Will Spain Defeat USA Tonight?
The U.S. played a close one against Argentina on Sunday afternoon, pulling out an 86-80 victory as Kevin Durant hit 7-11 from downtown, hitting clutch shot after clutch shot down the stretch. The U.S. have the athletic advantage against any team participating, mostly due to the presence of LeBron James, however, they lack the discipline required to make the right play every possession. They have become comfortable launching three-point shots in place of using their quickness to their advantage, which will almost certainly become their demise if they continue this style of play tonight. LeBron has the innate ability to take over any game he plays in, and tonight calls for his amplified presence.
It remains to be seen who the U.S. will bring to the floor to start the game, however, Chris Paul seems to be the logical choice as he and Kobe Bryant in the back-court will make for a two-some that know the tendencies of the Gasol brothers like no other. Kobe has played alongside Pau over the last three-and-a-half seasons while Paul dismantled Marc, the Grizzlies big-man during their seven-game series in the first round of the playoffs.
Without the likes of Dwight Howard, Chris Bosh and Blake Griffin to help the U.S. front court handle opponents size down low, they will have to rely on their ability to get up and down the floor. Carmelo Anthony and Kevin Durant have been manning the four position thus far, and they do not have the wherewithal to defend either Gasol on the block. Serge Ibaka and Jose Calderon round out a Spanish team that possess the natural talent to dismantle the U.S. squad and shatter their confidence leading into the London games.
Spain will use their height to their advantage, pounding the ball inside while the U.S. will have no answer. Kobe will then understand why this years squad would have no chance defending the likes of David Robinson and Patrick Ewing if they were to play the '92 Dream Team in another life.