Spain has the size to exploit Team USA's lone weakness, but don't expect that to stop LeBron James, Kobe Bryant and the rest of the Americans from standing atop of the podium after the final buzzer sounds.
Even with the likes of Pau Gasol, Marc Gasol and Serge Ibaka, Spain doesn't have the firepower to keep pace with the potent U.S. attack. The Spaniards can score in the paint and protect the bucket, but they won't be able to control the tempo for the full 40 minutes.
The Americans have overwhelming speed and athleticism, and there's simply no way to stop them from getting out on the fast break. The U.S. can run after missed shots, made shots and. of course, turnovers, which there should be plenty of Sunday.
The USA's perimeter defense is suffocating, and when the Americans decide to flip the switch, they cause nightmares for opposing guards. Although Jose Calderon, Juan Carlos Navarro and Rudy Fernandez are experienced ball-handlers, there's no way to prepare for the speed, length and tenacity of the American defense.
Offensively, the U.S. has a massive arsenal of weapons. Ten guys are capable of catching fire from behind the arc at any time. LeBron, Kobe, Kevin Durant and Carmelo Anthony are the four best one-on-one players on the planet. And if you think for a second that Chris Paul, Deron Williams and Russell Westbrook aren't going to murder the Spanish point guards, you're in for a major reality check.
Sure, Spain will score some buckets with their beautiful interior play. And, yes, the U.S. will likely struggle against Spain's length in the paint.
At the end of the day, though, none of that will matter. Even if the game is close for awhile, an explosion from Team USA is inevitable.
I'm expecting Spain to stay competitive for awhile before the Americans pull away and win by 15-20 points.
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