Brook Lopez is the best center on the Team USA roster by roughly 500 miles. And coach Mike Krzyzewski would walk 500 miles and then would walk 500 more just to be the man who had a real low post presence on his team.
But in the white vs. blue Team USA scrimmage Saturday Lopez was, well, unimpressive. Two points, not one board. The biggest man on the floor was invisible.
The reason? He’s still playing his way back into shape after a bout with mononucleosis.
You remember when you had mono in college, the disease that gave you an excuse to sleep all day and watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer reruns, when that’s all you wanted to do anyway? It just wipes out your energy.
Team USA officials get that and are expected to invite Lopez to be part of the 15 coming to New York next month. However, if he continues to be this lackluster he may not be part of the final 12 heading to Turkey.
The real question Team USA officials face is do they make JaVale McGee — the third center who has looked pretty good — in camp an invite to the final 15 just as a precaution? A healthy Lopez is a far superior choice to McGee, but will Lopez be ready next month? The answer on McGee will come later today with cut downs.