Saturday night at the Nike Summit in Portland, Oregon, Team USA mustered together a solid fourth quarter to defeat Team World 90-84.
Team USA dominates the series leading all the way back to 1995.
As I sit at home and watch the highlights of the game I can't help but wonder, who would win if the NBA's Team USA would go up against Team World in a showdown?
The United States over the last 15 to 20 years dominated basketball globally. However, the rest of the world has caught up and now it's fair game. Just think, the last four NBA MVPs were international players. Giannis Antetokounmpo won the award back-to-back in 2018-2019 and 2019-2020. Then there's Nikola Jokic who also won the award back-to-back in 2020-2021 and 2021-2022.
This game has been a topic of discussion for curious minds alike for quite some time. It will definitely be more interesting and competitive than the All-Star game.
Here is a quick look at the American and International players who made the All-Star roster.
One thing for certain is Team World big's would be hell for Team USA to defend. Nikola Jokic, and Joel Embid are arguably the two best centers in the game. Not to mention Giannis Antetokounmpo, who I consider to be the best player in the world. He is a do-it-all type of player both offensively and defensively.
If you don't think those three names mentioned were not enough, the Team World roster would also include Pascal Siakam, a defensive specialist Rudy Gobert, and Kristaps Porzingis. This big man/forward rotation would be a problem for any opposing team.
In the backcourt, Team World is loaded as well. Superstar Luka Doncic leads the way. Luka is a feisty playmaker who is a dynamic scorer and passer. He would be paired with rising star Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, and Jamal Murray who is also originally from Canada.
Team World's wing players on the other hand are where the team may lack compared to Team USA. Buddy Hield and Bojan Bogdanovic are two knockdown shooters who you have to respect from the perimeter. Lastly is Andrew Wiggins. He provides leadership and a defensive presence needed for Team World.
Where Team USA lacks compared to Team World is under the basket. However, their wing/forward positions make up for it. My first player picked for Team USA is none other than Lebron James. He is a proven winner and floor general the team needs. Next, is Mr. Efficient, Kevin Durant. He is a lethal scorer who can score on all three levels. Kawhi Leonard wraps up the forward position. He got moves in the post, a sweet jump shot, and he is a solid defender. Not a bad player to have coming off the bench.
Speaking of scorers, I can't forget about the best shooter the game has ever seen. Steph Curry is a threat from anywhere on the court, which is a nightmare for any opposing team.
To add more firepower to Team USA, wings Devin Booker, Jayson Tatum, and James Harden are three elite scorers who can light up the scoreboard on any given night.
In the point guard position, I had a hard time choosing who would start between Damian Lillard and Kyrie Irving. You literally can't go wrong with either one, because they are both clutch players. However, I chose Irving because of his ability to maneuver, and elite ball-handling skills. Kyrie is definitely "Box Office."
Where Team USA may have a disadvantage with their bigs, Anthony Davis, Karl -Anthony Town, and Bam Adebayo. Don't get me wrong, they are solid and athletic players but I just think they will have their hands full guarding the likes of Embid, Jokic, and Antetokounmpo.
The game between Team USA and Team World would ultimately come down to match-ups. Team World has the advantage of its size and strength. They could punish Team USA in the post. However, Team USA has the upper hand in the wing positions. Playing small ball could give Team World some problems with the athleticism of Team USA. If I had to choose which team would win, I would say Team USA. Their depth in the roster may just be too much for Team World to handle.