Dazz
Years ago

USA Vulnerable or just Cruising?

Serious question for those who follow more closely that I.

Ok, so they had to come from behind to beat the Boomers, then squeezed out wins against Serbia and France. Of course the media has to say they were "tested," "stretched," etc, etc.

So really?

Is the competition as close as those scores would indicate?
Or are the USA just coasting in 1st gear?

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XY  
Years ago

Both.

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Isaac  
Years ago

They haven't looked like they're coasting too much to me. I think it's a combination of some less-than-superstar talent with their omissions, decent opponents and bad picks in the paint (e.g., I don't like Cousins).

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Anonymous  
Years ago

If they were committed to team play and played hard for even half a game they'd blow teams out. But they're not as evidenced by all of their players looking disinterested on defense instead preferring to coast by on transition baskets and iso heavy hero ball.

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PlaymakerMo  
Years ago

Vulnerable.

Old habits die hard.

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spot up  
Years ago

They'll probably win the gold, not as definite as it was after their first two games though. I guess that makes them vulnerable!

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smoke  
Years ago

Some excellent breakdown of where they've looked vulnerable -

Australia game:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k86ofWh69M4

Serbia game:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bq4c0cnEJ00)

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Baller#3  
Years ago

The arrogance to skills level ratio is to far in the arrogance column! Unlike 08/12 when the skill was higher and the arrogance lower!

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AngusH  
Years ago

They just don't play well together, and look more like an All-Star team assembled a couple of days before a tournament than an actual National team... which is pretty much the case, compared with the other top sides. The big talent gap on the court will get them their wins, but they aren't exactly pretty to watch 7 possessions out of 10, especially when they aren't able to get out and run.

I think they'll win gold, but this is the best chance to beat them since Athens.

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Dazz  
Years ago

I don't follow them at all, but I have often wondered if an "institutionalised arrogance" would come into play with them?
eg They just expect to win gold, so its seen more as a reward than an opportunity?
Maybe they pick a team of "All-Stars" rather than the absolute best combination to contest an Olympics?
Maybe they don't play together as much or prepare as thoroughly as other nations???

And so much of USA's elite-level sport is biased towards the spectacular. They ARE the best, but could that be their undoing?

Interesting to read the views of those who have followed their progress.

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Bear  
Years ago

Not going to say I actually follow them closer than you DAZZ, but one would think that they would go back to the USA and be totally ridiculed if they didn't win the Gold.

So, there is some perceived pressure on each one of them and in some way that may be their weakness.

If they can be frustrated out of clear thinking and miss some shots they could be beaten, this was evident during moments in the AUS v USA game I thought, but then came Anthony and Irving to the rescue.

They are only as vulnerable as their heads allow them to be, but I don't think they are cruising as they would want to be more comfortable in their wins one would think...

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Ricey  
Years ago

I'm looking forward to seeing how Pop runs the team. I think he will ultimately pick a much different team than K would, and be able to put the players egos further aside.

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Ricky  
Years ago

Like they said, smells like 2004, couple of star players (KD and Melo) and some young guns and not much chemistry.

Best team on paper only and beatable on their off day.


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Anonymous  
Years ago

Cruising as a whole. Lets not forget they have not lost a game. BUT there bigs are an issue, Cousins is a liability when he starts whinging, which is often, and Jordan is a shot blocking non offense producing guy who doesnt like the rough stuff down low. Edge there to most of the Euro teams and the Boomers.

As for saying that Pop would pick a different team etc, I dont think Coach K had much to choose from. Pretty much every day after the finals was done, another star was saying no to a call up. so wasnt much of the talent pool to choose from. Does surprise me someone like Harden said no, then he is showing up playing Drew league etc but that guy is an idiot so i shouldnt be surprised at all come to think of it.

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AngusH  
Years ago

I think they need to focus less on scorers when they put the team together - you don't need 5 guys on the court who put up 20+ PPG in the NBA. You're better off picking 2 or 3 of the top 5 players, then focus on "tier 2" guys for particular skills that suit the FIBA game. I actually think those tier 2 guys would be more engaged, too.

Ideally a coach who knows the FIBA game too, although not sure how players would respond to a non-NBA/NCAA guy.

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proud  
Years ago

They have been awful generally, no leadership and nobody seems to content in their roles unless they are getting their shots up.

I think we should absolutely enjoy this time in life as either they get their shit together and they win another gold as expected or

They lose and Americans and their media go ape at the team and take away their privileges for future tournaments ie the cruise ship, they get teams that have both stars and role players and they once again spank everyone for another 5 Olympics or more.

But right now USA women's team would give the men a good run for their money as that is a team that work together and they shoot the ball well and play good defence.

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Anonymous  
Years ago

Arrogant sepo's. Nothing unusual.

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Ricey  
Years ago

I'm not talking about picking stars though. I'd imagine Pop would be picking a team that glues together first and is humbled over just the top 12 players available.

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