UPDATED: The 2012 U.S. Olympic Final Team roster were announced:(New York Knicks); (Los Angeles Lakers); (New York Knicks); (Oklahoma City Thunder); (Los Angeles Clippers); James Harden (Oklahoma City Thunder); Andre Iguodala (Philadelphia 76ers); (Miami Heat); Kevin Love (Minnesota Timberwolves); (Los Angeles Clippers); (Oklahoma City Thunder); and Deron Williams (Brooklyn Nets).
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The good news on U.S. Men's Basketball team has finally conducted their first team practice Friday afternoon in Las Vegas in their late preparation for next month's London Olympics 2012. The bad news is Team USA is dwindling with massive pullout of superstar players due to injuries that sure will give national team coach some headache. Another bad news, Chris Paul was forced to leave the opening day of training camp to get an X-ray after hurting his thumb in the practice.
We all know that the number one scorer of the 2008 U.S. Olympic team Miami Heat Dwyane Wade opted out to the current roster due to injury. Big setback for team USA are big men Dwight Howard, Carlos Boozer and Chris Bosh all opted out due to injuries noting all of them played in the Biejing Olympics four years ago that brought home gold after a contested finals against Spain.
With all of this massive pullouts, USA Basketball coaches prompted to name the initial nine of Team USA's Olympic squad roster lead by NBA Finals MVP LeBron James plus Carmelo Anthony, Kobe Bryant, Tyson Chandler, Kevin Durant, Kevin Love, Chris Paul, Russell Westbrook and Deron Williams.
ESPN reports that Blake Griffin has been added to that group as well that leaves two more spots to make it in the roster. Griffin will add power in the paint with his explosive play although overall the team needs more shooters. That said James Harden might have a chance to make the final spot in the roster with his three point shooting ability.
Five players are in contention for the last two remaining spots and this are Anthony Davis, Rudy Gay, Eric Gordon, James Harden and Andre Iguodala. The 6'11" top NBA Draft Pick Anthony Davis who has a wing span of 7'6" might have a chance of making the roster since the team needs size. The inclusion of Oklahoma City Thunders teammates Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and James Harden will add more fluidity which the team needs in short time preparation going to the London Olympics next month. Although all of this players are NBA professionals their meetle in combat has not been tested yet as a group compared to other country's national team who's been playing together for years and playing international tournaments together.
France, Lithuania, Nigeria, Argentina and Spain pause greater threats in the team USA hopes for getting the Summer Olympic Gold in London. Facing bigger teams like Spain with Gasol brothers in the lineup, team USA Coach K needs to shift on speed and shooting to create mismatches depending on opponents. The 12-man roster will be announced Saturday night live on NBA TV. Check this page later for the USA Men's Basketball Final Roster.