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Rubbadub
07-23-2008, 07:12 AM
Thought I would start a running thread, since Team USA's training camp in Vegas is starting...

http://sports.espn.go.com/oly/olybb/columns/story?columnist=sheridan_chris&page=TeamUSA-080722
Team USA's quest for gold begins with a few questions

LAS VEGAS -- The biggest question facing Team USA is whether it will win the gold medal, but the answer is 33 days from being realized.

So as we begin the long trek to Beijing, here are some of the questions that have arisen as Team USA starts the final phase of its quest for gold:

Q: How is this team better than the team that lost to Greece in the 2006 FIBA World Championship in Japan?

A: First of all, the point guard position is much more solid. Instead of Kirk Hinrich (who finished as the starter in Japan) and Chris Paul (who began as the starter), the Americans now have Jason Kidd, Paul and Deron Williams as their playmakers.

They also have added Kobe Bryant, who will concentrate on being a one-on-one defensive stopper more than a scorer.

Q: How is this team worse than the 2006 team?

A: Can't really say the Americans are worse in any way. What they are, just as they were in Japan, is untested. They made it through last summer's Tournament of the Americas without playing a single close game, and they won't play a tough opponent in Beijing until their third and fourth games of the first round, when they'll face Spain and Greece.

And when they play the Greeks, keep an eye out to see whether Team USA's lack of size is a problem; it was two years ago when the Greeks stunned the Americans in the World Championship semis.

Q. Is Dwyane Wade healthy enough to help?

A: That's a major, major question as camp gets under way. Wade is expected to be the team's sixth man, but Michael Redd, Williams and even Tayshaun Prince could usurp that title if Wade is as shaky in the next few weeks as he was for Miami last season coming back from knee and shoulder surgeries.

Q. What is the general take on Mike Krzyzewski's coaching Team USA in the Olympics?

A: That's an open-ended question, and it probably will be best answered after we see how Coach K responds to adversity when it first arises in Beijing.

In Japan, it didn't come until the semis, and Coach K did not acquit himself well by stubbornly sticking with a small lineup against Greece when either Dwight Howard or Elton Brand could have made a big difference.

Q: Why is Jason Kidd in the starting lineup instead of Williams or Paul?

A: Because he's the quintessential facilitator, and he'll bend over backward to make sure the team's best scorers get the ball in position to put up points. He also has an undefeated record with the U.S. senior national team, going 38-0 in major competitions. He's the only member of the U.S. team to have won an Olympic gold medal, which he did eight years ago in Sydney.

When the team's bigwigs sat down after their 2006 third-place finish, they decided that upgrading the point was the most important adjustment they needed to make.

Q: There was a lot of drama (Stephon Marbury, Allen Iverson, Larry Brown) the last time Team USA played in the Olympics. Should we expect anything like that this time around?

A: Depends on whether this team runs into the same type of early adversity that the 2004 team did. Brown suspended two players for the first exhibition game four years ago because they were late to a team meeting, which got them off to a rough start. And when that Olympic squad landed in Germany and got trounced by Italy in its second exhibition, panic began to set in.

By the end of the first week of August, we'll see how Team USA looks in friendlies against two very strong teams -- Russia and Lithuania. If they struggle, the drama will begin to become self-evident.

Q: Will Kobe be able to subjugate his game, or at least adjust it for an entire month-plus?

A: Another open question. It'll be interesting to see who will take the last shot if they're ever in a tight game in the final seconds. Three guys -- Bryant, LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony -- probably feel they most deserve to shoot for the win.

Q: Who is Team USA's leader?

A: Kidd is the leader, for age and experience reasons. But if he struggles on the road to Beijing, it'll be interesting to see who will try to step up and fill that position. A lack of leadership has been a problem for the U.S. in the past. In Athens, the team tuned out its leader -- Coach Brown.

Q: Which Team USA member will turn the most heads in Beijing (a la Vince Carter eight years ago in Sydney)?

A: The safe guess is Anthony, who has proven the past four years to be a better FIBA player than an NBA player. The dark horse is Kobe, who never has been asked to subjugate his offensive game as he will this time.

Q: What are the keys to Team USA's bringing back the gold?

A: The biggest key is to peak at the end, not the beginning. Only three games really matter -- the quarterfinals on Aug. 20, the semis on Aug. 22, and the gold-medal game on Aug. 24.

The team also needs to keep its bigs healthy and hope they stay out of foul trouble. Aside from Howard, Chris Bosh and Carlos Boozer, Team USA doesn't have any other true power forwards or centers.

Rubbadub
07-23-2008, 07:16 AM
In depth Team USA roster...

http://sports.espn.go.com/oly/olybb/news/story?page=TeamUSA-Roster-BeijingOlympics

and TV schedule...

http://sports.espn.go.com/oly/olybb/news/story?page=2008teamusaschedule

kitzbuel
07-25-2008, 05:36 PM
Watching USA-Canada now. Back-to-back Chris Bosh/Dwyane Wade jams are punctuating a blowout.

Rubbadub
07-25-2008, 08:00 PM
Forgot all about it... :(

Game recap-
http://sports.espn.go.com/oly/olybb/news/story?id=3505801

Akzag
07-29-2008, 05:50 PM
Go Redeem Team!

Rubbadub
07-31-2008, 08:26 AM
Set your Tivo...Team USA's on tomorrow morning against Turkey at 8am ET and re-airing at 8pm ET...

Rubbadub
07-31-2008, 01:17 PM
Set your Tivo...Team USA's on tomorrow morning against Turkey at 8am ET and re-airing at 8pm ET...

Oops! Misread it. Turkey game was today and is being re-aired at 8pm ET. The Lithuania game is tomorrow at 8am ET...

Here's the game story from today...

http://sports.espn.go.com/oly/olybb/columns/story?columnist=sheridan_chris&page=USATurkey-080731&lpos=spotlight&lid=tab2pos1

Rubbadub
08-01-2008, 10:28 AM
USA beats Lithuania 120-84

http://sports.espn.go.com/oly/summer08/basketball/news/story?id=3514623

Zag 77
08-08-2008, 07:49 PM
I am impressed with the brief comments LeBron James made on NBC about how the US team has a new attitude vs. 2004 about buying in to what it means to being an Olympian and representing your country.

Hopefully the NBA guys took a crash course in how to play basketball because the rest of the world is not in awe of them anymore.

kitzbuel
08-10-2008, 11:08 AM
I was impressed watching LeBron against Yao. His athleticism made up for the height difference. USA was able to make Yao a non-factor as far as rebounding due in large part to James's athleticism and good positioning. Good to see the team use basics like good positioning to build a solid defensive effort on.

brian_sun
08-10-2008, 09:22 PM
The US vs. China basketball game will go down as the most watched basketball game in history.

We don't have the final tally yet, but based on the TV rating this Olympics game has so far in China, it's going to smash whatever previous record there is.

Friday's Opening ceremony drew an almost 70% TV rating in China. 842 million Chinese watched the opening ceremony, but that's not included the people who watched it on public square, in football stadium and at the bars. Friends back in China told me that everybody they knew watched the opening ceremony. In my home town of a population of 3 million people, 200000 people jammed into a public square to watch the opening ceremony. 50000 people jammed into the provincial football stadium to watch it. Countless people also poured into bars / pubs / restaurants to watch it. The total viewership is more likely over 1 billion people. Think about it, the last superbowl drew about 100M people in US to watch it. The TV rating was 43%. The highest TV rating for a US TV program was 50%. Think about what 1 billion people in China watch the same thing. The Olympics is truely the most gigantic event ever in Chinese TV history.

But that's not the most amazing thing though. The most amazing thing is that on Saturday, the first day of the Olympics competition, the TV rating kept up with the opening ceremony. The average TV rating for the first day of the competition was 63.3%, or 780 million Chinese spent an average of 208 minutes on Saturday to watch the first day of the Olympics competition. In the morning, 250 million Chinese tuned into the women 48kg weightlifting competition! In the afternoon, 316 million Chinese to watch the defending olympics women volleyball champion China to play one of the worst teams in the tourney Venezuela in a lopsided match! Think about it, a quarter of the people in the country watching couple sports that aren't drawing much fan interest in non-olympic years.

The Olympics have really turned the country upside down. I have never seen the level of enthusiasm on anything like this.

Why is this a win for basketball? Based on the TV rating for these other sports, the US - China basketball game TV rating would go through the roof. That is the toughest ticket for the entire Olympic competition. The court side seat was going for $2000 / ticket in the black market. Even the worst seat in the stadium was going for $800, 50 times the face value! And the national per capital GDP in China was about $3000/year. So people are spending half of their yearly salary to buy a ticket to the US - China basketball game, just to get to watch Lebron, Kobe, D-Wade, and Superman D-Howard battling Yao. Of course, they also get to see Bush sitting courtside and the Chinese president Hu Jintao too. The estimate of 1 billion TV viewer is probably too low. Although I am sure the rating suffered a bit when quite a few TV sets were broken, when the other most popular sports, men's soccer team not only lost 2-0 to Belgium, but lost disgracefully by earning 2 red cards, with one given to the team Capitan Zheng Zhi. This happened just right before the US - China basketball game took place. A few of my friends I talked to said that soccer match really left a bad taste in their mouth, and they should banned Olympics soccer altogether, or at least ban the Chinese men soccer team. But because how disgraceful the Chinese men's soccer team has been over the last 40 years, basketball IS becoming the #1 sports in China.

It's a win for the NBA because by sending this NBA all star team to China will really heighten the interests of Chinese basketball fans. In a nation of 1.3 billion people, there are going to be more Yao Ming, Yi Jianlian, and Sun Yue who will make it to the NBA. This is not only a big win for the US team, but a big win for the NBA and a big win for the game of basketball. China lost the game, but there was no loser at all. China will be better in the future because of this game. Great job!

jbslicer
08-14-2008, 06:01 AM
92-69

CDC84
08-14-2008, 01:12 PM
Spain is up next on Saturday. They're deep and are really going to challenge USA's defense in the low blocks. It should be a good game.

Akzag
08-16-2008, 02:47 PM
Never ... Never did I expect to see the day where China would beat Germany in men's basketball. Times have changed.