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USA vs. Australia: How Team USA Can Send a Message to Olympic Field

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 02:  Russell Westbrook #7 of United States, Tyson Chandler #4 of United States, and Lebron James #6 of United States celebrate after the Men's Basketball Preliminary Round match against Nigeria on Day 6 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Basketball Arena on August 2, 2012 in London, England.  (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
Mike Hewitt/Getty Images
Adam FromalNational NBA Featured ColumnistOctober 20, 2016

Team USA was the favorite going into the basketball portion of the London Olympics, and the group stage only solidified that status, as the Americans swept through the competition with a perfect 5-0 record. 

Now that the elimination games have begun, it's time for the United States to send a serious message, one that makes perfectly clear that the Americans are not to be messed with in this pursuit for a gold medal. 

So, how can that message be sent? 

 

Push the Pedal to the Metal

The bigger the margin of victory against Australia, the bigger the message that will be sent to the other three teams that will remain after the conclusion of the quarterfinal matchups. 

Team USA has been content to come out of the gate slowly with the starting lineup and then let the second unit open up a huge lead. From there, they've only increased the lead and blown teams out of the water in the second half (except for Lithuania). 

If Chris Paul, Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant, LeBron James and Tyson Chandler can open up an early advantage against the Boomers, the message will be sent that the Americans aren't messing around anymore. 

 

Let Tyson Chandler Play

The biggest knock on Team USA has been the lack of length, and head coach Mike Krzyzewski has done absolutely nothing to dispel that notion. 

Tyson Chandler has only played 12 minutes per game, starting the game on the court and then watching the remaining processions from his comfy spot on the pine as the smaller and quicker players go to work. 

If Coach K really wants to prove that this team can play big, he'll let Chandler stay out on the court and go to work for all four quarters. 

As a backup option, let Anthony Davis play more minutes and free the unibrow from his prison on the end of the United States' bench. 

 

Don't Rely on the Three-Ball

The United States has been over-relient on shots from behind the three-point line so far during the Olympic competition, and the Americans must prove that they can dominate without hitting from downtown. 

As good as the shooters on Team USA may be, they're bound to go cold from downtown at some point. 

For once, it would be nice to see the team rely on penetration and passing to get free shots from inside the arc, rather than settling for jumpers from long-range, even if they're falling.

The United States has already proven that it can catch fire when shooting three-pointers, so now it's time to prove that they can blow the opponent out of the water with a preponderance of two-point field goals.  

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