for the Select Team - should get a good test inside.
"After four days of training, the players are looking forward to playing in a competitive game situation," USA National Team managing director Jerry Colangelo said in a press release. "The game will also be beneficial in our decision making process for selecting finalists for our team that will eventually represent the United States at the FIBA Basketball World Cup.”
The showcase in Las Vegas will be followed by a 12-day break before the finalized roster of 12 reconvenes in Chicago. Team USA will play an exhibition against Brazil on Aug. 16 at the United Center, followed by a pair of exhibition games in New York City at Madison Square Garden. The team then will head to Gran Canaria, Spain to complete its exhibition tour against Slovenia on Aug. 26 before the World Cup begins on Aug. 30.
Part of Group C, Team USA will open its preliminary round play against Finland, followed by contests against Turkey, New Zealand and Ukraine.
USA White Team roster (NBA team)
Bradley Beal (Washington Wizards)
DeMarcus Cousins (Sacramento Kings)
Andre Drummond (Detroit Pistons)
Kevin Durant (Oklahoma City Thunder)
James Harden (Houston Rockets)
Kyrie Irving (Cleveland Cavaliers)
Damian Lillard (Portland Trail Blazers)
Paul Millsap (Atlanta Hawks)
Chandler Parsons (Dallas Mavericks)
Klay Thompson (Golden State Warriors)
USA Blue Team roster (NBA team)
Stephen Curry (Golden State Warriors)
Anthony Davis (New Orleans Pelicans)
DeMar DeRozan (Toronto Raptors)
Kenneth Faried (Denver Nuggets)
Paul George (Indiana Pacers)
Gordon Hayward (Utah Jazz)
Kyle Korver (Atlanta Hawks)
Mason Plumlee (Brooklyn Nets)
Derrick Rose (Chicago Bulls)
John Wall (Washington Wizards)