2012 Summer Olympics logo2012 Summer Olympics

USA Basketball 2012: Tyson Chandler, Frontcourt Must Step Up vs. Argentina

LAS VEGAS, NV - JULY 12:  Tyson Chandler #4 of the US Men's Senior National Team passes the ball from the ground during a pre-Olympic exhibition game against the Dominican Republic at Thomas & Mack Center on July 12, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The United States won the game 113-59.  (Photo by David Becker/Getty Images)
David Becker/Getty Images
Josh SchochAnalyst IIIJuly 22, 2012

The big men of the U.S. Olympic basketball team have been lackluster at best. They need to improve soon, and an exhibition game against Argentina may be just what they need to do so.

The Americans must dominate the paint against a small Argentinian team whose roster doesn't have a single player taller than 6'10".

Before everyone jumps on my back about how the U.S. should beat Argentina without the help of the frontcourt, let me just say that you're right. Honestly, the Americans could probably win this game by starting five guards, because they are just that much better than an Argentina team that relies almost entirely on Manu Ginobili and Luis Scola.

However, the bigger issue is when the frontcourt will step up. The U.S. team can't beat teams like Spain without some help inside, and the big men need to get going soon.

7'1" Tyson Chandler must dominate the game. He is the weak link on the American team, averaging just 3.3 points per game, which is dead last. He is also pulling in just 2.3 rebounds per contest, which is eighth of 12.

Along with Chandler, Anthony Davis must also step up. He is averaging an impressive 10.0 points per game, but he is not playing that well inside, and his rebounding is atrocious at just 2.0 per game (tied for ninth with Chris Paul). He is also averaging just 1.3 blocks per game, which could be higher.

The frontcourt for the Americans is struggling. It simply isn't playing as well as it should, but an exhibition game against Argentina will give the froncourt a chance to improve.

If the Americans can't take advantage of a small Argentina team, they won't be able to compete with Spain's frontcourt, which includes Serge Ibaka and Marc and Pau Gasol.

This tune-up game should be focused around the big men. And even if that means the team wins by just 20 points instead of 50, the ball needs to go to Chandler, Davis and the rest of the bigs.


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