The United States Men’s Basketball Team is ripe for an upset. They have won 73 straight games, a mammoth streak in any sport. In those 73 games, only four of them have been decided by three points or less. So why are they in danger? Maybe because two of those four have been this week.
The US team has seemed to forget how to defend. Both of their previous opponents in Serbia and France broke 90 points on them. That’s in a 40 minute game no less. While the US team is loaded with not just NBA players, but NBA All Stars, the gap between them and say, Australia, France or tonight’s opponent, Argentina is not as wide as it once was. The Aussies are so good that at this point a win over the US team might not be considered an upset. Paddy Mills is a scoring machine and they also have Andrew Bogut and Matthew Dellavadova. Those are names even casual NBA fans are familiar with.
The there is the Spanish team, who seems to be red hot right now. They are about as full of NBA players, past and present, and maybe future , as any in these games. With guys like Pau Gasol, Nikola Miritic, Rudy Fernandez, Ricky Rubio and Jose Calderon, they can run some talent out there. And now, after a slow start, they seem to be clicking after blowing Lithuania out by 50 and then hammering a tough Argentina squad in their last game.
Speaking of Argentina, they will bring Manu Ginobli, Luis Scola, Andrew Nocioni and a guy you better watch out for in Facundo Campazzo.
The US team cannot just show up, run around for 40 minutes with lob dunks and walk away with gold. They have to play team defense. The last two times out, they haven’t done much of that. Serbia could have sent the game into overtime had a Bogdan Bogdanovich three at the buzzer gone in. One of these days, that shot will go and it could be the knockout blow for the US Team.