Sunday, July 22, 2012

2012 Summer Olympics Preview - Basketball

Greetings everyone. If you have been around the blog for a while you know that I teamed up with Ian from The Steelers N'at a while ago to do a preview for the 2010 Winter Olympics so with the Summer Olympics right around the corner I figured I might as well do it for you guys again. In the summer games we have 31 different events and over the week we are going to be preview every single one of them. I am going to drop some knowledge today about the basketball aspect of the Olympics with a preview of men's and women's basketball. While I give you a really vague idea of who is going to compete my boy Adam drops in to give you a better idea of what is going on. Even if it isn't better, it is better. Trust me. Ian dropped some information on soccer earlier in the day so make sure you go and check that out and make sure you check back every day to get your info on everything Olympics.



If there is one thing that everyone loves to watch in the Summer Olympics it is Basketball and Track & Field. Basketball is probably the more popular of the two and on the men's side the United States is going to send an absolutely loaded lineup to London to bring back a Gold medal. To say that the USA is expecting to win the Gold medal here might be the understatement of the year. Kobe Bryant went as far to say that if the US team does not win Gold they should have their citizenship's revoked. That seems a little harsh but this is how these guys feel and to be honest they are easily the favorites this year.

The set up for basketball is the qualifying teams are broke up into two groups and this is how they will break down:

Group A: Argentina, France, Lithuania, Nigeria, Tunisia, United States

Group B: Australia, Brazil, China, Great Britain, Russia, Spain

Everyone will play in group play before the top four teams from each group move on to a single elimination bracket.

While the United States should breeze through Group A and earn the top seed in the elimination round they might have a little bit of problems with some of the teams from Group B boasts a much deeper group with Brazil and Spain that can test the United States at the point where they are most vulnerable which is in the paint.

While Brazil hung with the USA in one of the recent tune up games Spain could be the top competitor for the US. Spain has some strong post players that are athletic in Marc Gasol, Pau Gasol and Serge Ibaka and with the US relying on an unproven Anthony Davis this could prove to be a pretty significant advantage for Spain. The loss of Ricky Rubio is going to hurt Spain but they should still be the favorite to challenge the favorite.

Where nobody can match the US is on the win as the American's are loaded with speed, quickness and deadly shooting. You can just run through the lineup of LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook and that is just the tip of the iceberg when talking about talented guards and small forwards that can just kill you.

I really don't see anyone coming close to competing with the United States. While I don't think they will be as dominant as the 1992 Dream Team, and nobody will, they will still play well enough for nobody to really be that worried.

The United States has won four of the last five Gold's and has 13 total Gold medal's in men's basketball competition. The next closest is Russia who has won two of them. That is pretty much the definition of domination.


On the women's side this is how the groups are going to break down:

Group A: Angola, China, Croatia, Czech Republic, Turkey, United States

Group B: Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Great Britain, Russia

Just like in the men's tournament the two groups will play each other with the top-4 moving on to a single elimination bracket until the Gold is awarded. The United States is considered the favorite for this just like on the other side and should be the favorite to win their group to set up a run at the top spot.

From Group B Russia and Australia should give the United States the toughest test but in Group A the USA will need to get by Czech Republic who will most likely be the toughest test.

The United States roster is loaded with talent from the WNBA which includes Candace Parker, Tamika Catching, Diana Taurasi, Sue Bird, Tamika Catchins and Maya Moore. I don't watch a ton of women's basketball, actually I watch none of it, but I know that this is a stacked lineup.

Adam's Take: 

If you're like me, then the first thing you think of when you hear "Mens Olympic Basketball Team" are these McDonald's Dream Team cups, which were awesome. The most important thing about these cups is that they were perfect, not a lame one in the set (before you hate on Chris Mullin, just remember he successfully maintained the only white man flat-top hair cut in history, that thing would make the girlies go 'Oooooo". Subsequent sets had guys like Christian Laettner, Derrick Coleman, Penny Hardaway, Mitch yea...those cups blew. As for this year at the Olympics, USA should win...but their games always seem to have more anxiety than "HOLY CRAP!" dunks for my taste. The two-grouping system ensures one team besides USA will come out of Group A...which I'm picking to be France (not Argentina) in a bit of an upset. The Frenchies have six NBA players on their roster including Tony Parker. Don't sleep on them for a Bronze. Out of Group B, let's take Spain with the Gasol Brothes and Brazil as role-player guys like Anderson Varejao & Nene play for them. One thing is for sure, Great Britain is going to get WAXED and it will be hilarious.

On the Womens side, USA should also be atop the podium, but I'm going to go with who I will be rooting for because that is more commensurate with my level of knowledge. China is mostly vertically challenged, though they're gaining on us!, no.  Angola has the population and land mass of Florida, so I'm gonna say no. Turkey is likely the most talented team in Group A, so I won't be rooting for them, also bad food puns. Croatia...Yes, please. Czech Republic is where Jaromir Jagr is from and he plays hockey, not basketball, you Group B is a street fight. Australia has taken silver at like the last three world womens basketball shindigs, so I cannot in good conscience, root for them. I SAID I WON'T DO IT! I dated a chick from Canada (they love when you call them "chicks", if by love you mean "get stabby") so nope. France and Russia both have flags with our flag's colors so I hate them for life. Voila, Brazil. Go Brazil. And your lovable style of below-the-belt hair styling.

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