Any thoughts of Spain giving Team USA a challenge in the gold-medal game at the 2012 London Olympics went up in flames on Friday.
While Team USA dominated Argentina in the semifinals, Spain struggled early against Russia before ultimately coming away with the victory.
Yes, I know Spain rattled off 47 points against Russia in the second half on Friday, but the team also was trailing, 31-20, at the half. Playing one good half of basketball isn't going to get it done against Team USA.
Spain has averaged 78.1 points in the Summer Games this year, which ranks sixth among all teams, per London2012.com. The Spanish have trailed the United States, Argentina, Australia, Brazil and Lithuania in that category.
Sure, Spain has also held opponents to 73.1 points per game (third-best in the tournament), but the reality is you need to have offensive firepower when facing the U.S. because you simply aren't going to shut the team down.
Spain's leading scorer is Pau Gasol (18.4 points per game). Spain's second-leading scorer is Marc Gasol (12 points per game). As you can see, there aren't a lot of offensive stars for the Spanish team.
By comparison, the United States has four players averaging 12 points or more, including Kevin Durant and Carmelo Anthony, who are averaging 18 points and 17.4 points respectively. That's not even mentioning Kobe Bryant, who has gotten back into rhythm the past two games.
There's also the issue of rebounding differential for Spain against Team USA.
Even though Spain is one of the better rebounding teams in the world this summer, the U.S. men still hold an advantage in that area. They have averaged 45.7 rebounds in the 2012 London Olympics (compared to Spain's 41.3).
Will Team USA beat Spain by 15 points or more?
The Americans have also hurt teams as far as second-chance points. They've averaged 19 second-chance points, by far the best mark in the Summer Games. They've averaged 15 offensive rebounds in the process.
Team USA has scored 116.7 points per game in the tournament, which is part of the reason why the squad was able to outscore Argentina by 26 points despite giving up 83 points on Friday.
The long and short of it?
Spain doesn't have the scoring, or the rebounding, to come close to Team USA in the final. United States basketball will roll to its 14th Olympic gold medal on Sunday.
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