Everyone knows that if there’s one team that can beat Team USA, it’s Spain.
The Spaniards feature a roster of outstanding NBA players like Pau and Marc Gasol, Serge Ibaka and Jose Calderon.
If Team USA and Spain do indeed meet in a gold-medal match, it should be a game for the ages.
Let’s take a look at four reasons the Spaniards can pull off the upset.
Kobe Bryant. LeBron James. Carmelo Anthony. Kevin Durant.
Which of these NBA superstars is going to be the one to take over in crunch time if the Spaniards give Team USA a close game?
Too many crunch-time options probably isn’t a good thing. As seen in the NBA this season, the Oklahoma City Thunder and Miami Heat struggled at times deciding which alpha dog was going to be the closer.
That might happen in these Olympics, too.
Chandler is Team USA’s only true center, and he’s banged up.
He re-aggravated a dislocated finger in Team USA’s victory over Tunisia.
It shouldn’t be too much of a factor for the rest of this tournament, but if he is limited against Spain, it’ll be tough for the Americans to stop the Gasol brothers.
Spain has the second-most NBA experience in this tournament.
From the Gasol brothers to Juan Carlos Navarro and Jose Calderon, Spain has eight players who either have played in the NBA, currently play in the NBA or were just drafted by an NBA team.
That experience playing against the world’s top players will certainly help.
Team USA has only one true NBA center on its roster in Tyson Chandler.
Spain, on the other hand, has the Gasol brothers and Serge Ibaka to clog the paint.
If the Spaniards decide to use a big roster for a majority of the game, it could force the Americans to settle for too many threes.
If they shoot threes the way they’ve been shooting them in the beginning of this tournament, it could spell trouble.