A lengthy exhibition schedule came to a successful close for Team USA on Tuesday. With a 100-78 victory over Spain in what many are saying could be a preview of the Gold medal game between these squads, the Americans completed an unblemished preseason at 5-0 and can now officially set their sights on the Games of the XXX Olympiad.
USA, however, clearly understands that winning the gold will not come easy. They received a pair of tough challenges from the likes of Brazil and Argentina during the exhibition phase, and the competition is bound to get tougher once they take to the court for real on the 29th. With this being the 20th anniversary of the original USA’s “Dream Team” that many critics say is the greatest ensemble of players for the red, white and blue, the current squad hardly resembles such.
Still, they are the legitimate favorites to win it all and with a roster boasting the likes of LeBron James, who keyed the U.S.’ triumph over Spain with a 28-point performance, Kobe Bryant, Carmelo Anthony, and Kevin Durant, it’s not hard to fathom why. The Americans, led by Duke University head coach Mike Krzyzewski, plan to rotate the starting lineups not just for the reason that every player on the roster gets a substantial amount of playing time, but also to keep the rest of the opposition guessing on the defensive-side. USA has the height and depth that should carry them through the first few contests, if not all the way to Olympic gold.
After the opening ceremony on Friday, the Americans tip-off with preliminary round action, again against Spain, on Sunday at Olympic Park’s Basketball Arena. The quarterfinals, semifinals and finals of this sport will all be held at the North Greenwich Arena.
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W| By Michael Lyle