USA Olympic Basketball Team: 3 Teams That Could Give USA Trouble in Medal Round

Chris RolingFeatured ColumnistAugust 8, 2012

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 04:  Chris Paul #13 of United States watches free throw shot 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

Now that Team USA has made it to the medal round of the 2012 London Olympics with a relativity easily obtained 5-0 record, things are going to get a bit more difficult. 

The first matchup for LeBron James, Kevin Durant and the rest of the members of Team USA comes against a lowly Australian club, but after that there are some teams that could provide quite the challenge on the path to the gold. 

While these teams are certainly not as talented or deep as Team USA, there are not any that are going to end up losing by 83 points either. With the way Team USA has shown a propensity to sleep walk through the first half, an upset could be brewing. 

Let's take a look at three teams that could take advantage of Team USA's inconsistent play in the medal round. 


Assuming Argentina gets past Brazil in the first round, it is a team that could give James and his team some trouble. If Brazil somehow is the opponent, Team USA waxed them with ease in exhibition play. 

Argentina is of course led by Manu Ginobili, with Luis Scola patrolling the paint in a big way. Team USA has already defeated Argentina twice in the 2012 Olympics, once in exhibition play and once in Pool A play, but that does not mean Argentina cannot pull out a win. 

In fact, it is even more likely to happen the third time. After beating a lowly Nigerian squad by 83 points, Team USA came out flat and almost got upset by Lithuania. 

Argentina is no Lithuania, and the team is more dangerous than people give it credit for at this point. 


Spain remains the biggest threat to Team USA, thanks to NBA All-Star big men Pau and Marc Gasol. Jose Calderon is great at scoring in bunches, and with shooters like Rudy Fernandez lurking on the perimeter, the team has the ability to score with Team USA. 

The size advantage down low could disrupt Team USA's offense in a big way. The team enjoys relying on the three-pointer a bit too much, and may rely on it even more with the paint clogged up. If the shots are not falling, Spain could pull off the upset. 

Luckily for Team USA, Spain has been inconsistent at best so far in the Games, so unless Spain plays a perfect game, James and company should be able to take advantage. 


This of course depends on France and Lithuania bowing out, and Russia somehow overcoming Spain, but the former situation is the only one that could not happen in our eyes,

Russia has surprisingly been the second-best team in the Games, emerging as the victor of Pool B. Andrei Kirilenko has arguably been the best player in the Games to this point, and will fluster the wings of Team USA defensively. 

The rest of the team has been great around Kirilenko, forcing opponents to consistently take low percentage shots and not allowing many fast-break points. 

There are not many household names on the Russian roster, but in a one-game playoff the underrated squad could shock the world.