Both Team USA basketball Men’s and Women’s teams will take home Olympic gold from the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.
There’s no denying the talent and skill of both of these American teams as preliminary round play is set to begin today. USA is used to enjoying its dominance over the international sport of basketball. That dominance is possibly beginning to fade.
For starters, basketball has significantly grown in scope and popularity throughout the world. This has led to the continual increase in foreign players reaching the American based NBA. Credit that to the development of basketball leagues around the globe. Also, NBA commissioner David Stern has proposed that the players of Team USA should only be age 23 and younger as in other Olympic sports such as soccer.
While the decline hasn’t happened and will not happen in this version of the Olympic Games, it may be coming soon.
Their first steps for Olympic gold begin this weekend in Olympic Preliminary Round competition. The women will play first on Saturday against Croatia at 11:45 a.m. ET while the men’s team will take on France at 9:30 a.m. ET on Sunday.
Keys to the Men’s Victory
Kobe Bryant wants the 2012 team to surpass 1992’s “Dream Team.” While that may not ever happen, in some people’s minds, it is still possible Team USA can go undefeated on its way towards obtaining a gold medal.
What do they need to do in order to make that happen?
1. Run, Run, Run
Team USA has the best transition scoring offense in the world.
2. Defense Wins Championships
The highly constrictive team USA defense will be put to a test by team’s with significant height advantages. Tenacity on defense and relentless pressure will be the key to maintaining their defensive prowess.
Running and tough defense breeds fatigue. Luckily for the Americans, their team is deep and consists of NBA All-Stars.
4. Stay Out of Foul Trouble
USA cannot afford Tyson Chandler putting himself in the hole early with stupid penalties. Size is already a huge concern for them, and they cannot win if their key big men are sitting on the bench.
Keys to the Women’s Victory
USA Women’s Basketball is four-time defending gold medal winners.
1. Stay Modest
In a sport in which the American women have dominated, it will be important for the women to stay level-headed. Assuming victory is never a smart idea, as seen in the U.S. Men’s loss to Argentina and bronze medal finish in 2004.
2. Sue Bird
Bird, 33, is the tool that tunes the Team USA offense. Everything flows through her. With her already impressive two gold medals under her belt, her leadership, play and experience will be essential for the American’s gold medal run.
3. Handle Adversity
Competition in international women’s basketball is growing, just like in the Men’s bracket. Having gone nearly untested in the four exhibition matchups heading into this weekend, the women’s unit has not had to overcome a lot of adversity. UConn Coach Geno Auriemma will need to use his expertise if the tides begin to turn on the heavily favored Americans in the medal rounds.
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