Team USA is absolutely stacked at point guard.
Stephen Curry is playing off the ball, and Damian Lillard didn’t even make the team. That leaves Kyrie Irving and Derrick Rose battling to start in the World Cup.
Both have allies on the coaching staff. Irving played for Team USA head coach Mike Krzyzewski at Duke, and Rose plays for Team USA assistant Tom Thibodeau with the Bulls.
So who will win the position battle?
Kyrie Irving will start opposite Goran Dragic at point guard Tuesday night when Team USA plays Slovenia in its final tuneup game leading into the FIBA World Cup.
But Team USA coach Mike Krzyzewski, in tabbing Irving as his starter against the Dragic-led Slovenians, told ESPN.com that one option under consideration is letting Irving and Derrick Rose trade off as the starter throughout the tournament, which opens Saturday in Bilbao with the Yanks facing Finland.
“We’ll see as thing goes on,” Krzyzewski said after Monday’s two-hour practice. “We might alternate ’em. Both of them are going to play significant minutes.”
I wouldn’t really read much into Irving starting against Slovenia. Andre Drummond and DeMar DeRozan received DNP-CDs in a friendly against Brazil, and that seemed to foreshadow them getting cut. But both made the roster.
It still seems 50-50 between Irving and Rose once the World Cup begins, and I trust Krzyzewski that both will receive plenty of playing time. There’s probably no wrong answer when it comes to picking a starter.
Team USA’s backcourt is ridiculously strong regardless.