As we head into the third day of play at the 2014 FIBA World Cup in Spain, the strongest teams have been demonstrating their dominance early on.
Both the United States and Spain have easily handled their competition. Team USA has won its two games by a combined 40 points. Spain has been nearly as dominant—its average margin of victory is 33.5.
Most recently Team USA dispatched a game Turkish squad 98-77, but the game was a little closer than the score would indicate. Turkey pushed the Americans before a second-half run keyed by Anthony Davis helped Team USA pull away.
Kyrie Irving and Kenneth Faried also made their presence felt.
Spain handed Egypt a major beatdown on Sunday. Serge Ibaka had 18 points and eight rebounds to pace his squad.
While Team USA and Spain are just two of the seven undefeated teams, none of the others have stood as head-and-shoulders above the crowd. Spain will get its first real test on Monday when it battles undefeated rival Brazil.
The Americans have the day off, but here's a look at the day's schedule, viewing information and predictions. The team predicted to win will appear in bold.
- Senegal vs. Croatia, 6:20 a.m. ET (ESPN 3)
- Serbia vs. Iran, 9:20 a.m. ET (ESPN 3)
- Argentina vs. Philippines, 11:30 a.m. ET (NBA TV and ESPN 3)
- Egypt vs. France, 11:50 a.m. ET (ESPN 3)
- Puerto Rico vs. Greece, 2 p.m. ET (NBA TV and ESPN 3)
- Brazil vs. Spain, 4 p.m. ET (NBA TV and ESPN 3)
Key Games to Watch
Spain is Too Big and Skilled for Brazil
Against most teams, a frontcourt rotation of Nene, Anderson Varejao and Tiago Splitter would be more than enough to carry the load. However, that's not the case against Spain.
Powered by Pau and Marc Gasol, and Serge Ibaka, the Spaniards have a set of big men that only Team USA can match, and that too may be tested if the squads meet for the gold medal.
Brazil's only chance to win is to get one or two of the trio in foul trouble, and to shoot the ball well from three-point range. That's going to be asking too much, and Spain will move to 3-0 behind it's size and skill advantage.
Argentina Will Pound an Undersized Philippines Squad
Even with Andray Blatche, the Philippines are at a size disadvantage against most teams. To compete on Monday, it too will need to be accurate from long range.
Argentina likes to pound the ball inside to Luis Scola, and Blatche and Co. don't have the interior defense to slow him down.
Coming in, Scola is leading all players in scoring with a 25.3 points-per-game average. He could have his biggest game of the tournament against the Philippines.
Look for Argentina to wear their opponents down and to pull away late.
Follow Brian Mazique, aka FranchisePlay, the Sports Video Game Journalist.
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