Olympics Basketball 2012: 3 Things to Watch in Spain vs. China

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Olympics Basketball 2012: 3 Things to Watch in Spain vs. China
David Ramos/Getty Images

Olympic group play has officially begun, but let's not kid ourselves; while there are plenty of teams worth watching for a variety of reasons, the basketball preliminaries are a drawn-out dance executed by the two top teams in the Olympic tournament: the talent-laden Team USA and the formidable Spanish national team.

The former will begin its preliminary schedule with a competitive game against France, while the Spaniards tee off their slate against a Chinese national team that, for the first time since 1996, will make its Olympic run without the now-retired Yao Ming.

It's highly unlikely that China will put up as much of a fight as the French, but there's reason nonetheless to tune into Spain's first official game of the Olympic season against a Chinese team that, while outmatched, isn't altogether hopeless.

Without further ado, here are a few things to keep an eye on in Spain's maiden Olympic voyage.

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