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Old 08-03-2008, 12:26 AM   #1 (permalink)
MikeToronto
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Default Americans will lose

again.

I've just finished watching their game vs. Lithuania. Yes, they've won, handily at that, but:

1. They still don't quite know how to attack the zone.
2. Their on-the-ball defence was very good, thanks largely to Kobe's personal commitment there, but their pick-and-roll defence appears sloppy.
3. They are still primarily perimeter-oriented team that struggles in the half-court set. Yes, Howard was fed often early, but as the game went on, and especially after Lithuania went into a permanent 2-3 zone, Team USA's offence has become as "outside-in" as it gets. Considering they only have one pure shooter on that team in Redd, that won't get the job done against teams like Spain or Argentina, who, might I add, also feature a full complement of skilled bigs playing their natural positions and capable of outrebounding the Americans on any given night.

They will make it out of the group, sure, but I don't think they've yet fully realized just how far the rest of the world has come since the Dream Team annihilated the competition in Barcelona. I was cheering for the Spaniards before the friendlies began and I feel more and more confident with every game Americans play. Let's see what the Russians can do tomorrow.
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