C.J. McCollum is all out in support of Portland Trail Blazers teammate Damian Lillard and Team USA, but he’s also in touch with the reality that this squad is facing.
Losing two of their three exhibition games to date coupled with the exit of two original roster selections, Gregg Popovich and co. are met with some unfamiliar adversities ahead of the Tokyo Olympics.
The Blazers guard spoke his mind in his “Pull Up with CJ McCollum” podcast, saying:
“Team USA has definitely struggled out of the gate … The major issue is they haven’t had a lot of time to practice. Essentially just having five to seven days to play together as a team, to kind of go through plays, from a chemistry standpoint understanding spacing, you have a lot of players on the court who are trying to get used to each other.”
As Team USA’s coaches and players try their best to crack the chemistry issue, things took a turn for the worse when Kevin Love and Bradley Beal’s names were taken out of the lineup for different reasons. San Antonio Spurs youngster Keldon Johnson and Denver Nuggets center JaVale McGee were slotted in to replace the two All-Stars.
As of writing, Team USA is ranked third overall in FIBA’s list, behind Spain and number one ranked Australia.
McCollum isn’t wrong in pointing out these concerns. Lillard, Kevin Durant, Jayson Tatum, and co. are able to do a lot of things on the floor so figuring out how to make them work best together is actually a good problem for Team USA’s coaches.