Team USA almost lost it but narrowly escaped a loss at the hands of the basketball team from Lithuania.
The ‘Dream Team’ announced on Saturday included elite basketball players of the NBA and the likes, made it look like silver was always for losers, but their last game proves that gold isn’t that easy after all. The pressure will rather increase for their Monday night challenge with Argentina, given the past record of the U.S. men’s basketball team in the Olympics. Their predecessors have been champions 13 out of 16 times since 1936.
The game against Lithuania went a bit tighter than expected, but the U.S. managed it to the pool play against Argentina – a team that cannot be underestimated at any cost. Manu Ginobili of the San Antonio Spurs leads the Argentine basketball team. Luis Scola of the Phoenix Suns is also there in team, and he won’t actually make the job from the U.S. team any easier.
Defending the U.S. team’s play, Coach Mike Krzyzewski says that his players are ready for any challenge this week. What the coach says in not entirely untrue because the U.S. team is so far undefeated. The match against Lithuania was, however, close – quite close to smash the American pride.
Coach Mike Krzyzewski had to put his best players into the game to ensure a win. LeBron James can take the credit for the victory that won the U.S. team the game 99-94. The final five minutes were the game changer. The next match should see James provide the much required momentum when it’s needed.
The game showed the weaknesses of the U.S. team’s shooting form, something which the coach also admitted as being there. The positive side to the hard-earned victory could be that Krzyzewski’s team won’t take things for granted. They know they will have to fight to win.
Forward Kevin Love of the U.S. team said that that they needed a game like that and Lithuania brought it to them. He added that Lithuania played great and it was the first team they thought could win. Monday’s game won’t be any different either. Arch rival Argentina will fight tough because they have done it before and are quite capable.
The Argentines were the first team to beat the USA in the 2002 world basketball championship. Much of roster that upset the team USA in the 2004 Olympics is still there and they are looking forward to the game as well. Last Saturday, Argentina won the game 93-79 over Nigeria, which might add to the pressure on the U.S. team.
Both the U.S. and the Argentine teams have played each other a lot of times, but after showing the vulnerability at a time like this, coach Krzyzewski could do well by relying on the both the Kevins as well as Carmelo Anthony for the scoring part. With that, the U.S. could have an edge over the Argentine team.
For team USA, it time to defend and rebound with the best they can.
Where: “Marshmallow” Basketball Arena, London, England
When: Monday, August 6 at 5:15 p.m. ET
Watch: NBC Sports Network
Live Stream: NBC Live Extra