Aug 1, 2014; Las Vegas, NV, USA; USA Team Blue Derrick Rose (41) calls a play while dribbling the ball during the USA Basketball Showcase atThomas & Mack Center. Trailing the play is center Anthony Davis (42). Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

How Lamar Odom and Kevin Durant Are Encouraging Signs for Anthony Davis

One of the worries of the fans of players playing for Team USA in the 2014 FIBA World Cup in September is the toll the time will take on their bodies so close to the NBA season.

Players will have been playing for most of the summer to try to make the team before taking an exhibition tour for most of August then heading into Spain to play during the tournament which will run until mid-September. Just a couple of weeks later NBA training camp starts, not providing much downtime for the 12 stars that will head to Spain, including Anthony Davis, before the grind of the NBA season starts.While the final outlook of the roster seems completely shrouded in mystery with the loss of Kevin Durant and Paul George, Davis seems likely to fit into the mold of Lamar Odom during the last FIBA World Championship roster in 2010.

On that team Odom was one of just three true big men on the team along with Kevin Love and Tyson Chandler and was by far the most used one during the tournament, finishing with 198 total minutes to Love’s 79 and Chandler’s 77 all over the course of nine games. The similarities aren’t perfect, Davis will probably finish with the most minutes played on the roster while Odom finished seventh, and Davis will be asked to carry a bit more of a load offensively than Odom but Odom is the only big man to really try to learn from so it is worth a look.

So how did Odom’s 2010-2011 after his stint in Turkey differ from the 2009-2010 season before the extra minutes? As it turns out he actually was a bit better in more minutes.

In 2009-2010, Odom played in 82 games for the Lakers totaling 2585 minutes while posting a .533 true shooting percentage, .502 effective field goal percentage, 17.3 total rebounding percentage and 15.6 assist percentage for LA. In 2010-2011 Odom’s numbers jumped to a .589 true shooting percentage, .568 effective field goal percentage, 15.2 total rebounding percentage and 15.5 assist percentage in 2639 total minutes over 82 games.

The only other player that seems relevant to look at from that team is Durant who played 254 minutes, the most on the team, while carrying the roster to the title by destroying any defense whenever the USA needed, something Davis won’t be asked to do.

In 2009-2010 Durant played a career high 3,239 minutes over 82 games and posted a .607 true shooting percentage, .514 effective field goal percentage, 17.9 defensive rebounding percentage and 13.5 assist percentage. The numbers were very similar in 2010-2011 after Durant returned from Turkey as he played in 3,038 minutes and posted a .589 true shooting percentage, .509 effective field goal percentage, 17.7 defensive rebounding percentage and 13.2 assist percentage. The drop in shooting numbers could partially be explained by Durant not getting to the free-throw line as much in 2010-2011 as his free-throw rate dropped between the seasons from .504 in 2009-2010 to .439 in 2010-2011. The fact that the number dropped again the next season though seems to point to things not being fatigue related as much as it was just calls going different ways.

At the very least the numbers are encouraging for Davis as it showed that Odom nor Durant seemed to be worn down by the extra travel and minutes added to their bodies in Turkey during FIBA play. Like this season’s team that Team USA squad had a fairly easy run to the tournament finals as they beat Croatia, Slovenia, a depleted Brazil, Iran, Tunisia, and Angola early before knocking off Russia, Lithuania and Turkey to capture the title so there are plenty of reasons to believe that Davis should be ok in the 2014-2015 season.

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