Predicting Which Team USA Stars Will Coast in 2012-13 After Gold Medal Triumph

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Predicting Which Team USA Stars Will Coast in 2012-13 After Gold Medal Triumph
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

There's some evidence to suggest that NBA players tend to see an uptick in performance after participating in international tournaments, most notably the Olympics. Something about the thrill of competing with and against the best players on the planet and the confidence gleaned therein seems to be a boon to those who take their talents overseas during the offseason.

At least, that's how the story goes.

The rigors of competing for one's country can also have deleterious effects on one's performance—physically, mentally and otherwise. Some wind up wounded by the experience, while others come home too exhausted to deal with the grind of an 82-game season, not to mention the training camp beforehand and the potential postseason play later on.

This isn't to suggest that international competition is necessarily "bad" for the NBA or that players are prone to shirking their domestic duties once they return home. Just about any attempt to pin down the exact cause(s) of an Olympic "hangover" will likely yield an all-too-wide array of potential explanations.

Whatever those explanations may be, expect some of them to prove valid in the cases of these five members of Team USA during the 2012-13 NBA season.

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