One of the most anticipated team appearances in the London Olympics, pertaining to the USA men’s basketball team, whose total NBA contracts of $635 million dollars certainly makes them the most highly paid team in London, or anywhere else for that matter.
In five exhibition games, the U.S. team, led by Carmelo Anthony, LeBron James and Kevin Durant, won all of their games by a margin of nearly 20 points. I think it’s safe to say that they are pretty “warmed up.” With that talent on the roster, winning does seem appropriate if you’re Team USA. They are expected to win. In 2008, the United States redeemed themselves by winning the gold after a disappointing performance in Athens in 2004. Although it is assumed to be a “cakewalk” for the U.S. team to win gold this summer, they do not have the same frontcourt that they had back in 2008. With injuries to Dwight Howard and Chris Bosh, the team does lack size. For now, it does not appear to be a weakness. According to Coach Mike Krzyzewski, it is a “minor” concern.
“Teams have gotten better, and it will be a big challenge if we can put it all together and get what we came here for,” said Anthony, who has been one of the leading scorers on the team. Fellow teammate LeBron James added, “There is always room for us to improve, we need to get better and with the team we’ve got I know we can do it.” The team kicked off their opening game against France showing signs of both brilliance and flaws in a 98-71 victory on Sunday.
The teams that play are divided up into different groups. Team USA is in Group A along with France, Tunisia, Nigeria and Lithuania. Although it appears that the U.S. may be in a somewhat weak group, they still have to go out and win those games. Teams like Brazil, Argentina and 2nd-ranked Spain will be tough tasks for the team come the elimination rounds. This is a short tournament, not like a regular NBA season where you can afford to have a few 2-game losing streaks. For the men’s basketball team and for all the other sports in London, the athletes know very well it could be their last opportunity to compete in the Olympic Games.
Sports Notes : (Baseball) The Mets head west to play the San Francisco Giants. Is pitcher James Shields on their radar come the trading deadline? The Yankees look to rebound against the Baltimore Orioles in a 3-game set. With the trading deadline coming, will the Mets or the Yankees make a blockbuster move? Yanks have lost 8 of their last 11 and may need help offensively, with the absence of Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira. The Mets are in need of another starting pitcher, and a closer. The Yankees could use another starting pitcher as well.