“No Tatum or KD is wild”: Fans react to Team USA snubbing Jayson Tatum and Kevin Durant from starting lineup vs Canada

Basketball fans react to Team USA

Basketball fans react to Team USA’s starting five against Canada without Kevin Durant or Jayson Tatum. [photo: USAB IG]

After a four-day training camp in Las Vegas, Team USA will face Canada in an exhibition game at the T-Mobile Arena. This will be the first meeting between the two teams since the Canadians beat the Americans at the 2023 FIBA World Cup. Although this is a no-bearing game, fans will be excited to see who will win.

OKC Thunder stars Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Lu Dort will open the game for the Canadians. Denver Nuggets point guard Jamal Murray, Houston Rockets enforcer Dillon Brooks and Dallas Mavericks center Dwight Powell will join them.

Team USA coach Steve Kerr picked LeBron James, Joel Embiid, Devin Booker, Jrue Holiday and Steph Curry to line up for tip-off. Basketball fans quickly reacted to the Americans’ first five.

“No Tatum or kd is wild”

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A couple of fans trolled Tatum over not starting:

“Tatum got his chain snatched by Jrue Holiday in practice im cringe,” one fan said.

“They chose a Celtics role player over another nothing wrong,” another said.An “SGA” supporter didn’t hold back:

“Just to lose to Shai”Another fan wanted Steve Kerr to use a different combination:

“Woahhh surprised Ant-man not starting and Jrue over Tatum lol”Kevin Durant is held out due to a minor calf injury. Jayson Tatum is healthy but was two days late into training camp for personal reasons. Even if they’re not starting, Kerr will lean on them eventually.

The Americans have the deepest and most talented roster but Kerr can use only five at a time. If the USA coach sticks to this starting lineup, his bench will have Durant, Tatum, Anthony Davis, Anthony Edwards, Tyrese Haliburton, Bam Adebayo and Derrick White.

Team USA is favored to win regardless of starters

At the start of training camp, Steve Kerr gave a clue about who could be his Team USA starters. In his press conference, he said that he was looking for “chemistry” and players with “two-way” impact. He also emphasized he will purposely use different combinations to get the result he wants.

Based on that tenet, one could assume that LA Lakers teammates Anthony Davis and LeBron James could be on the court together. The same for Kevin Durant and Devin Booker, who are Phoenix Suns stars. Kerr picked Derrick White to replace Kawhi Leonard, giving him three Boston Celtics players to lean on for chemistry.

The more time Team USA plays games together, the more rhythm the stars will develop. Eventually, who starts will not matter. The Americans can romp to a gold medal finish even if Steve Kerr continues to tweak his lineup.

Talent will not guarantee a gold medal finish, but the Americans are committed to working on their chemistry. If Team USA can get that as the 2024 Olympics starts it will not matter who lines up first.

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