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IC Cold Links: Granger Watches Team USA Beat Spain; Pacers Still Need Power Forward Answer

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Team USA put forth a solid effort on Sunday to defeat rival contender Spain, 86-85 in a "friendly" exhibition game in Madrid.

Coach Mike Krzyzewski played his starters the bulk of the minutes and didn't play Danny Granger, Rajon Rondo or Kevin Love at all. Chris Sheridan felt Coach K wanted this win to give his team confidence thus his reliance on the starters.

As for Granger's DNP-CD, Pete Thamel reports that Coach K wanted to give the limited bench minutes to some younger players vying for the final roster spot.

Krzyzewski said that Rondo and Danny Granger did not play because they were veterans and the coaches knew what they were getting out of them. Rose said that Rondo was sick with a sinus problem, although that notion was later dismissed.

I expect Granger to get plenty of playing time before the World Championships are over albeit in a role off the bench. Those minutes will vary depending on matchups and how the games play out. No complaints here about Granger gathering some low-mileage experience with Team USA. Next up, the team goes to Athens for one more tune up against Greece on Wednesday.

After the jump, more links with stories about Team USA as well as a couple of thoughts on the Pacers remaining a work in progress. Mike Wells points out the remaining uncertainty at power forward and our own Ian Levy takes a look at how the Pacers currently project from a Wins Produced standpoint. Both make the case that the Pacers still have work to do to improve enough to make the playoffs.