USA Basketball's Optimal Starting Lineup vs. Each Remaining Opponent

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USA Basketball's Optimal Starting Lineup vs. Each Remaining Opponent
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

So far, so good for Team USA at the 2012 London Olympics. After pulling away from France to win by 27 points on Sunday, the Americans returned to the Basketball Arena at the Olympic Park on Tuesday to wipe the floor with Olympic debutante Tunisia, 110-63.

On both occasions, USA Basketball head coach Mike Krzyzewski has opted to stick with the same starting five—LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant, Chris Paul and Tyson Chandler—though, after the slow start against the Tunisians, there could be some changes in store.

A shift in the lineup, though, could come about for reasons other than a lack of energy and intensity from Team USA's side of the ledger. Each of its remaining opponents presents a different challenge, one that may require a different assortment of players to maximize the squad's success every time out.

Realistically, Coach K isn't about to push the panic button just because his guys came out flat against the worst team in the Olympic field, and probably isn't going to play chess with his starters to react to those that Team USA's remaining opponents trot out. 

But, suppose Coach K did want to play his best hand first, according to the matchups. What would those groupings look like?

Note: the opponents listed for the quarterfinals, semifinals and finals are projected according to the current group standings, which can be found at

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