USA vs. Spain: Americans Will Win Big in Olympic Basketball Gold Medal Game

Mike Hoag@MikeHoagJrCorrespondent IIAugust 12, 2012

July 24, 2012; Barcelona, SPAIN; USA forward LeBron James (6) celebrates with teammate Kobe Bryant (10) during the second half of an exhibition game against Spain in preparation for the 2012 London Olympic Games at Palau Sant Jordi.  Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-US PRESSWIRE

It isn’t a question of IF Team USA is going to beat Spain. It’s a question of by how much will it be.

Ultimately, Team USA is going to prove to be too much for the up-and-coming Spanish team. A team that will continue to grow and be a significant challenge as the Rio Games in 2016 get closer.

While it may seem that U.S. victory is a given, there are concerns that Spain’s frontcourt may be able to dictate the pace of the game and slow down the high-flying and heavy hitting offense of the Americans.

But then again, the Americans are led by LeBron James, Kobe Bryant and Kevin Durant. That trio is arguably the best three players to ever step on a basketball court together.

To make matters even worse for Spain, those guys are playing some of their best basketball. And, worse yet, they haven’t fully played to their individual potential.

At any given moment, one of those three can take over and control a basketball game on their own.

They aren’t the only ones on the team capable of doing that, either. The American’s bench has proven to be capable of running with opposing nation’s first-stringers.

How can a team this deep, with this much star power and with the motivation of trying to live up to the 1992 “Dream Team” be beaten?

The answer is that they simply cannot.

In their 7-0 tournament record, there have been maybe one or two MOMENTS where their absolute superiority wasn't unquestioned against their opposition. Argentina, like France and Australia, put up a decent fight, but could not sustain the effort for a full four quarters against the incredible depth of Team USA.

Besides depth, they have countless other things working in their favor at the moment.

For starters, they’re shooting 59.7 percent from the field including an unthinkable 44.5 percent from beyond the three-point line. That is completely unheard of and will be a key decisive factor in not IF the United States will win the gold medal, but BY HOW MUCH they will win it by.

Spain’s only true chance, as mentioned earlier, lies in their ability to control the paint. Their perceived strength is solidified by the presence of the Gasol brothers and Oklahoma City Thunder defensive standout Serge Ibaka.

But the Americans aren’t going to just give it to them. They may be undersized in comparison to the Spaniards, but they are playing with more energy and athleticism than anyone else in this tournament. So far, that has been enough to fuel a high tempo offense that has built off of the team’s stifling defense.

In the exhibition match between the two countries just a mere three weeks ago, the Americans won by 22 points. They shot 55.6 percent from beyond the three-point line in that one. That was in an exhibition with nothing on the line.

Tyson Chandler was in foul trouble for most of the duration of that one. Spain didn’t dominate the post as many people feared even in his absence. In fact, the Americans controlled the boards and posted a 36-28 advantage in the rebounding category.

Spain couldn’t do it then and they’re not going to do it in London with the gold medal on the line, either.

There is too much talent on Team USA and too much pride at stake for them to come out and do anything less than walk through their Spanish foes.



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