Why the US struggled vs Australia and why it will continue to do so
For the first time in 12 years the US Mens National Basketball team trailed at the half of an Olympic basketball game. 2004 was also the last time the US lost a game in Olympic competition. The US ended up pulling out a victory vs Australia, but why did the US struggle to begin with?
The US entered the game heavily favored to win gold, while the Aussies entered 120-1 odds to win gold. Try Casinohawks.com and find out more on the best UK casinos online, and what the odds of the US are to win gold.
The US has always been built on athleticism. The US has the luxury of picking from the deepest pool of talent in the world and a plethora of stars. This is where the US goes wrong. This is where the US went wrong from 2000 until 2008 and this is where the US will likely go wrong in the future and why the US struggled vs Australia.
The Australian team is made up of very few stars. Andrew Bogut and Patty Mills are the teams biggest named players. But what the Aussies lack in star power they make up for in hustle, grit and fortitude.
The US is made up of 12 NBA starters who are the best or second best players on their respective NBA team. Only DeAndre Jordan is not a scorer. By contrast no one on Australia's team would be considered a scorer in the NBA.
Australia has a lot of role players and enforcers, who understand their roles. The US lacks this, as most players on the team are accustomed to scoring and having the ball in their hand.
The need for having the ball to be effective is what leads to the US stagnation in offense. We seen it vs Australia and we seen it vs Venezuela in the exhibition as well.
The one thing the US has going for them is sheer depth. No other team can throw out top level talent after top level talent like the US does. This allows the US to widdle down even the strongest foe and simply win games by attrition.
The ability to simply overwhelm your opponent is a tactic the US has used time and again since 1992's Dream Team, and it is a tactic that has proven to work and one that the US will likely continue to use.
One of the reasons that the 1992 and 2008 were so successful is that they actually did have assigned roles to some degree. For example Christian Laettner knew he was not going to score and was instead going to have to contribute in other ways.
The US is not reverting back to its old ways however. It is not simply loading up the roster with scorers. This year its more prevalent than in the past few years, but that is because so many players dropped out due to injuries, fatigue and fears over the Zika virus.
The US will win gold again, and it likely will do so fairly easily. But the US does need to look into adding role players to the roster in the future. Adding passers and shooters would be a good start.