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Let's not stop at one traditional international power that will fall earlier than expected.
Those pesky Spurs aren't just messing with France due to Parker's hesitance to play; they're also hindering the Argentine cause because Manu Ginobili isn't healthy enough to spend his summer playing international ball. It's not really San Antonio's fault, of course, but the defending NBA champions are still connected to two teams that will disappoint.
However, it's not just Ginobili who's missing. Fabricio Oberto and Carlos Delfino are both sitting out as well, which puts a heaping amount of pressure on Luis Scola, Andres Nocioni and Pablo Prigioni, as well as the myriad young players on the roster. There are plenty of players who could rise to the challenge, but this is still a fairly inexperienced team, at least by Argentina's standards.
On top of that, there's been plenty of controversy with the Argentine Basketball Federation, which puts the mental fortitude of the team in question. If players aren't happy, it's generally tough for them to play at a level they could otherwise have reached.
Even if everything is fine and dandy during the adventure in Spain, Argentina still has to navigate through Group B, which is also populated by Croatia, Greece, the Philippines, Puerto Rico and Senegal. Advancement should be expected, but this team could easily finish at No. 3 in the group, especially after a putrid summer.
"The team's summer campaign has been a disaster, starting with complaints from players about the Argentine Basketball Federation," writes Kevin Pelton for ESPN.com (subscription required). "Before the blowout loss to Spain, Argentina lost both games in Serbia to the hosts and Puerto Rico."
Another loss to Puerto Rico will be surprising, but even a No. 3 finish doesn't bode well. That matches Argentina up against the No. 2 team from Group A, which is likely to be either Brazil or Serbia, whichever finishes directly behind Spain.