Before Team USA took the court to start the third quarter of Monday's final preliminary contest, there was an eerie uncertainty looming over this group of young, immensely talented athletes that had been absent ever since the debacle that took place in 2004. Coming off a mere five-point victory against Lithuania, the team was leading international rival Argentina by just one point at halftime. For the first time in this tournament, Team USA looked vulnerable.
The remainder of the game played out as most expected. Team USA's three-point shooting came alive in a big way to start the third quarter, as Kevin Durant had five triples to lead the way. Furthermore, LeBron James started to get himself further involved in the offense as the game progressed. He would finish with 18 points and five assists.
However, the gaudy statistics that Team USA posted against Argentina in the second half are now afterthoughts in the minds of the rest of the Olympic field. Although every team understands that Team USA is by far the most talented, athletic team in the tournament, it has shown it is beatable.
Just because nobody has beaten Team USA yet does not mean it's impossible. In the NBA, good basketball teams lose to bad basketball teams almost on a nightly basis. All it takes is for a few key players to have an off-night.
Obviously, it's unlikely that Team USA is upended in their quest for a gold medal. However, if it were going to happen, these are methods that any respective squad would need to employ.