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While France may not be the best team—ranked No. 12 by FIBA—that the Americans will face in the preliminary round, they will present one of, if not the best player. That, of course, is San Antonio Spurs point guard Tony Parker.
Parker is a four-time NBA All-Star, three-time NBA Champion and an NBA Finals MVP. On a team with six NBA players including Nicolas Batum and Boris Diaw, Parker is the leader both on and off the court.
During his international career, Parker has averaged 20.5 points, 3.6 assists and 3.9 rebounds per game. The 30-year-old has had great success over his career and will be looking to produce once again come London.
Having spent 11 seasons in the NBA, Parker is well-acclimated to the American players and will likely have a very impressive game in their match up in their first game of the 2012 Olympics on July 29.
Stopping Parker should be the focus of coach Mike Krzyzewski's game plan against France, as he will be the center of the French offense all game long. Of course, stopping Parker is much easier said than done—he's coming off an NBA season in which he averaged over 18 points per game while shooting nearly 50 percent.
As Parker would say, bonne chance, Team USA.