In the lovely city of Madrid, to be exact. That's where he and the rest of Team USA will play tomorrow, against Lithuania. It's their antepenultimate tune-up game before the FIBA world championships officially start next weekend in Turkey. Team USA has an exhibition against Spain on Sunday and then another against Greece on Wednesday in Athens.
Lithuania has an OK squad. Last I checked, they were listed at 40-to-1 to win the tournament, which were the eighth-best odds among the field of 24. In the Beijing Olympics two years ago they finished fourth, which doesn't sound too bad, although they lost by 36 points to the Redeem Team, which admittedly does sound pretty bad. Linas Kleiza, now of the Toronto Raptors, plays for Lithuania, but the guy you should really keep an eye on is Donatas Motiejunas. He's a seven-foot power forward whom many are predicting will be a high-lottery pick in next year's NBA draft.
Team USA will roll to a big win, in all likelihood, but that's not really the point. The emphasis tomorrow will be on polishing offensive and defensive sets, getting Kevin Durant to shoot more and figuring out who will be the last player cut. It sounds like either Stephen Curry or Russell Westbrook will be the one left behind. Curry has an injured left ankle, and Westbrook might not have any minutes available to him, with two drive-first point guards (Derrick Rose and Rajon Rondo) already considered locks for the roster. Word is the starting lineup will be Rondo at the point, Chauncey Billups at shooting guard, Durant at small forward, Andre Iguodala at power forward and Tyson Chandler at center.
The game is at noon Pacific time and will be carried on both ESPN and ESPN3.com. We'll have a game thread teed up, so pop on by if you happen to be watching. Personally, I look forward to learning how to pronounce "Donatas Motiejunas."
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