Olympic Basketball 2012: Top 5 Non-American Players to Watch
The United States men’s basketball team is full of stars. From Kevin Durant to LeBron James to Kobe Bryant, the Americans will be the team to beat in 2012.
But plenty of other teams have star power that will help them challenge the Americans for the gold medal.
Some are NBA stars, one plays professionally in Spain, but all the players on this list will make their respective teams a tough out in this year’s Olympics tournament.
Let’s take a look at the top five non-American players who will help their teams contend for a gold medal.
5. Marcelo Huertas, PG, Brazil
He’s never played in the NBA, but Huertas is one of the best point guards of the non-American teams in the Olympics.
Against the United States, he dished out 13 assists and caused problems all night long.
If he can keep getting open shots for his teammates, Brazil could certainly overachieve in this tournament.
4. Luis Scola, F/C, Argentina
Scola has a solid mid-range jumper, is a ferocious defender and has extra motivation after being amnestied by the Houston Rockets.
He’ll be playing with a chip on his shoulder during the Olympics and will do everything to help his team win.
Scola and Argentina will be a tough team for Spain and the United States to beat.
3. Nene Hilario, C, Brazil
Nene’s size will cause problems for smaller teams, and he’s already made things tough on America.
He’s a big post player who has a knack for blocking shots and keeping opponents out of the paint.
He’s probably the best defensive center besides Tyson Chandler in this tournament and will make Brazil a formidable opponent.
2. Nicolas Batum, F, France
Batum is an excellent three-point shooter and an excellent defender.
He can defend every non-American wing player in this tournament and can cause some problems for players like Kobe Bryant and Carmelo Anthony.
If Tony Parker creates open threes for Batum, France could make some noise.
And if Batum slows down the best scorer on the other team, this team will be tough to beat.
1. Pau and Marc Gasol, F/C, Spain
The Gasol brothers are two of the best big men in the NBA.
They are only decent defenders, but make their presence felt offensively.
It’s safe to say that Spain has the best frontcourt in the tournament. The Gasol brothers will be tough to slow down for every team in the Olympics, even America.