USA vs. Spain: Gold Medal Contest Doesn't Reflect American Dominance

Brian MaziqueCorrespondent IIIAugust 13, 2012

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 12: LeBron James #6 of the United States and team mates celebrate on the podium following the medal ceremony for the Men's Basketball on Day 16 of the London 2012 Olympics Games at North Greenwich Arena on August 12, 2012 in London, England.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Team USA claimed the gold medal over Spain in a hard fought 107-100 final. But Spain is more than seven points inferior to the United States in men's hoops.

Pau and Marc Gasol teamed with Serge Ibaka is a formidable front line, but let's be honest, if Team USA sent Dwight Howard and Blake Griffin to London, instead of Anthony Davis and James Harden, would Spain have held such a significant inside advantage?

I think not.

The next tier down is almost equally as formidable with Andrew Bynum, and the international game is perfect for a guy like Brook Lopez or Zach Randolph. This was not the best American team available.

The 2012 Olympic team was amazing, but were it not for injuries to players like Derrick Rose, Howard and Griffin, it would have been even better.

Spain was without Ricky Rubio, but as impressive as he was as a rookie, he would not have made the impact that the three missing American stars would have made. Team USA was far more athletic than every team they played, man for man, and the international teams still hold a chemistry advantage.

Team USA played in two games where there opponents stayed within 10 points. There were a few nervous moments, but I can't say there was ever a time that I thought they would lose a game.

This was with a roster that had one true center in Tyson Chandler.

With LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Carmelo Anthony and Kevin Durant on the floor, there were simply too many closers available. The international game has its differences from the NBA, but one thing is universal in basketball.

When the game is on the line, you have to have players capable of making individual plays that win games.

No country has the array of spectacular options the Americans have.

So were there a couple games close?


Is the competition far better now than it was 20 years ago?


But is Team USA still head and shoulders above the rest of the world in hoops?



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