Have you been paying much attention to the 2010 FIBA World Championship? We venture to guess probably not since games are played in the early afternoon most times.
It’s probably even less interesting because Team USA doesn’t feature the likes of Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Dwight Howard or basically any of the other stars we watched during the 2008 Summer Olympics.
But this version of Team USA does feature some great young talent in guys like Derrick Rose, Kevin Durant, Eric Gordon and Steph Curry, among others.
So, this squad is kind of interesting to watch. It’s also kind of scary.
As is the case in a lot of international tournaments, Team USA is the most athletic team in the field. And they’re probably not the favorite to win this thing.
One would say Spain, except it has already lost twice and will suffer from a bad draw in the knockout stage when/if it qualifies. Greece will get some love, but it has lost too. Argentina? Maybe. But who’s to say the States isn’t he best team going in this tournament?
We will soon find out one way or another.
Team USA did away with Iran by a 88-51 score this afternoon and will play winless Tunisia in the last game of group play Thursday.
When it’s all said and done the United States will roll through Group B without a loss, but it could set up a quarterfinal matchup with Spain if things break the right (er, wrong?) way. If Spain gets rolling, kind of a big if at this point, that’s not a game the U.S. wants to play so early in the knockout stage.
Either way, don’t you think Team USA will be favored in every game moving forward? We do. But that doesn’t mean it will happen.
Team USA’s biggest issues — and this really isn’t a surprise — will be defending the pick-and-roll on defense and running a set offense. There’s no doubt Coach K will try to use pressure to speed teams up and create easy offense. But during critical moments late in an international tournament game the best teams can execute half court offense and convert buckets.
In theory Team USA should be really, really good at that too. If it continues to develop that ability to execute it will at the very least contend for a gold medal and could bring the first World Championship back to the States since 1994.
If not we could be frustrated by the end of next week.