June 22, 2024

Sports Enthusiast

Professional Sports Purveyors

USA Basketball Team – Is it Going to Win the Gold Medals in 2008 Olympics?

I guess we all remember the original Dream Team which dominated all other teams in the 1992 Olympic Games. That team was probably the best basketball team ever and included legendary players such as Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird and many more. They showed everyone where the best basketball in the world was (I guess that still is) played. 1994 and 1996 teams were also great and they captured the gold medals easily. In 2000 Olympics USA team was starting to lose its power. Although they still won the first place, their triumph was not so convincing. As the years went by more and more all-star players refused to play for the national team and USA have not won any major tournament since 2000.

USA basketball team was tested in the 2007 FIBA Americas tournament and it passed the test by beating everyone including Argentina (118-81) on its way to the first place. The lineup featured NBA all stars and they lived up to the expectations. They came up with great individual performances, unselfish teamwork and red hot shooting. That roster has changed but I guess that it has changed for good.

USA will never be able to combine a basketball team which could be compared to 1992 team but this 2008 team looks very impressive. It has everything starting from great defensive players (Tayshaun Prince, Jason Kidd), brilliant passers (Chris Paul, Deron Williams), all star scorers (Kobe Bryant, LeBron James) to super-athletic big men (Dwight Howard, Carlos Boozer). American players always have stronger bodies and greater upsides than their opponents and if Howard will cure his micro-injury then the Howard-Boozer-Bosh frontline is going to look scary. USA must play its best game to recapture the Olympic title and I think that the chances for them are good.

USA plays in group B together with Angola, China, reigning world champion Spain and two qualifiers. 12 teams are still fighting for an Olympic berth and only 3 of them will succeed. The favorites are Greece, Croatia, Germany, Slovenia, Puerto Rico and Brazil, and it is most likely that the two qualifier national teams which will play against USA in group B are going to be among them but we can never know for sure. I doubt that NBA players will meet any difficulties to beat Angola and China is not a very powerful opponent also. China national team has never been able to occupy a position higher than 8th in World Championships or Olympic games. Of course Yao is a serious power in the paint but I would suggest being more afraid of Pau Gasol. Spain is the main rival of the Americans during the group stage and maybe the whole tournament. With its organized playing style Spain is supposed to be a great thread to this NBA all star team and lets not forget about the two qualifiers, maybe USA will have to face Greece – the team which eliminated Americans from the FIBA World Championships just 2 years ago.

And in the end my prediction is that USA will capture the gold medals by beating Argentina with a rather big point margin in the final game. I predict that USA will win every game and the only tight game will be against Spain in group stage. I think that the leading scorer will be Carmelo Anthony; leading rebounder – Dwight Howard; leading passer – Chris Paul. Yes, maybe I am a bit too optimistic but I believe that this year USA will show everyone who rules the basketball world. Good luck!