Summer Olympics 2012: Team USA Men's Basketball's Biggest Impact Players

Luis Batlle@lbatll1Contributor IAugust 7, 2012

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 04:  Lebron James #6 of United States during the Men's Basketball Preliminary Round match against Lithuania on Day 8 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Basketball Arena on August 4, 2012 in London, England.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The best team in the world is living up to the hype at the 2012 London Olympics.

Team USA has won all four games at London, in spite of a scare from Lithuania in its most recent outing. Yet on this team fully loaded with talent, there are certain players that are standing out above the rest.

Miami Heat star LeBron James is one of those premier players for the United States. His leadership on the floor and experience is unmatched by most, and James' play is a major reason why the U.S. are in clear position to take gold.

These are the three greatest impact players on Team USA.


3. Carmelo Anthony, SF

Thirty-seven points in 14 minutes was the stat line for Carmelo Anthony. Are you kidding me?

Anthony shot a jaw-dropping 10-for-12 from three-point range and 13-for-16 for the game in what was an outright incredible 83-point victory for Team USA.

And that's not all.

Melo is dropping 20.5 points per game in just 16.3 minutes per contest. He has 82 points in 65 minutes of play at these 2012 London Olympics Games.

If he can keep up this tremendous scoring run, there is no question this squad is running away with the gold medal.


2. LeBron James, SF

He is finally a king deserving of his throne, and LeBron James is bringing that same championship game to these Olympics.

James played just 10 minutes against Nigeria, 18 in the Tunisia game and 24 against France in a game where he scored just nine points. But against Lithuania, in the closest call of the team's Olympics, James stood taller than any player on the floor.

In 34 minutes of play, James chipped in 20 points, five rebounds and three steals in the 99-94 victory. For the game, the Miami Heat stud shot 9-for-14 from the field. These type of performances against the top dogs in Spain and Argentina will go a long way for this basketball team.


1. Kevin Love, PF

He's not the scoring superstar that is LeBron James or Kevin Durant, nor is he smooth with it like the "Black Mamba," but this guy can flat out ball.

Kevin Love has quietly been one of the biggest impact players on Team USA, if not the biggest. His minutes aren't the greatest in quantity, but with them he is as positive as any player this team floors.

Last game in a down-to-the-wire contest with Lithuania, he had a whopping eight rebounds in just 12 minutes on the court. Four of the eight were offensive, which represented the great deal of impact Love has had on both ends of the floor.

In these close-game situations, clearly the United States will have to load up on the talent in its rotation. Yet if he can put up this type of production when called upon, Love makes a world of a difference for this team without much of any inside presence.