1 of 2
Carlos Boozer

BEIJING — Carlos Boozer is not making a "big" issue out of a smallish, speed-oriented United States men's Olympic basketball team and the fact that rotations and court combinations are cutting into his playing time.

The Utah Jazz all-star power forward is one of three big men on the U.S. roster, joined by starter Dwight Howard and fellow reserve Chris Bosh.

But there are times when head coach Mike Krzyzewski has swingmen Carmelo Anthony or LeBron James as the tallest Americans out on the court.

No big deal, says Boozer.

"I'm playing for my country, and I'm honored to be out there," said Boozer, who didn't even get off the bench in Tuesday's exhibition victory over Australia. "If I'm out there for five minutes, I'm happy."

It's a far cry from the 2004 Athens

Games, when Boozer was a young reserve watching the Americans go 5-3 overall and settle for the bronze medal.

"We're winning, we're very, very unselfish," he said. "The key for us is that we're seeming to play great defense."

No, Team USA's problem is not on offense.

"Everyone on the team is a 20-point-per-game scorer or more, so all we have to do as a team is work hard defensively," Boozer said. "If we play good, we have a chance to win every game. And that's exciting — 'cause all we can do is go up from here."


E-mail: [email protected]