Olympic Basketball 2012: Blake Griffin's Injury Could Spell Doom for Team USA
Think Team USA has the best frontcourt heading into the 2012 Olympics? No way. With a knee injury to Blake Griffin (who has a history of knee problems) threatening to sideline him, coach Mike Krzyzewski might have to give significant minutes to Anthony Davis in London.
Even with The Blake Show, the U.S. had just three power forward/centers on the roster in Tyson Chandler, Kevin Love and Griffin. Looking at the rest of the competition reveals that the Americans are as shallow as Kim Kardashian in the paint.
While height isn't everything, you can't say that Griffin, Love and especially Davis would have an easy time with international seven-footers. Each member of Spain's Gasol-brother tandem of Marc (7'1") and Pau (7') has the ability to hit shots from all over the floor while locking things down under the basket.
Oh, and by the way, Spain has Serge Ibaka coming off the bench. In case you forgot, he ran away with the blocked-shots crown in the NBA this year.
China has four guys that stand at least 6'11", including 7'3" Zhang Zhaoxu. When Chandler has to take a rest, how is the U.S. going to match up with those trees? Will there be a point when LeBron James or Kevin Durant will be guarding seven-foot centers?
Brazil lists four centers at 6'11", Australia has four guys at 6'10" or above with three true centers and Argentina has two centers and three power forwards. Heck, Nigeria has two guys at 6'11" plus a serviceable 6'10" power forward in Ike Diogu.
There's no Andrew Bynum, no Dwight Howard and no Chris Bosh for the Americans. They aren't the big, bad Team USA of '92, which had two imposing centers in David Robinson and Patrick Ewing to pair with bruisers like Charles Barkley and Karl Malone.
Spain has the most talented and best trio of post players in the Olympics. Team USA is second as far as talent, but the matchups are going to be a nightmare when Chandler is catching his breath. Griffin and Love have the physicality to hold their own, but longer international players will hamper them.
Anthony Davis has yet to play a professional game and is rail-thin. He will be eaten alive down there.
If this injury keeps Griffin out of the Olympics, Team USA could be doomed.
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