USA Basketball senior national basketball team returned to practice floor on Aug. 14, and received another injury scare when Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins hit the floor following a collision with Anthony Davis of the New Orleans Pelicans. It appears that Cousins has dodged a bullet, however, as an MRI revealed no structural damage.
Team USA announced that Cousins is day to day and he will miss the exhibition game against Brazil on Aug. 16.
"USA Basketball National Team member DeMarcus Cousins suffered a knee-to-knee collision with a teammate during Thursday's USA practice in Chicago. According to USA Basketball team physician Dr. Lisa Callahan (Hospital for Special Surgery/New York Knicks), an MRI was done and revealed no structural damage. Cousins is listed as day to day," the team said in a statement.
Cousins, who turned 24 on Aug. 13, took to Twitter after the scare.
Thanks for all the concern, I'm fine
Cousins' was injured when he collided with Davis as both were hustling for a loose ball towards the end of a 30-minute scrimmage. He had to be helped off the court, and favored his right leg.
While the Cousins scare stopped action for a few moments, the rest of the scrimmage was a full-speed event.
Kyrie Irving drove the lane at full speed and James Harden was playing forceful defense in addition to taking his signature outside shot.
Harden may not be known for his tendency to guard one-on-one, but he was not giving any room in the scrimmage. Davis and Andre Drummond were making every effort to secure rebounds as they went to the boards hard. Kyle Korver was blasting through screens to get open, and Klay Thompson was throwing his body around in an effort to get to loose balls and make plays.
The U.S. will practice on Aug. 15 before the game against Brazil at the United Center.
Head coach Mike Krzyzewski, according Yahoo’s Marc J. Spears, has already decided on four-fifths of his starting lineup. Spears said that Derrick Rose,Stephen Curry, James Harden and Anthony Davis will start along with one more player to be decided.
The U.S. will have its hands full against a veteran Brazilian squad. Brazil has four current NBA players – Tiago Splitter, Anderson Varejao, Nene and Leandro Barbosa – on the roster. Marquinhos, aka Marcus Vinivius, and Alex Garcia have also spent time in the NBA while 22-year old Raul Neto was a second round draft selection by the Atlanta Hawks in 2013.
“They are a great team and they are very well coached,” Krzyzewski said of Brazil. “They have been together longer than us and I believe they have played four games. It’s a concern because they are a team that knows each other quite well.”