By: Brandon Stiehler, GZ Sports Report Writer
It is well known that the United States dominates when it comes to basketball at the Olympics. Their dominance started way back in the late 1940s and has continued all the way up to the present. But this year’s team doesn’t seem to respect these Olympics quite enough, and they think that a gold medal will automatically be handed to them once these Olympics are complete.
Even without NBA stars like Steph Curry, LeBron James, Russell Westbrook, Chris Paul and Blake Griffin, this year’s USA Men’s Basketball team is leaps and bounds better than everyone else. In the exhibition games of these Olympics, they managed to go 5-0 with a point differential of +117, which is absurd. Even into the first 2 games of group play, they beat China and Venezuela by a total of 101 points. But the last 3 efforts by Team USA have been very poor, only winning those games by 16 points combined, and two of the three games by 3 points.
Don’t get me wrong, these teams that they are playing have improved very much over the past few years and are on their way to being relevant again when it comes to Olympic Basketball. But when it comes down to it, this US roster is stacked which gives us no right to be winning any of these games by less than 10 points. Although their play doesn’t show it, several players have come out and given their opponents credit for making these games interesting. They have also been very critical of their own play over the course of the past week and are working on ways to fix it. Paul George and Draymond Green believe that their opponent’s success has come from them slowing up their offense which in turn slows them down defensively as well. George told CBS that getting tired early on in games has been a big reason for their poor play on defense. Whatever the reason is, they need to figure out what has been holding them back.
Last night, it seems as though they took their own advice and got back to how they were playing in the beginning. With their 105-78 rout of Argentina, they moved into the semifinals where they will play Spain. They still have a lot to do in order to accomplish their goal of a Gold medal, but Wednesdays game was a good start to getting back on track. They will take on Spain tomorrow at 2:30 in the tournament semifinals.