USA Basketball vs. The World
With the start of the Olympics upon us, the United States Men’s Basketball Team will look to once again defend their gold medal.
The United States has been the dominant force of basketball in the Olympics, winning 14 of the 17 Olympic gold medals they have competed for.
It is seemingly unfair that the United States is the only team that has an entire roster of NBA players, but anything is possible. The question becomes, who stands the best chance at upsetting the United States?
Let’s first take a look at the roster that the United States is bringing to the show:
The roster is almost all Olympic newcomers except for Anthony and Durant. This could be the largest detriment to the United States, however they do have seven players who just played in the Conference Finals.
Now a look at the teams that may give the United States a run for their medal.
In all reality, Spain seems to have the only real chance to dethrone the United States. However, we will give the rest of the teams a chance and choose three that could contend.
This is quite a stretch by all means, but they do have solid players in Nikola Jokic and Bogdan Bogdanovic. Those two probably will not be enough to carry them through, but they are returning almost their entire roster from the 2014 FIBA tournament, which won them a silver medal in a loss to the United States.
This French team almost got the opportunity to play against the USA in 2014, but lost to Serbia. However, they did finish with a bronze medal. They have a lineup with some decent players. Nicolas Batum, Boris Diaw, Rudy Gobert, and Tony Parker headline the roster. Gobert will provide a solid inside presence that will be needed against the United States’ big men. They will also look to Batum to provide a perimeter shot that can spread the floor.
Spain is coming into this as the silver medal winners from the last two Olympics. Their roster is a little different than in 2012. They do not have Serge Ibaka or Marc Gasol this time around. However, they have added Nikola Mirotic and Ricky Rubio. Mirotic can provide a spark both inside and out with his shooting and 6′ 10″ frame. Rubio is often criticized for being too passive and not a good contributor in the NBA, but he seems to come into a different zone when it comes to National play. We will see if that game can translate against the big boys in the Olympics.
The basketball portion of the Olympics kicks off on Saturday with match-ups between Australia and France, China and the United States, and Venezuela and Serbia.