X

Have feedback / suggestions? Let us know!

NBA

5 Most Important Players For Team USA Basketball

5 Most Important Players For Team USA Basketball

United States of America Basketball
Getty Images

With the 2014 FIBA World Cup of Basketball upon us, Team USA's roster is loaded with All-Stars and previous gold medal winners. However, the losses of Paul George to injury and now Kevin Durant to fatigue have deflated what was a stout roster from top to bottom. Regardless, Team USA must carry on with plenty of stars ready to represent their country. Without further ado, here are the top five most important players for Team USA to win gold.

5. Demarcus Cousins - Time To Boogie!

Demarcus Cousins, Team USA
Getty Images

5. Demarcus Cousins - Time To Boogie!

Demarcus Cousins, Team USA
Getty Images

While Demarcus Cousins was not a lock for the team a week ago, the injury to George, and Durant’s absence, have put Team USA in a position to need multiple big men. Cousins, while extremely skilled, still lacks in the maturity and experience department. With a shortage of forwards, Cousins will make the final 12-man roster and be extremely valuable as long as his head is right. His size and athleticism make him as unique as anyone on the team.

4. Stephen Curry - The Three-Point Layup Line

Stephen Curry, Team USA
Getty Images

4. Stephen Curry - The Three-Point Layup Line

Team USA Showcase
Getty Images

Perhaps the best point guard on this team, Curry was a member of the 2010 Gold Medal winning team as well. While his role will definitely be more integral than it was four years ago, Curry will need to be a devastating outside shooter as well as set up other players for easy baskets. Curry’s defense is always an issue, but the things he does extremely well should negate the things he doesn’t do as well.

3. James Harden - Fear The Beard Internationally

James Harden, Team USA
Getty Images

3. James Harden - Fear The Beard Internationally

James Harden, Team USA
Getty Images

James Harden is highly regarded by Team USA head coach Mike Krzyzewski as a “team leader”. Harden will receive his chance to lead as the team’s starting shooting guard, often drawing tough defensive assignments as well. These summer experiences are what help good players grow into great ones, and if Harden can step up to the challenge of team captain and defensive stalwart, he will be a force to be reckoned with this upcoming NBA season.

2. Derrick Rose - Welcome Back D-Rose!

Derrick Rose, Team USA
Getty Images

2. Derrick Rose - Welcome Back D-Rose!

Derrick Rose, Team USA
Getty Images

Before George's injury, the story coming out of Team USA training camp was the successful return of Derrick Rose. Rose, who was on the 2010 team, has the honor of being the lone NBA MVP on this team and has eased himself back into competitive basketball after missing a majority of the last 28 months. Rose must serve as a team leader, play solid defense at the guard spot and serve as a primary ball-handler in the game’s most crucial minutes.

1. Anthony Davis- Not A Star By Choice, But By Necessity

Anthony Davis, Team USA
Getty Images

1. Anthony Davis- Not A Star By Choice, But By Necessity

Anthony Davis, Team USA
Getty Images

With Durant gone, no player receives more responsibility on this team’s roster than Anthony Davis, who rode the bench on the 2012 Olympic team before ever stepping foot in the NBA. In just two short seasons, Davis has proven to be one of the league’s best commodities. Now comes his first chance to be the true leader, the star who puts all of the others on his back and swims them to safety. Durant did that in 2010, and now Davis will in 2014.

Zach Fetaru is a Los Angeles Lakers writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @fanforlife1988 ”like him” on Facebook and add him to your network on Google.