The United States will once again be represented in basketball by men and women’s teams as both are coming off of gold medal runs in 2008.
The men’s team as been hit with injury in a bad way as many of the gold medal winners from 2008 have been replaced with younger and able players such as a Kevin Durant. Players hit with injuries (Dwayne Wade, Chris Bosh and Blake Griffin) will be missed greatly but the replacements should suffice.
Anthony Davis, the number one overall pick in the NBA draft, makes his appearance on the squad becoming the first college player to play for the Olympic team since 1992. He is one of the only true big men on the team since the injury to Blake Griffin and Davis has not disappointed.
Davis and injuries aren’t the only story of the 2012 team. 20 years ago the “Greatest Team Ever Assembled” , and yes I did capitalize every letter, played and dominated the Olympics. The Documentary, The Dream Team, was released and other talks began to occur.
Comparisons were talked up and everyone and their mother had to let opinions go wild. Scotty Pippin was quoted as saying that “The Dream Team” would beat the current team by twenty-five or more. Michael Jordan laughed at the notion that Kobe Bryant’s team could even touch his.
President Obama even stated that “The Dream Team” would beat the current team. Charles Barkley and many others supported the ’92 squad but one man stuck with his team and said the opposite would happen. The man self dubbed the “Black Mamba” said that the 2012 team could claim victory in one game.[youtube:http://youtube.com/watch?v=XakHoF9czX0%5D [youtube:http://youtube.com/watch?v=05Xlu3wLRIo&feature=related%5D
After all of the talks everyone knows that this game would never happen and the main focus began; winning games. The United States team had a rough outing against Brazil which boasts three NBA players, Leandro Barbosa, Nene, and Anderson Varejao.
After being down by double digits at one point the team refueled and took a hard fought victory by a score of 80-69. Lebron James scored 30 points, had six rebounds and four steals. The team was severely out rebounded and that size that was not made an issue might be one.
The U.S team played against Britain and in dominated 118-78. The night was highlighted by two players that responded to a lineup change very well: Deron Williams and Carmelo Anthony. Williams was inserted into the starting lineup for Chris Paul and Anthony was replaced by Kevin Durant. Both Anthony and Williams scored 19 points against Lou Deng’s Britain team. Deng scored 25 points.
This squad has the potential to be great, maybe not “The Dream Team” but you never know. Every game will be put under a microscope and every flaw will be exposed as we head closer to the London Olympics.
Needless to say, if this team stays on track winning the Olympics will not be a “dream”.