The United States is the heavy favorite in any international basketball competition it enters, and the 2014 FIBA World Cup will be no different.
With that being said, Team USA is a little more vulnerable than it's been in past years. The injury to Paul George and the withdrawal of talented frontcourt players like Blake Griffin and Kevin Love means that the best possible team won’t be on the floor for the World Cup.
Head coach Mike Krzyzewski still sounded confident in a press release on the USA Basketball website:
We’re excited about where the team is headed. Really all 16 guys have a chance to make to the team, which usually does not happen in a training camp, and it shows that all of the guys thus far have done an excellent job. Then it’s just a matter of finding what chemistry that we can develop with the entire group and I don’t think we’ll know that until we play some exhibition games. The 16 guys give us a chance to look at a way of playing in a number of different ways and we just have to figure out what those ways are and then the 12 who will fit best.
There’s still plenty of talent, and there’s still Kevin Durant, but with other international teams getting younger and stronger, this could get interesting pretty quick.
Although there are a few traditional powerhouses we’ll leave off this list, like an aging and somewhat depleted Argentina team, let’s take a look at five other teams that represent the biggest threat to the United States in the 2014 World Cup.