LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony and Kobe Bryant led Team USA, aptly dubbed the "Redeem Team," to the gold medal at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, which means they once again have enormous targets on their back.
The 2012 version of the Team USA is loaded with talent. Three-time NBA scoring champion Kevin Durant and his teammate Russell Westbrook add supreme athleticism to the backcourt, while rebounding machine Kevin Love and this year's Defensive Player of the year Tyson Chandler will man the painted area.
The team went 5-0 in exhibition play, and although they were threatened by Brazil and Argentina, they were never truly in a position to lose. To end their Olympic tune-up, they dominated a gifted Spanish team 100-78.
Here's a complete viewing guide to their run at a second-straight Olympic gold:
Sunday, July 29 – USA vs. France – 9:30 a.m. ET – NBCSN, NBC Basketball
Tuesday, July 31 – Tunisia vs. USA – 5:15 p.m. ET – NBCSN, NBC Basketball
Thursday, August 2 – USA vs. Nigeria – 5:15 p.m. ET – NBCSN, NBC Basketball
Saturday, August 4 – Lithuania vs. USA – 9:30 a.m. ET – NBCSN, NBC Basketball
Monday, August 6 – USA vs. Argentina – 5:15 p.m. ET – NBCSN, NBC Basketball
France will play with Tony Parker, but an injured Joakim Noah will not play. Their final game against Argentina won't be easy, as they only beat the Argentinians 86-80 in their exhibition. However, the gap in overall talent was clear.
Wednesday, August 8
Quarterfinal Game 1 – 9:00 a.m. ET – NBCSN, NBC Basketball
Quarterfinal Game 2 – 11:15 a.m. ET – NBCSN, NBC Basketball
Quarterfinal Game 3 – 2:45 p.m. ET – NBCSN, NBC Basketball
Quarterfinal Game 4 – 5:15 p.m. ET – NBCSN, NBC Basketball
Friday, August 10
Semifinal Game 1 – 12:00 p.m. ET – NBCSN, NBC Basketball
Semifinal Game 2 – 3:45 p.m. ET – NBCSN, NBC Basketball
Sunday, August 12
Bronze Medal Game – 6:00 a.m. ET – NBCSN, NBC Basketball
Gold Medal Game – 10:00 a.m. ET – Live on NBC, NBCSN, NBC Basketball
Spain will most likely pose the biggest threat to the Americans, as the Gasol tandem inside is a formidable one. If the U.S. pressures the Spanish guards and creates turnovers that lead to transition points, they'll cruise to victory.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!