Olympic Basketball 2012: Top 5 Threats to upset Team USA going forward

Team USA is undefeated so far in the 2012 London Olympics. We’ve seen them look completely unbeatable when they destroyed Nigeria by 83 points then we saw them vulnerable stumbling vs. Lithuania in their last game.

The scouting report for Team USA is that they are not a very big team that likes to shoot a lot of 3-pointers. There are teams out there that can make life difficult for Team USA and maybe even pull off the unlikely upset.

Here is a look at the five teams with the best shot of doing so:

5. France (3-1)

Team USA easily beat France 98-71 in their opening game of the Olympics. There’s probably not five teams that have a chance to beat Team USA either. Since that opening game loss to the U.S., France has not lost and they should end up with the two seed in their pool. That means they can avoid Team USA until a potential gold medal game where anything could happen. France still has plenty of NBA talent and a point guard in Tony Parker who could have a monster game vs. Team USA in a rematch. But it is still very unlikely France could pull off the upset, or even see the United States again.

4. Brazil (2-2)

Brazil played the U.S. as tough as anyone before the Olympics started in an exhibition. They have great size in Nene, Anderson Varejao and Tiago Splitter and a fantastic point guard in Marcelinho Huertas. In a one game situation, Brazil definitely has the tools to pull off the upset vs. the U.S. Brazil and Spain will play their final game of pool play to determine the two seed of their pool. Whoever gets the two will possibly play Team USA in the semifinal of the medal round otherwise they would avoid them until the gold medal game if they get the three seed.

3. Russia (4-0)

Russia has been the surprise of the Olympics so far although they were definitely underrated coming in. They are undefeated and have wrapped up Pool B after upsetting Spain in their last game. Andrei Kirilenko is playing some of the best basketball of his career and Russia has a cast of guys with enough European flow to their game to possibly surprise the U.S. in an upset. Russia will also not see Team USA until a potential gold medal game where both teams would more than likely have to be undefeated at that point. Russia is fairly weak in their backcourt which would make it very hard for them to beat the U.S.

2. Argentina (3-1)

Argentina was upset by France in pool play and will play its final game of pool play vs. the United States on Monday. Team USA beat Argentina by six in an exhibition game before the Olympics but Argentina definitely showed that beating the U.S. is possible. Team USA’s defense has looked fairly weak of late and players like Manu Ginobili and Luis Scola could really slice it up. Argentina isn’t the biggest team though so Team USA won’t have the toughest time matching up with them even when they go small. Argentina is not scared at all of the U.S. and will likely have to see them in the semifinal of the medal round if they get there.

1. Spain (3-1)

Spain made a big stumble losing to Russia and losing their pool. Now they will have to see Team USA in the semifinal of the medal round unless they throw the Brazil game (which might happen). Spain has and still is the biggest threat to Team USA despite being upset by Russia. No international team has the balance and size upfront that Spain has. They also have very experienced guards and good enough shooting to pull off a big time 3-point shooting night which is very necessary to upset Team USA. Spain-USA will be the marquee matchup of the Olympics if we get to see it and if there will ever be a time for Team USA to lose, it will come vs. Spain.

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Tags: 2012 Olympics Argentina Brazil France Lithuania Nigeria Russia Spain USA Basketball

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