Olympic Basketball 2012: Team USA vs. Argentina Preview

Team USA will look to continue their dominance in this year’s Olympic games when they go up against a familiar for in Argentina. Argentina gave our boys a scare the last time they suited up against the Aregentians, winning 86-80. USA needs to prove they are the best team in the world by embarrassing a legit team. I don’t expect Argentina to keep up with USA the second time around. First time shame on you, second time shame on me.

It’s not like Argentina has a bunch of nobody’s on their team like Nigeria and Tunisia (is that really a country?) did. This team is loaded with NBA talent and can seriously ball. With scoring machine Manu Ginobili as their star, he showed he could take over any game at any time throughout his NBA and international career. Along with Manu, Argentina sends out double threat Luis Scola, sharp shooter Carlos Delfino, Andres Nocioni, and Knicks prospect Pablo Prigioni. I mean these aren’t the superstar names that don the USA jerseys, but they can hang with the big dogs.

Carmelo Anthony and LeBron James are two of the best and hottest scorers in the world right now. I don’t see anyone stopping them for a full game. Coach K will have to be creative on how he plays LeBron, Melo, and Kevin Durant. Scola is leading all scorers with 22.5 a game and is your typical European big man: finesse post game, can hit that outside shot when you give him space, draws fouls, and is a passing wizard. Scola’s presence will force Tyson Chandler outside the paint, where Manu will thrive with his cutting and slashing abilities.

Prigioni is a nice point guard, but he has been hurt with kidney stones the last 2 games (ouch), and he is no Chris Paul, Deron Williams, or Russell Westbrook. These three should pressure Pablo and any other ball handler hard and force them into turnovers. USA should play their brand of basketball: run and gun. Don’t let Argentina play you in a half court game that is what they want you to do. They are sharp shooters and play excellent in a half court set. CP3, LeBron, Kobe, and Durant should have a track meet session on the court and run Argentina out of the gym.

USA couldn’t do anything wrong vs. Nigeria, but had a bump in the road against Lithuania. I expect Argentina to hang in there for a while; they are the 3rd ranked team in the world, but not for long. USA has to play a full game hard for all 4 quarters and tire down Argentina, especially when they have their 2nd unit in. When Russell Westbrook and Carmelo Anthony are running your 2nd unit, that shouldn’t be a problem. USA should win this one without the scare this time.

Prediction: USA 93 Argentina 78.

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Tags: 2012 Olympics Carmelo Anthony Luis Scola NBA News New York Knicks Pablo Prigioni Tyson Chandler

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