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daleja424
08-03-2008, 11:59 PM
The olympics haven't even begun yet and already team USA basketball is making news. I wanted to take a couple minutes out to share the three most important things I have noticed about Team USA 2008 so far in first 4 pre-Olympic exhibition games.

This isn't going to be easy:
So Team USA walked all over their first two opponents, Canada and Turkey, and this looked like the beginning of another dominant run fro USA b-ball as they won the first two by 55 and 32 respectively. Then came Lithuania and Russia, two teams that aren't even expected to be in metal contention in Beijing this year. First Lithuania scared team USA with a early 3rd quarter run that had the USA lead down to 9 points at one point. Team USA responded though and went on to win by 36. Then came Russia. After a scare with Lithuania we expected Team USA to come storming out of the gates and handle Russia with a new sense of focus. But again, team USA let up early in the second half and allowed the lead to drop into single digits. This time they only went on to win the game by only 21 points. They defeated the same Russians that Spain had just last week beaten easily by over 30 by only 21 points. If team USA lets up for a minute like they did in their two most recent exhibitions against Spain, Argentina, or Greece...team USA is going home. Its time for team USA to stop talking about winning and show the relentless energy and desire to win shown by all the other elite programs. There is no doubt that team USA has the most talent in the world, hands down, but unless they play like a team and stay focused for all 40 minutes they will lose to Spain or another world basketball power.

Dwayne Wade Is BACK:
Thats right. Its official. The Kobe vs Lebron vs Wade argument can officially begin again between avid NBA fans. The last time Wade was healthy in 2006 he lead the heat to the title with one of the best finals performances in years. Then he was severely hindered over the past 2 years with injuries and people began to doubt whether Wade would ever regain his athleticism. Well, watching these exhibitions have proven that Wade is healthy again. You don't believe me? Why don't you look at some numbers: 17 ppg, 70+% FG's, 5/6 3-pointers, and over 2 steals in only 18 minutes a game. Not a stats guy...wade also had the play off the game for three straight games and here are some highlights:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LcYb42dTexk
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KruSXI2oaL8
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pxF3HrgH7oo
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l87JWB76zDU
(if you havent seen these yet...they are spectacular!)

Team USA is scared:
Up until now I have written about basketball related news, but I want to take a minute to address something else related to team USA basketball. Most of the country is anxiously looking forward to the upcoming Olympics but turning a blind eye to much of what is going on with regards to human rights violations in China. I was recently linked to this video by phlp_bj and there wasn't much response to it in the NBA forums. But it is a topic that more people should take a little time out to learn about so I wanted to post the link to this video:

http://sports.espn.go.com/broadband/video/videopage?videoId=3517320&categoryId=2491555&n8pe6c=2

If you have 4-5 minutes to watch this video you really should b/c its pretty disgusting. In case you don't wanna watch the clip I'll recap it quickly, but you really should just watch it to get the whole story. Basically, Lebron James and Kobe Bryant both made public commitments earlier this year to take a stand on the human rights violations going on in China during their Olympic trip, and have since backed off those original commitments. I find it appalling myself, but I would love to hear your opinions too...

cambovenzi
08-04-2008, 12:56 PM
1. russia is a pretty good defesnive team(AK47), and team USA wasnt playing well at all. they still managed a 21 point win. i still dont see us losing.

2.well, hes back. but lets not go that far. kobe is still the best.

3. id rather keep our NBA stars alive. its not their job to protest and whatnot.
the govt, and the UN should be doing that. i especially liked what coach K said. the olympics is supposed to be about sport. not fighting. its not smart to just go walking into a country like that and start mouthing off about them.

daleja424
08-04-2008, 01:16 PM
1. russia is a pretty good defesnive team(AK47), and team USA wasnt playing well at all. they still managed a 21 point win. i still dont see us losing.

2.well, hes back. but lets not go that far. kobe is still the best.

3. id rather keep our NBA stars alive. its not their job to protest and whatnot.
the govt, and the UN should be doing that. i especially liked what coach K said. the olympics is supposed to be about sport. not fighting. its not smart to just go walking into a country like that and start mouthing off about them.

1. Spain, Argentina, and Greece will all be better. And the lead dropped to 7 in the second half... despite winning by 21...this was a close game. I am not saying we will or will not lose... but it is a possibility if we lose focus...

2. After 2006 Wade was widely regarded as having surpassed James and being in the discussion with Bryant for league beast. When Wade is healthy he is just as good as Kobe... don't sleep on Wade...

3. Its everyone's right AND responsibility to protest atrocities like those in China. The Olympics have become about money and sport RECENTLY...but in the past it was about nationalism. Someone who represents the US should not sit by and say nothing while these Olympics are marred by human's rights concerns. And James and Kobe made their own beds by committing months ago to speaking out. Backing out now speaks only to their greed... Do you really think their lives would be in danger if they spoke ill of China? What would China do? How would they silence two of the most recognizable faces in the world with the whole world watching?

cambovenzi
08-04-2008, 01:23 PM
1. Spain, Argentina, and Greece will all be better. And the lead dropped to 7 in the second half... despite winning by 21...this was a close game. I am not saying we will or will not lose... but it is a possibility if we lose focus...

2. After 2006 Wade was widely regarded as having surpassed James and being in the discussion with Bryant for league beast. When Wade is healthy he is just as good as Kobe... don't sleep on Wade...

3. Its everyone's right AND responsibility to protest atrocities like those in China. The Olympics have become about money and sport RECENTLY...but in the past it was about nationalism. Someone who represents the US should not sit by and say nothing while these Olympics are marred by human's rights concerns. And James and Kobe made their own beds by committing months ago to speaking out. Backing out now speaks only to their greed... Do you really think their lives would be in danger if they spoke ill of China? What would China do? How would they silence two of the most recognizable faces in the world with the whole world watching?

1. oh i definitely agree its a possibility. if they play really sloppy they could lose. but at the top of their game, or near it, i think they are easily favs to win it all.

2. eh. he cant shoot like kobe. or D up like kobe. he is very good tho.

3.its still sketchy. people could get mad. who knows how what crazy people would try to do. like they said, its not their job to do it. its the governments job. not like the chinese govt is gonna be like, oh wow, kobe told me to stop selling guns to people who commit genocide, i better stop.
no. the UN knows whats going down. they are little girls about it.

daleja424
08-04-2008, 01:30 PM
1. oh i definitely agree its a possibility. if they play really sloppy they could lose. but at the top of their game, or near it, i think they are easily favs to win it all.

2. eh. he cant shoot like kobe. or D up like kobe. he is very good tho.

3.its still sketchy. people could get mad. who knows how what crazy people would try to do. like they said, its not their job to do it. its the governments job. not like the chinese govt is gonna be like, oh wow, kobe told me to stop selling guns to people who commit genocide, i better stop.
no. the UN knows whats going down. they are little girls about it.

1) They can't afford lulls. They need to start fast in the 1st and 3rd quarters (since they havet done that much). If you have a lull to start the second half and let spain get a 15 pt lead to 5 for example... it aint gunna be pretty, Spain will end up hanging around till the end with a shot to win.

2) Wade has just as good a shot from Kobe inside the arc. From 3 Kobe is a much better shooter... but at this stage wade is a WAYYYYYY better attcker and driver of the basketball then Kobe. It kinda evens out... Defense is the only area that Kobe has a clear advantage over wade in. Wade is a good defender by looking at stats, but he takes to many gambles to get steals and gets burned ALOT. Kobe is a much better overall defender...

3) No I dont think that China is going to stop becasue Kobe/Bron say to. But I do think that when Kobe/Bron speaks it reaches over a billion people. Them speaking out could at least raise awareness and put pressure on the governments of the world and the UN to do something... I wouldn't underestimate the impact that a high profile athlete could have on the cause...

bullsriver23
08-08-2008, 03:02 PM
Russia and Lituania are medal contenders, Lituania has been in the Final Four in the last 4 Olimpycs Games, Russia is the euro Champ, they beat Spain in Madrid.

USA is better now but we ( Argentina) with Spain, Greece, Lituania and Russia can win the gold too.

It would be a nice tournament.

IndiansFan337
08-08-2008, 03:44 PM
USA is better now but we ( Argentina) with Spain, Greece, Lituania and Russia can win the gold too.

It's going to come down to the USA, Spain & Argentina for the Gold. They will be three of the top 4 as well.