The U.S. men’s basketball team came into the Rio Olympics as overwhelming favorites to win the tournament, but after the way they played in their last three games, the team might be lucky just to win a medal at the 2016 Summer Olympics.
The men’s team finished undefeated in group play, but the way they did it doesn’t inspire a lot of confidence going forward.
After surviving scares against Australia and Serbia, the U.S. team was expected to bounce back with a big game against France, who were playing without point guard Tony Parker, but the team’s defensive woes continued and they won a second consecutive game by a margin of three points.
For any other team, the results would be welcome, but from a team that was expected to dominate the competition, it is cause for concern.
With the win against France, the U.S. Team advanced to the quarterfinals of the basketball tournament, where they will play Argentina. The game is scheduled to be played on Wednesday afternoon.
Argentina didn’t come in as one of the favorites this year because they have a team anchored by an aging Manu Ginobili and Louis Scola. However, the team managed to win three of its five group games, which was good enough to advance to the medal round.
The Argentine team doesn’t have much to lose now that they are in the knockout stage, and have to be excited about facing an American team that is currently struggling defensively. If Ginobili can get going, he will create a matchup problem for some of the American wing players.
The U.S. team has had problems defending against teams that move the ball well so far, which is one of Argentina’s biggest strengths. If they can’t fix their defensive issues before this game, Argentina could pull off one of the biggest upsets in Olympic history.
Through the first three games of the tournament, Carmelo Anthony was the difference maker for the Americans. Anthony’s offensive output in the first three games allowed him to become the All-time leading scorer in Olympic history, and the team needs him to get back to doing what he does best, which is to score a lot of points.
Kevin Durant has started picking up the pace, but the American team will need more consistent scoring from him. Durant, who was the difference maker at the last Olympics, needs to also assume a bigger role on offense instead of deferring to his teammates.
The winner of this game will face the winner of the Spain vs France game in the semifinals on Friday.
USA vs Argentina Betting Line
The Americans have been disappointing lately, but they continue finding ways to win. Argentina has a solid team, but I still feel they aren’t talented enough to defeat the U.S., so I’m picking the Americans to snap out of their funk and win a blowout.
Play: Team USA -23.5 @ Bovada.lv