Monday , Aug , 04 , 2008 Oly Sandor

Who starts at PG for Team USA: Kidd, Paul, or Williams?

Yesterday, the well-tenured Kidd lost his starting point guard spot to Paul for the second-half of Team USA’s 89-68 win against Russia. In fact, the veteran didn’t play a second after the intermission, while his understudy performed against a tough European champion. Has the student passed the master? Should CP3 permanently start at the one-spot for Team USA? …

Who starts at PG for Team USA: Kidd, Paul, or Williams?Like it or not, Jason Kidd will make room for Chris Paul. How much room and how soon is unclear.

Yesterday, the well-tenured Kidd lost his starting point guard spot to Paul for the second-half of Team USA’s 89-68 win against Russia. In fact, the veteran didn’t play a second after the intermission, while his understudy performed against a tough European champion.

Has the student passed the master? Should CP3 permanently start at the one-spot for Team USA?

Kidd is older. No doubt about it. But with age comes wisdom and the Hall of Fame table-setter has heaps of international experience, going undefeated in a red, white, and blue uniform. After all, he was a tri-captain in Sydney, Australia and a key member of America’s 2003 pre-qualifying Olympic squad.     

That said Kidd has never possessed outside range, relying on penetration and passing. His style works perfectly in the razzle-dazzle NBA, but not so much in international basketball, where point guards must nail open looks against zones. And some argue Kidd’s international success has been a bi-product of Team USA’s past dominance. Nothing more.

Enter Paul.  

The Hornet is hitting his prime, averaging a classic 22 points, 12 assists, and 3 steals per game for New Orleans in 2007-08. Best of all, his speed and ability to change pace pressures defences and creates space.

Paul’s skill-set is better suited for the international game, too. His outside range will punish sagging zones, while his quickness constantly produces open looks and opportunities.

Of course, there’s a wildcard –Paul’s 2005 draft mate Deron Williams. The Utah star was Team USA’s best player in a tough second half versus Russia. Williams, if he keeps performing, could land major minutes in China.

Right now, the past is transitioning with the future. In Beijing, Team USA could continue using Paul and Williams instead of Kidd.

Should Kidd, Paul, or Williams start at point guard? Get at us in the comment box below and come back to HoopsVibe the Blog for more NBA tidbits. Photo courtesy of talonsgrip1223.