Saturday, July 26, 2008

Team USA squashes Canda, Canadian currecy still worth more

U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A?

Team Nike USA didn't come for a Canadian Debate. They came to squash their over matched opponent, and they did. What does that mean?

Not a whole lot, Canada didn't make the Olympics after all. The two best Canadian players (Nash and Dalembert), aren't even on the national team. It is safe to say the real tests for Team USA are still to come.

In such a lopsided match up I'm not sure you can glean much analysis of how good this Team USA is right now. Because of sheer talent, they are favored to win Olympic Gold. I'm fine with that, but there are some concerns.

Back when it became clear that we need a more thoughtful approach to international basketball, there were some pledges made. More shooters, more defenders, more role players. This disjointed collection of All-Stars just wasn't going to cut it anymore!

Which is why I did a double take when the roster came out. The only shooter on the team is Michael Redd. There are three pointguards that will play significant minutes, which means an all-pointguard backcourt will be a regularity. This can be great, but can also be exploited by the better teams in Beijing.

There are other signs of weakness. Against Canada, USA got disturbingly little production out of the post. Team USA will be undersized under the basket against teams like Spain. In proud Team USA tradition, this group will rely heavily on players shooting the outside jumper off the bounce. This is all good when things are falling, but when the jumpers start missing, look out. Seems like they should have figured out how to fix that.

I like that the United States is taking a more serious approach, like requiring a three year commitment out of players. But thinking about this team, some of those historical flaws seem to still be lurking. It has been a long time since the world cowered at the sight of USA Basketball. They know how to defeat this team, and can just look at the film in case they forgot.

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