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USA vs. Great Britain: Luol Deng's Ability Won't Be Enough to Keep Game Close

SHEFFIELD, ENGLAND - JULY 14:  Luol Deng of Standard Life Team GB looks on during the match between Standard Life Team GB and Portugal at Motorpoint Arena on July 14, 2012 in Sheffield, England.  (Photo by Chris Brunskill/Getty Images)
Chris Brunskill/Getty Images
Ian HanfordFeatured ColumnistJuly 19, 2012

Team USA's guard-oriented attack will take its talents against Great Britain on July 19. Both teams are preparing for Olympic action, but the British squad probably doesn't have much to prepare for. 

Outside of Chicago Bulls forward Luol Deng, Great Britain doesn't have much. Pops Mensah-Bonsu was a solid player with George Washington University, but he never amounted to much at the NBA level. 

Deng is Great Britain's only hope of keeping this game close, but even his abilities won't be enough. He's a very good player, but he also plays right into Team USA's strength.

That is, the wing players.

As good as Deng can be, he doesn't measure up to Team USA's best players, and he doesn't have any help to fall back on.

If Deng were a low-post player, it would be a different story. Team USA's roster was ravaged by injuries before the selection process ever began, and Blake Griffin's knee injury doesn't help matters.

Anthony Davis and Kevin Love are the only legitimate power forwards in Team USA's lineup, but even they aren't true back-to-the-basket forwards.

Great Britain would have had options. Byron Mullens isn't a great player, but his low-post offense would have been an added strength. Ben Gordon's shooting certainly would have been a major boost, but neither player decided to take part in this year's festivities.

In all honestly, Team USA should never have a competition. They have more talent than any team in the world, despite their small-ball lineup. Other teams have closed the gap a little bit, but Team USA's roster is still of epic standards.

Deng will keep Great Britain in this game at first, but he won't get enough help to sustain it. The only way Team USA loses this game is by beating itself, but don't expect that to happen after scraping by Brazil their last time out. 

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