The Americans are absolutely the best team in the Olympic Basketball competition with more big names and ego that a G8 summit. That said though, there are some other very strong teams who could challenge the US who have only been training together since July.
Missing some other stars, namely Derrick Rose, Dwight Howard, and Dwyane Wade. Chris Paul picked up an injury in training camp and more could yet follow. The problem is the NBA season seems like it only finished yesterday, and some of the USA’s most important players, such as James and Durant were involved in gruelling play-off runs. Tiredness shouldn’t be a factor, but you never know. Just look at the roster: Carmelo Anthony, Kobe Bryant, Tyson Chandler, Anthony Davis, Kevin Durant, James Harden, Andre Igoudala, LeBron James, Kevin Love, Chris Paul, Russell Westbrook and Deron Williams.
Spain are the best of the chasing pack and have become quite a formidable team in recent years losing out to the American’s in the 2008 final, thanks mostly to the Gasol brothers. Spain have other players too that can trouble the Americans Rudy Fernandez is their shooting forward, Juan Carlos Navarro is in the backcourt along with Jose Calderon. It would be no surprise if we see a repeat of the Beijing final in London.
2004 Olympic champions Argentina are looking strong are packed full of NBA talent – Scola, Oberto, Nocioni, Delfino and Ginobli all seem to have been around forever. They are very experienced and know each other very well. They are getting on though, and most of the team are well into their thirties which could be telling in the latter stages of the competition. France are the best of the rest with quality in their team but very little strength in depth but may be bronze medal contenders.
By Hugo Mc Cafferty