Olympic Basketball Schedule 2012: Argentina Offers US Toughest Test Yet

Shawn Brubaker@@63brubakerContributor IIAugust 4, 2012

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 02:  Manu Ginobili #5, Luis Scola #4 and Martin Leiva #12 of Argentina talk with head coach of Argentina, Julio Lamas (C), in the first half against Tunisia during the Men's Basketball Preliminary Round match on Day 6 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Basketball Arena on August 2, 2012 in London, England.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The United States men's basketball team faced a tough test against Lithuania Saturday, but they'll need to recover in time for their toughest test yet against a strong Argentina team.

Led by Manu Ginobli and Luis Scola, the Argentines are among the few teams capable of scoring from anywhere on the floor.

Ginobli and Carlos Delfino are solid scorers from any range, while Luis Scola is among the NBA's best at scoring in the paint.

That could spell trouble for the Americans, who struggle with interior scorers.

Against Lithuania, the Americans surrendered 25 points to forward Leinas Kleiza, who did his best work close to the basket.

Scola is even better than Kleiza, so the Americans could very well struggle with the talented big man.

They can't focus too much on stopping Scola, though, as Ginobli, Delfino and Andres Nocioni are more than capable of hurting the U.S. from deep. 

Fortunately for the Americans, Argentina has one key weakness—their age. Most of Argentina's top players are over 30 years old, and accordingly, have lost a step.

What they lack in athleticism, the Argentines more than make up for in physicality and smart play. They are never out of a game, as they showed in their 86-80 loss to the Americans in exhibition play.

Despite falling far behind, Argentina clawed its way back by forcing the Americans into foul trouble. 

Now, when the game's really matter, Argentina will be even more feisty and motivated to get their older players one last shot at Olympic glory. 

The United States, on the other hand, will have to answer major questions about their ability to defend the paint and play team offense.

Ultimately, the United States is simply too talented to lose to Argentina, but this game could once again be too close for comfort. Regardless, this game will be a fight to the finish and must-see viewing for basketball fans.

The game will be played Monday at 5:15 PM EST.