Team USA Basketball

USA vs. Spain: Why Gasol Brothers Won't Frustrate Americans' Chances of Gold

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 10:  LeBron James #6 of United States reacts in the second half while taking on Argentina during the Men's Basketball semifinal match on Day 14 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the North Greenwich Arena on August 10, 2012 in London, England.  (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)
Cameron Spencer/Getty Images
Steven CookFeatured Columnist IVAugust 12, 2012

Spain's most obvious strength is one that will apply to the USA's biggest weakness, but that won't keep the heavily-favored Americans from claiming yet another gold medal on Sunday.

Much has been made of the Spanish brotherly duo of Pau and Marc Gasol, as two of the best forwards in the world make for a scary frontline that also features one of the NBA's best defensive players, Serge Ibaka.

Many people believe that this facet of Spain's game will frustrate the Americans, as injuries decimated a frontcourt that was set to feature Dwight Howard and Chris Bosh. Instead, the U.S. went with Tyson Chandler and gets minutes down low from Kevin Love and 19-year-old Anthony Davis.

America has been far from dominant in the post, but here's the secret: It doesn't have to be.

Having players like LeBron James, Kevin Durant and Kobe Bryant in your backcourt allows you to do some crazy things. 

Virtually every player on the U.S. roster can shoot the three-ball with menace, and it has been the difference in some games this tournament where the Americans have looked lethargic and slow on the interior. 

Even if Spain goes to its big guns early and the U.S. struggles to shoot the ball, it will only be a matter of time until fate changes in the Americans' favor. Tyson Chandler also does a good job of canceling out one of the Gasol's offensively as the reigning NBA Defensive Player of the Year.

Spain's inside-out style has had trouble putting up points in these Olympics. It only had 20 points in the first half against Russia—no, that's not a typo—and finished with a subpar 67 points. 

As menacing as Spain's interior might be defensively, that just won't do against one of the best basketball teams ever assembled.

Even though the U.S. might be off-and-on with its tendency to fire three after three, shooters like Durant, Carmelo Anthony, Kobe, Chris Paul and James Harden (the list goes on and on) will eventually get their three's in the basket enough to pull out to a sizable lead.

Spain's backcourt has plenty of talent and even a few NBA faces, but it will be frustrated by USA's suffocating defense as the second half wears on and Coach K gets some fresh legs in. 

If the U.S.'s star-studded starting five starts out flat, don't worry. Its bench has been superb in picking up off of slow starts and energizing the game. 

If Spain keeps it close throughout and it's a single-digit game late, don't worry. LeBron will do what he does best offensively and penetrate to find his open teammates, either for an easy dunk or a wide open three. 

The U.S. of A hasn't been entirely dominant in these Olympics, but it will find a way to get out to its 30-point leads and easily stroll to another gold medal. 

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