The U.S. men's Olympic basketball team poses for a photo during a news conference, Monday, June 27, 2016, in New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer) ORG XMIT: NYMA101

Looking at Team USA Roster before Olympics we thought that it’s going to be as easy as pie. But, the reality is different. Excepting matches against Venezuela and China, they had really big problems with the others. Weak defense, lacking true playmaker, bad play in the paint, are the things that Team USA need to improve somehow if they want to return with the gold medal around the neck.

Memory on 2002, 2004 and 2006 started to fade away and Melo, KD, and the crew remind us on that with their performances. They are going to the quarterfinals from the 1st spot in the group with the score 5/0, but it’s not going to be facile. We are waiting for the games in group B, when are we going to know exactly who is going to be the opponent of Team USA, but before that, I have some candidates who can upset Coach K and his guys.

Spain

We don’t know if they are going to play with Spain in QF, but there are odds for that to happen. If that comes true, I think that maybe we are going to witness Team USA’s loss after 10 years. If you watched any tournament before this one, you must know that never write off Spain. That is something you can’t do in any case. They are missing some great players like Marc Gasol and Serge Ibaka, but their roster with Sergio Rodriguez, Sergio Llull, Pau Gasol and Nikola Mirotic is always a contender for the medal.

They know how to play when the stake is big. They know how to deal with the pressure. And I can’t think same for Team USA. Team USA’s roster is young and doesn’t have much experience for this stage. Also, their effort is questionable and they underestimate their opponents which can be fatal for them.

Australia

Delly, Bogut, Mills, and Ingles are the biggest surprise in this year’s Olympics. I am speechless on their game. Their effort is impressive, their defense is outstanding (we all know how Delly plays defense). They are fighting hard. I think that we are going to watch them in the Final.

Before that, they are going to play some tough games too, but if they repeat what they did in the recent games they don’t need to worry. They lead the whole game against the USA and were so close to winning. They didn’t make it, but if they get another chance they aren’t going to miss it for sure.

Serbia

Without Bjelica and Marjanovic they are so much weaker under the rim. But, their quality isn’t the question. We saw how they shake and spin. And they are doing it very well. Teodosic is similar to Steve Nash with his lucid assists and great vision of the court. Jokic is a monster and he proved it with the Nuggets last season.

Guys like Bogdanovic and Raduljica can bless every game and put up 20 points easily. They were few inches close to OT with Team USA, but it didn’t go in. Maybe next time? Who knows. They know how to do that. Remind yourself.

The Conclusion

Any of these teams aren’t going to be favorite against Team USA. No matter they don’t have superstars like Irving, Durant, and Melo, they play with the heart and they give 110%, what is debatable for Team USA. Team USA has quality, we all know that. But, basketball is a team game and it’s always going to be TEAM > Individuals.

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