First, the good news: Spain's 2012 Olympic men's basketball team returns almost every player from the squad that broke through in Beijing.
It was there, in 2008, that the Spaniards pushed the vaunted Americans to the brink in a classic title game tilt and secured a place in international basketball's upper echelon.
Now the bad news: One player won't make the return trip, Ricky Rubio. The floppy-haired passing savant that thrilled Beijing with his Maravich-esque court vision will miss London with an ACL tear.
Back to good news: The Spaniards are one of the few teams deep enough to cope with such a high-profile loss. To wit, Rubio played only 15 minutes a game in the 2011 European Championship and shot just 23 percent from the field. Spain can beat Europe's best without him.
But can they beat America's best without him?
The answer lies in the post. Spain has three big bodies—Pau Gasol, Marc Gasol and Serge Ibaka—that can bang with the best in the world, and they'll need that length to overcome the star-spangled Goliath.