Argentinian Pablo Prigioni believes that the absence of several key cogs to the US men's basketball national team will leave them vulnerable to defeat from host country Spain and several other teams in the upcoming basketball World Cup on Aug. 30-Sept. 14.
The New York Knick playmaker told Reuters that teams will be on the lookout for the adjustments of the United States after several players withdrew or were sidelined due to injury.
"Spain and a few other teams now have a chance of beating the United States," said Prigioni at Belgrade where friendly matches were held. "It will be interesting to see how they will adjust now they are missing their biggest names."
The US squad is already without the top names in basketball such as LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Dwight Howard, and Chris Paul. Other names who were previously attached to the team such as Kevin Durant and Kevin Love have already withdrawn their participation due to fatigue, while Blake Griffin and Paul George bowed out due to an assortment of injuries. This now leaves the fate of the team to returning Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose, Houston Rockets sharpshooter James Harden and rising star New Orleans forward Anthony Davis.
Argentina will also be fielding a squad with lesser artillery with the omission of standout and team leader Manu Ginobili who is rehabilitating a leg stress fracture, along with Milwaukee Bucks forward Carlos Delfino. Prigioni also declared that this will be his last participation for the national team in order to prepare full-time for his NBA career. He admits that it would be hard for his country to advance to the latter stages without the talented duo of Ginobili and Delfino.
His teammate and Indiana Pacers back-up power forward Luis Scola believes the defending champions are still the team to beat. Unlike Prigioni, he declared that this will not be his last appearance for the national team.
"The United States are always a good team no matter who plays and Spain will obviously be contenders too as the host nation," Scola said.