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Argentina’s Nocioni not sure USA wins gold medal

Jul 23, 2012, 5:56 PM EDT

Kevin Love, Andres Nocioni AP

It’s the problem Team USA faces — they are judged as much on style points as wins and losses. So far they are 4-0 in preseason games, but because Brazil led after one quarter and Argentina lost 86-80 — two teams with big front lines playing into a weakness of the U.S. squad — they have not been convincing enough to make American fans comfortable.

Because we all know a very good Spanish side — with Pau Gasol, Mark Gasol, Serge Ibaka, Jose Calderon, Rudy Fernandez and more talent on a team that has largely played together for a decade — is looming. They play a friendly on Tuesday where both sides will hold back what they think will work best, because it’s all about the gold medal game we expect from the two teams in London.

The one team in a good place to make a call is Argentina — they lost by 20 to Spain before taking on the USA. And here is what Andres Nocioni said Sunday after the USA game, via basquetplus.com and The Big Lead.

“The U.S. team will have to work very hard for the gold medal and I’m not so sure they will get it.”

Anyone actually disagree with that?

Well, I disagree with the gold medal part, but not the general sentiment.

I said that after Sunday’s game the close game with Argentina showed there are a few teams — France, Argentina, maybe Russia — who can push the USA and beat them maybe once in a seven game series. Especially with a USA that plays an aggressive, pressure style of game that some teams have the talent to adjust to and grind down. Spain is another animal, they wouldn’t win a seven game series against the USA but they might force it to a Game 6.

And in a one-and-done playoff or gold medal game, that makes these teams dangerous. It will take a focused USA to get the gold. It will take Kevin Durant scoring, LeBron bringing his all-around game and Tyson Chandler staying on the court (the USA’s +/- is dramatically better when he is in the game).

You can’t take too much from the USA’s Olympic tune-ups, even Tuesday’s showdown with Spain in Barcelona. Right now coach Mike Krzyzewski is playing around with lineups and experimenting, as he should. Nothing the team does really matters until June 29 against France.

But the one lesson we can learn is that it will not be easy. Not at all.

  1. lmvs2012 - Jul 23, 2012 at 6:12 PM

    Nocioni!….c’mon dude u.s.a wasnt even really trying hard on that exibition game vs ur team argentina! ….come olympics..team u.s.a will blow yall argentinian fhukers! By a dozen by mothafhukin! 20 including team mothafhuking spain!

  2. eagles512 - Jul 23, 2012 at 6:17 PM

    Spain wouldn’t have a chance of forcing a game 6.

  3. fincity305 - Jul 23, 2012 at 6:20 PM

    This team would be better than the dream team IF D Wade was on it

    • passerby23 - Jul 23, 2012 at 7:04 PM

      Wade isn’t that much of a difference maker on this team. They are already guard-heavy. The problem this team would have with the original Dream Team isn’t lack of guard play, it’s that they would have trouble inside against the likes of Barkley, Ewing, Malone and Robinson.

      And Spain does have the ability to push the U.S. to 6 games in a 7-game series. I’m still picking the U.S. to win the gold.

    • soflasfinest - Jul 23, 2012 at 10:10 PM

      I really hope all these thumbs down are bc of his injury and not bc of the heat hating bs

  4. timb12 - Jul 23, 2012 at 6:28 PM

    I really hope they’re sandbagging and once the real thing starts they’re blowing people out…..but I am just an American.

  5. oside760 - Jul 23, 2012 at 6:52 PM

    he’s right

  6. dls612 - Jul 23, 2012 at 7:13 PM

    Thinking they can turn it on when they’re ready will be they down fall .

  7. isujames - Jul 23, 2012 at 7:52 PM

    Im not sure either after that game against Argentina, the US might have their hands full with Spain.

  8. papichulo55 - Jul 23, 2012 at 8:06 PM

    For all of those doubters, I will cover all bets against the USA! Keep looking at these blogs for my web address, lol…

  9. lakerluver - Jul 23, 2012 at 8:45 PM

    @fincity305, dude, Barkley said it best,”the only 3 players on this team who would even make the Dream Team is Kobe, LBJ and KD. That would not change if Wade were on this team. What I’m saying is, Wade or no Wade, this team couldn’t beat the Dream Team. Is Wade gonna guard Ewing or David Robinson? Didn’t think so.

    • borderline1988 - Jul 23, 2012 at 10:02 PM

      And is Ewing going to guard Kevin Durant?
      The Dream Team never faced the athletes that team USA can roll out, and considering that many of those players were in the latter stages of their career, they don;t stand a chance.

      • dgbk - Jul 23, 2012 at 11:11 PM

        ” considering that many of those players were in the latter stages of their career, they don;t stand a chance.”

        Your wrong with that point other than Bird and Magic everyone else was either 27 28,29 or 30 same age as melo and lebron paul iggy chandler and williams. Kobe at 34 is older than 92 Jordan drexler and pip. Kobe will be the second oldest player on the 1992 team behind bird. PPl usually play the old card or end of their careers but it’s false the two teams ages are quite comparable.

      • cosanostra71 - Jul 23, 2012 at 11:18 PM

        yeah, they never faced athletes. Dominique Wilkins, Isiah Thomas, Hakeem Olajuwon…

      • connaniii - Jul 24, 2012 at 7:18 PM

        Nope, that would be Pipen´s job!

      • borderline1988 - Jul 25, 2012 at 10:22 AM

        You’ve got a matchup problem either way, b/c you have Kobe, Lebron and Durant at the 2, 3 & 4 positions.
        Likely, MJ guards Kobe, Pippen on Lebron, and then someone on Durant…Barkley? You’ve got to be kidding me!

        There is no doubt that the Dream Team is stronger in the post, but Lebron, Durant, and Kobe are unbelievable and provide huge matchup issues for any team facing them. They are all big for their positions, have terrific speed, can post up smaller players, and can shot over the top. Pick your poison. Scottie Pippen can’t defend everyone.

  10. rushbacker - Jul 23, 2012 at 8:55 PM

    Ain’t scared.

  11. fnc111 - Jul 23, 2012 at 9:00 PM

    Andres shut up! You live half the year in the USA.

  12. jimeejohnson - Jul 23, 2012 at 9:49 PM

    Argentina’s lucky Great Britain is letting them come to these Olympics. They have been shooting their mouths off about the Falkland Islands, again. Last time they started trouble, a couple of British ships defeated the entire Argentinian military. I wouldn’t worry about the Argentinians! That said, this guy has a valid point: the US team will have to work very hard to win the gold medal.

    • atahualpaoxford - Jul 24, 2012 at 1:52 AM

      Judging by your nick, probably a hillbilly married to your 12 yrs. old first cousin….
      WTF has Nocioni’s comment have to do with the Falkland war…???
      Yes, the US team will have to work very hard…
      Not as hard as you finding a dickie to stick up your A.S.S.

    • theawesomersfranchise - Jul 24, 2012 at 2:26 AM

      The Brits took a beating in the Falklands, especially to their ego and the air.
      Brits lost 2 destroyers, 2 frigates, 24 helicopters, 10 jets and 250 plus lives.
      SAS kicked ass though and the Brits got the job done, but it didn’t go as easy as they hoped.

      /end history lesson

    • connaniii - Jul 24, 2012 at 7:21 PM

      What´s got politics to do with sports anyways?

  13. redstar504 - Jul 23, 2012 at 10:37 PM

    I am from NOLA so I might be a little biased in my comment so I want to quantify my statement by saying that from the outset.

    That said team USA needs to make more use of Anthony Davis. TC can’t carry the frontcourt all alone and teams are going to come at him with the hope of getting him in foul trouble. Coach K needs to spred the load better and make use of the few bigs he has. Leaving Davis on the bench because he is the 12th man and hasn’t earned the right to play significant minutes isn’t adequate justification alone.

    The last thing I want is the Hornets prized, franchise player comming back with a massive ego and a sense of entitlement but I would rather take that risk if it helps bring back a gold. I am sure Coach K sees it as not being his time and that 2016 should be his day but they need him now.

    Look even if it was Great Britain a guy giving you 11 points, an assist, and 4 blocks in 13 min of play deserves to see some more time. Davis lead the team in blocks despite playing the 2nd lowest min not to mention the 9 points in 9 min vs. the DR.

    I fully understand putting in the work and earning your way but it’s hard to ignore the production and more importantly the fact that Team USA is getting roughed up in the frontcourt.

    Anthony Davis needs to play more. If TC gets in foul trouble, which he will Davis should be getting off the pine and into the game.

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