USA Basketball Team – Is it going to win the gold medals at the 2008 Olympics?
I guess we all remember the original Dream Team that dominated every other team in the 1992 Olympics. That team was probably the greatest basketball team of all time and included legendary players like Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird and many more. plus. They showed everyone where the best basketball in the world was played (I guess still is played). The 1994 and 1996 teams were also great and captured the gold medals easily. In the 2000 Olympics, Team USA was starting to lose its power. Although they still won first place, their victory was not so resounding. Over the years, more and more star players refused to play for the national team, and the US hasn’t won a major tournament since 2000.
The USA basketball team put themselves to the test at the 2007 FIBA Americas tournament and passed the test by beating everyone, including Argentina (118-81), on their way to first place. The lineup featured all the NBA stars and they lived up to the hype. They came up with great individual performances, selfless teamwork, and red-hot shooting. That list has changed, but I guess it’s changed forever.
The USA will never be able to put together a basketball team that can compare to the 1992 team, but this 2008 team looks very impressive. It has everything 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 bigger advantages than their opponents and if Howard heals his micro-injury, then the Howard-Boozer-Bosh front line will look terrifying. The USA must play their best game to regain the Olympic title and I think the chances for them are good.
The United States plays in group B along with Angola, China, the current world champion Spain and two qualifiers. 12 teams are still fighting for an Olympic spot and only 3 of them will make it. The favorites are Greece, Croatia, Germany, Slovenia, Puerto Rico and Brazil, and most likely among them will be the two qualifying teams that will play the USA in Group B, but we will never know for sure. I doubt NBA players will find it difficult to beat Angola and China is also not a very powerful opponent. The Chinese national team has never been able to rank higher than 8th in World Championships or Olympic Games. Of course, Yao is a serious power in the paint, but he would suggest being more afraid of Pau Gasol. Spain is the main rival of the Americans during the group stage and perhaps the entire tournament. With their organized style of play, Spain is supposed to be a great thread running through this all-star NBA team and let’s not forget the two qualifiers, maybe the USA will have to face Greece, the team that eliminated the Americans from the FIBA World Championship just 2 years ago
And in the end, my prediction is that the USA will capture the gold medals by beating Argentina by a pretty big point margin in the final game. I predict the USA will win every game and the only close game will be against Spain in the group stage. I think the top scorer will be Carmelo Anthony; rebounding leader: Dwight Howard; leading pass – Chris Paul. Yes, maybe I’m too optimistic, but I think that this year the USA will show everyone who rules the world of basketball. Good luck!