Predictions for Team USA Basketball vs. Argentina

Joel C. Cordes@@bballJoelNBA Associate EditorAugust 4, 2012

After barely squeaking by Lithuania in a 99-94 nail-biter, Team USA better be awake when it faces the experience and tenacity of Argentina.

Much like the Lithuanians, Argentina is a well-drilled squad that won't be starstruck when staring down the Americans. Instead, the Argentines will stretch the floor and attack inside while playing an effectively flexible zone defense. 

The Argentines' lack of depth has been an issue throughout the tournament. They have already lost to France and squeezed out wins against Lithuania and Tunisia. NBA regulars Manu Ginobili, Luis Scola and Carlos Delfino shoulder too much of the scoring load, providing nearly 75 percent of Argentina's baskets. 

Will USA's depth and transition pace wear down Argentina, or will this turn into a half-court foul fest? Will this force the Americans to over-rely on their three-point shooting again?

Can starters like Kobe Bryant and Tyson Chandler step up to shoulder more of the load, or does Coach K have to adjust his lineup and rotation to hotter hands?

The games only get tougher for the Americans from here on out, and the U.S. margin of victory over Lithuania wasn't nearly large enough to imply a cakewalk versus Argentina.

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