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Team USA Olympic Basketball Thread


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#51 Captaincoop


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Posted 10 August 2008 - 02:29 AM

I'm watching Greece versus Spain right now. I am reserving judgment until the USA plays a full-speed Olympic game, but let's say I'm tentatively feeling good about our chances of winning this tournament.

I cannot imagine Greece beating the USA in a fairly called game (granted, that is a lot to ask for in an Olympic tournament). Aside from Spanoulis, the PG, who is a very athletic and resourceful offensive player, I don't see anyone who is a threat to create his own shot against Team USA. On the offensive end, Greece has been sloppy with the ball and if the US plays assertive man-to-man, it's going to result in a lot of turnovers and transition hoops. Defensively, Greece has played a very passive zone, and if they do that against the US, Kobe and Redd are going to light them up.

Spain looks better, and I am worried about their guards beating our guards off the dribble and then either taking it for layups or creating open looks for their big men. Someone needs to keep a body on Rudy Fernandez all the time; he feeds off lazy defense, slipping into the lane without the ball and grabbing loose balls or getting open layups. When Rubio (the backup PG) is on the floor, I can see Coach K being forced to get Kidd out of the game, as this kid is just too fast for Kidd at this point in his career. That being said, Rubio is definitely prone to being passive with the dribble if he can't get past his man right away; if Paul is guarding him, we're going to frustrate him into making a lot of mistakes. Marc Gasol looks like the polar opposite of his brother; he has lousy hands and sloppy footwork but is a nice banger in this game, where the officials call nothing in the paint.

Should be a fun tournament, but I think Team USA would have to lay an egg to lose to Greece...and Spain would have to really shoot the ball well to beat them.

edit: Greece has switched to man defense in the third quarter and is now really getting lit up. They don't have the speed to keep Spain's guards out of the lane.

Edited by Captaincoop, 10 August 2008 - 02:32 AM.


#52 southshoresoxfan

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Posted 10 August 2008 - 09:25 AM

why does this team look so panicked all the time? its fucking china

#53 Clears Cleaver


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Posted 10 August 2008 - 09:31 AM

this is actually hilariously bad. why doesn't the US team have guys that can shoot, or is no one in the USofA capable of hitting a 20-footer?

I mean I watch this and think the Celtics would beat China by 20. of course, that would mean Coach K would not be the coach which is a positive

#54 Clears Cleaver


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Posted 10 August 2008 - 09:33 AM

Yi still sucks

#55 pdaj

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Posted 10 August 2008 - 09:55 AM

Yi still sucks


W/O him, China would be down 40 at the half.

#56 PayrodsFirstClutchHit

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Posted 10 August 2008 - 10:28 AM

China is fading fast. Look for USA to win this by 40+.

#57 Rocco Graziosa


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Posted 10 August 2008 - 10:45 AM

I like what I see so far, but this Chinese team is so bad its hard to take much away. USA teams looks focused and not too cocky, so I guess thats good. Dwayne Wade continues to be on a fucking mission. There was a TON of energy in that building at the beginning of the game. Thats all I got....

Edit: That announcers are touching on something fairly important.....the Chinese are gonna be rooting FOR team USA this tournament. That is really gonna help in a tight game.......takes some of the tension away, tension you could cut with a knife in Athens.

Edited by Rocco Graziosa, 10 August 2008 - 10:45 AM.


#58 serotonin

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Posted 10 August 2008 - 10:58 AM

Really hard to get a feel for this USA team from this game. China kept it close early with some lights out shooting, but USA also started 1/12? from 3, and I don't see that happening again. The number of wide open looks the Chinese had throughout the game is a bit concerning.

#59 Jeff Van GULLY

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Posted 10 August 2008 - 11:01 AM

How about Michael Redd? 3-9 from the field but I can tell this guy is going to be a key cog for this U.S. team. Bombs away Mike.

And fuck Jason Kidd, he should see 5 minutes or less a game unless Paul and Williams are injured or they start to struggle.

#60 Euclis20

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Posted 10 August 2008 - 11:13 AM

Edit: That announcers are touching on something fairly important.....the Chinese are gonna be rooting FOR team USA this tournament. That is really gonna help in a tight game.......takes some of the tension away, tension you could cut with a knife in Athens.


I missed the game...did the announcers say why the Chinese would be rooting for team USA? I understand why they wouldn't in Athens, but I don't understand why they would in Beijing.

#61 Rocco Graziosa


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Posted 10 August 2008 - 11:14 AM

I missed the game...did the announcers say why the Chinese would be rooting for team USA? I understand why they wouldn't in Athens, but I don't understand why they would in Beijing.


I guess the Chinese sees them as rock stars. Ming is the biggest athlete in China and I would guess these people are HUGE NBA fans as well. At any rate, they seem to love the US. The players left the court to a massive ovation and they waved to the crowd to acknowledge.

Edited by Rocco Graziosa, 10 August 2008 - 11:16 AM.


#62 shawnrbu


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Posted 10 August 2008 - 11:15 AM

Because the Chinese love the NBA.

#63 Hendu's Gait


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Posted 10 August 2008 - 11:18 AM

I missed the game...did the announcers say why the Chinese would be rooting for team USA? I understand why they wouldn't in Athens, but I don't understand why they would in Beijing.


Walmart

#64 Nick Kaufman


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Posted 10 August 2008 - 11:44 AM

Walmart


Warmart, Row prices.. Rive Better! :angry:

Edited by Nick Kaufman, 10 August 2008 - 11:44 AM.


#65 Nick Kaufman


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Posted 10 August 2008 - 11:45 AM

Other than that, as I suspected Spain's got our number and the US is still the favorites...

#66 Awesome Fossum

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Posted 10 August 2008 - 12:11 PM

Spain handled Greece pretty easily, 81-66. They are clearly the competition.

#67 pdaj

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Posted 10 August 2008 - 12:14 PM

I missed the game...did the announcers say why the Chinese would be rooting for team USA? I understand why they wouldn't in Athens, but I don't understand why they would in Beijing.


Because the Chinese love the NBA.

That simple.

#68 ent5

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Posted 10 August 2008 - 12:24 PM

I missed the game...did the announcers say why the Chinese would be rooting for team USA? I understand why they wouldn't in Athens, but I don't understand why they would in Beijing.


NBC had a report on how some American players may be more popular than Yao himself, his jersey is the 6th best selling jersey in China after Kobe, LeBron... and even his teammate McGrady.
During the opening ceremony, the 2nd loudest ovation after team China was when Kobe's picture flashed on the screen.

#69 Captaincoop


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Posted 10 August 2008 - 01:56 PM

And fuck Jason Kidd, he should see 5 minutes or less a game unless Paul and Williams are injured or they start to struggle.


I respectfully disagree. Kidd did a much better job defensively than I expected to see at his age, he smothered China's guards at that end. And offensively he didn't do much that would show up in a box score, but he made all the smart passes and controlled the tempo for the USA, which is enormously important.

I thought Paul played very well offensively but lost his man defensively a number of times and was part of the reason China saw so many open looks from three - when he was off the ball he wanted to cheat into the lane too much to help, and with the crisp ball movement (which we will continue to see in this tournament) that resulted in his man ending up wide open somewhere other than where Paul left him.

Williams played great defense most of the time he was on the floor but I thought he forced some things offensively, missed some shots that he maybe shouldn't have taken at all, and generally didn't keep the ball moving offensively the way the other PGs did.

From that game, I see no reason whatsoever to change the rotation at PG.

#70 HomeRunBaker


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Posted 10 August 2008 - 02:36 PM

Would you bet $100 to win $1000 that the USA doesn't medal at all? Serious question.


I would make that wager. Otherwise this team would have to medal in over 90% of similar tournaments which i do not believe they would. Spain is the best team here IMO with a few others right behind them, including the USA.........we should medal but this is certainly no guarantee. Recent history should show that this is no guarantee.


Should be a fun tournament, but I think Team USA would have to lay an egg to lose to Greece...and Spain would have to really shoot the ball well to beat them.

Agreed. The only problem is that Spain figures to shoot the ball well since they have good shooters and our NBA defenders are not accustomed to defending their style of offense.


this is actually hilariously bad. why doesn't the US team have guys that can shoot, or is no one in the USofA capable of hitting a 20-footer?


I'll give them a pass here.....first game ever shooting in this arena or really in this country. Being familiar with the backdrop is extremely important to perimeter shooting consistentcy........this is one major factor in home court advantage during the course of a season.

Having said that.....this team (or any All-Star team) will be forced to adjust to a different flow to their offensive games in FIBA which will affect their comfort zones which in turn can affect their perimeter shooting.

Edited by HomeRunBaker, 10 August 2008 - 02:45 PM.


#71 pdaj

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Posted 10 August 2008 - 03:01 PM

The only problem is that Spain figures to shoot the ball well since they have good shooters and our NBA defenders are not accustomed to defending their style of offense.


No other team can match USA's physical style. Spain, included. And I doubt anyone on their squad is accustomed to facing a guy like Lebron - nevermind when he's surrounded with our nation's best.

If the U.S. team keeps there business-like demeanor (i.e. playing defense) throughout, they'll take the Gold.

This year's team reminds me of a boxer that continually works his opponent's body. It may not always be pretty, but it's brutally effective. They push the ball, attack the basket at every opportunity, and then get back defensively. Spain will have to shoot ABSOLUTELY LIGHTS out in order to compete.

And I'm not saying that can't.

But there's just too much on the line for this U.S. squad. They're taking this personally, as they should.

They can't come home losers. And they won't.

I'd bet anything on that.

#72 reggiecleveland


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Posted 10 August 2008 - 06:20 PM

NBC had a report on how some American players may be more popular than Yao himself, his jersey is the 6th best selling jersey in China after Kobe, LeBron... and even his teammate McGrady.
During the opening ceremony, the 2nd loudest ovation after team China was when Kobe's picture flashed on the screen.


I wonder how many people who bought a Kobe jersey already have a Yao jersey?

My cousin workds as an international investment banker in China (he could buy and sell me) and he says a lot of the Chinses youth are into American and western things as a way of rebelling against the commies. JUst like the USSR you can't allow a little bit of freedom. The next twenty years in China will be interesting.

China is a pretty good team/ Those guards will penetrate against a lot of teams they looked pretty weak today but they were up against incredible defenders and the first entry pass was taken away almost every trip they shoot the ball well and the team D was very good they were just not athletic enough.

#73 Captaincoop


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Posted 11 August 2008 - 12:58 AM

The only problem is that Spain figures to shoot the ball well since they have good shooters and our NBA defenders are not accustomed to defending their style of offense.


HRB - Spain does have good shooters, but they would have to shoot even better than they normally do to beat the US, IMHO. Team USA's three-point defense, as Doug Collins harped on during the China game, needs to improve. But even if it doesn't Spain still has to hit a lot of the open shots to win. I'm actually less concerned about Spain's perimeter shooting and more concerned with their guards getting into the lane to create easy looks for everyone else. But the way Kidd stayed with a pair of very quick Chinese PGs made me feel a little better about that. I also think that the Spanish team's proclivity for forcing passes is going to play right into Team USA's hands; Kobe and Lebron will get their hands on a ton of those passes and it should lead to a lot of transition; and transition is the one area where no team can hang with the US. Our halfcourt offense really isn't that good compared to the other good teams in this tournament - Team USA's medal hopes hinge on rebounding, halfcourt D and the easy baskets those two strengths will create.

Anyway, so far so good. Team USA looked sharper than I expected against China and both Spain and Greece look beatable.

#74 jsinger121


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Posted 11 August 2008 - 05:45 AM

I was pretty happy to see NBC using the old NBA on NBC theme song during the US game yesterday.

#75 loshjott

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Posted 11 August 2008 - 08:13 AM

I don't know if it's been mentioned here, or if it's even relevant here, but that Nike ad with Marvin Gaye singing the anthem and Team USA practicing in slo-mo is just awesome. The best Nike ad I've seen, ever. I didn't know that Marvin Gaye footage existed. Just a superb ad.

Now, carry on back to game analysis.



EDIT: Marvin Gaye sang the anthem during the 1983 NBA all-star game. I guess I should have known that.

Edited by loshjott, 11 August 2008 - 08:16 AM.


#76 TheRooster

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Posted 11 August 2008 - 08:55 AM

Assuming his teammates stay within themselves, LBJ is going to be the difference. I sense he views this as his coming out/coronation and there simply isn't anyone on the planet with his size/strength/athleticism. I certainly agree that it is concievable for the US to not win the gold, but I really believe they will. By the way, I'd really like to see Howard and Bosh on the court together more often.

#77 Captaincoop


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Posted 11 August 2008 - 12:07 PM

In case there was any doubt who the Chinese fans would be rooting for in a potential USA-Spain matchup:

http://www.guardian....mpicsbasketball

Now if we have a close game it will be Spain dealing with a hostile crowd. Smart move, guys. I know Spain has a dreadful history of racism in sports (mainly soccer), but seriously, wow. Who thought this was a good idea?

#78 Awesome Fossum

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Posted 11 August 2008 - 03:42 PM

I don't know if it's been mentioned here, or if it's even relevant here, but that Nike ad with Marvin Gaye singing the anthem and Team USA practicing in slo-mo is just awesome. The best Nike ad I've seen, ever. I didn't know that Marvin Gaye footage existed. Just a superb ad.

Now, carry on back to game analysis.
EDIT: Marvin Gaye sang the anthem during the 1983 NBA all-star game. I guess I should have known that.


That is a good ad. Here is the full-length version on YouTube.

In one of Bill Simmons's mailbags, he listed the best performances of a national anthem:

1. Marvin Gaye (1983 NBA All-Star Game, Los Angeles)
The greatest moment in NBA All-Star Game history, hands down, nothing else comes close. And that's saying something. I don't want to build it up too much, but you have to remember the circumstances: it was the early-'80s; they were in the celebrity capital of the world; Marvin was probably the coolest singer alive at the time; Bird, Isiah, Magic, Kareem, Doctor J, Moses, Jack Sikma and Jack Sikma's blonde permed afro were looking on; the expectations were pretty high to begin with; and everyone sang the song in the most traditional way possible up until that point. So Marvin saunters out with his oversized sunglasses, gives the song his own little spin and absolutely crushes it ... by the tail end of the song, the entire Forum is clapping and swaying like it's the Apollo Theater. This will never be topped. It's impossible. Right year, right sport, right city. Even more poignant when you remember that he was killed just 14 months later.



#79 Wingack


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Posted 12 August 2008 - 06:58 AM

Crowd at the USA - Angola game getting treated to some pre-game Billy Joel music over the loudspeakers.

#80 ifmanis5


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Posted 12 August 2008 - 07:04 AM

Haircut update: Angola does corn rows.

#81 Wingack


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Posted 12 August 2008 - 07:34 AM

Angola is making this interesting actually.

US: 39
Angola: 32

Angola has some impressive players.

#82 ifmanis5


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Posted 12 August 2008 - 08:12 AM

Wade looks 100%. No injury worries. He could be huge this season. Kobe's shot is off right now. Boozer looks a little lost. Why is Prince on this team again?
Also, Bosh is one of those guys that if you played him on the playground, his elbow would find your face once every 5 minutes.
It's weird to hear the old NBC NBA music going into commercials- 1990's flashbacks! Tesh = $$$

#83 Euclis20

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Posted 12 August 2008 - 08:20 AM

It's easy to forget because he's missed so much time over the last couple years, but a healthy Dwyane Wade is one of the 5 best players in the NBA.

How many times does Prince have to be called underrated before he becomes, well, not?

Edited by Euclis20, 12 August 2008 - 08:21 AM.


#84 ifmanis5


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Posted 12 August 2008 - 08:29 AM

Bad news- Craig Sager's mustard suits didn't make it through customs.

#85 There is no Rev


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Posted 12 August 2008 - 10:01 AM

Where are y'all watching these games? We had the Today Show on where I'm at.

#86 ifmanis5


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Posted 12 August 2008 - 10:16 AM

It wasn't on NBC...USA Network.

#87 Euclis20

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Posted 12 August 2008 - 10:16 AM

Where are y'all watching these games? We had the Today Show on where I'm at.


I believe the basketball game this morning was on USA.

#88 ifmanis5


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Posted 12 August 2008 - 10:32 AM

Also, if you have Time Warner cable, hoops has its own HD channel.

#89 There is no Rev


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Posted 12 August 2008 - 11:22 AM

It appears I'll have to try to watch on the internet.

Thanks.

#90 shane88888

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Posted 12 August 2008 - 01:04 PM

Bad news- Craig Sager's mustard suits didn't make it through customs.


I can wait for NBA season. I have a feeling Saigs picked up some truly atrocious suits in Macau.

#91 Kraut

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Posted 12 August 2008 - 06:04 PM

Zere is a German basketball fan here? The rarity of rarities!

What? Handball not good for you? :)

Welcome. :)


Basketball and baseball (Go Charlie!!) and of course also handball but not fussball.


Welcome to Fiba basketball Chris!
3 turnovers in the first 2 minutes. He seemed completely shocked. I'm sure he never saw that kind of D before, the patented Greek tough and dirty style. Germany with one 2-point FG in the first 28 minutes. O-n-e in 28 minutes. 1.
The German coach (certainly no Tito) harshly criticized his team for not playing hard.... and he was right.
Can't wait for Greece-USA. Should be a great game.
Argentina looked impressive in its win against Australia. I love watching the Gauchos because of their great passing. But they have no bench.

#92 lexrageorge

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Posted 13 August 2008 - 07:19 PM

(Not-so) random thought: how would the Celtics do in this tourney? (they are all American, right?) Would they be favored over Team USA? For the gold? I only know the basics of the FIBA differences, but my gut tells me they'd still be favored. Perhaps I just ate something funny.



Play the game at the Garden, with NBA rules, NBA officials, and the Celtics win by 40 or more against any of the current Olympic entries (USA excepted). In a best of 7 series, the Celtics win in a handy sweep. Hey, the beat Bryant/Gasol by the same amount just a couple of months back.

Play the game overseas, FIBA rules, FIBA "officials", and I'll call it a toss-up. Medal? Probably. Gold? Could happen, but just I am not sure they'd be favorites against a Spain.

The 2008 USA Olympic team is by far the most talented entry of this Olympics, and would beat Spain, Greece, et al, 3 out of every 4 nights. The problem is that in the single elimination format, you could come up on that 4th night, which is what happened in 2006, and you're looking very bronze. :D

#93 ElUno20

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Posted 13 August 2008 - 11:56 PM

Am I the only one who is pretty hyped for this game? I hope our boys come out the gate strong and match Greece's physicality. 5 Am on the west coast, I'm in!

#94 ifmanis5


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Posted 14 August 2008 - 06:59 AM

Revenge game. Let's bury these Hellas punks.

#95 ifmanis5


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Posted 14 August 2008 - 07:01 AM

Sager just isn't the same in a boring golf shirt. Get this man a lime or canary suit pronto!

#96 southshoresoxfan

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Posted 14 August 2008 - 07:03 AM

I'm up, game thread?

#97 ElUno20

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Posted 14 August 2008 - 07:05 AM

Kidd with 3 fouls in the first minute and a half. WTF. Let's go CP3.

And now Kobe with an intentional foul. Come on. We've got 5 team fouls already.

Edited by ElUno20, 14 August 2008 - 07:07 AM.


#98 southshoresoxfan

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Posted 14 August 2008 - 07:05 AM

Jkidd with 3...i LOVE it...CP3 and Deron are better, and it's not close.

#99 ifmanis5


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Posted 14 August 2008 - 07:06 AM

Kobe intentional foul. Play smart, guys.

#100 southshoresoxfan

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Posted 14 August 2008 - 07:10 AM

No, that was Greece with a flop, play like men, this ain't soccer.