Click here for Part 1 of 8-second count: Crossing halfcourt with Team USA5) The Unibrow and other curious Olympicsights Mentions of Anthony Davis signature look during the Olympic coverage will top total points scored by the de facto 12th man in London. Assuming the U.S. plays their max number of games (eight), Im setting the overunder for the Kentucky kids points at 16.5. Too low? Eh, perhaps, but Davis had better score in the true blowouts because Coach K will tighten his playing rotation at even the mere hint of a close game. Seeing as Davis is all about linking "things" together, I'lllink in some other random factoids here, Sesame Steet style... The letter "A", as in Team USA is in "Group A". Argentina and France loom as the other primary contenders - and offer a must watch, Grade A matchup between San Antonio Spurs teammates Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker. The letters D, M, V, as in the players with ties to the DMV participating in the games. That group includes Wizards big men Nene (Brazil) and Kevin Seraphin (France) plus a cornucopia of former local college stars like Tony Skinn (George MasonNigeria), Pops Mensah-Bonsu (George WashingtonGreat Britain), Sarunas Jasikevicius (Maryland Lithuania), Ekene Ibekwe (MarylandNigeria). The letter O, as in oddity, as in the oddity of havingtwo NBA coaches picked- Nate McMillan and Mike D'Antoni -, both picked many moonsgoto assistMike Krzyzewski on the Olympic team, be currently unemployed. Guess that meant they had plenty of time to scout France, Team USA's first opponent (July 29, 9:30 am ET; for the entire men and women's schedule, click here). Here's my suggestion: When Parker is dribbling up court, have one of the U.S. guards yell out "hey, is that Chris Brown and Drake?" When Parker ducks, steal the ball.6) Dont forget the ladies Led by likely leading scorer Diana Taurasi (at least thats what Team USA point guard Sue Bird told me earlier this summer), forward Seimone Augustus (who Im sure Team USA point guard Sue Bird will feed often) and my favorite Team USA point guard (no, not Lindsay Whalen, Sue Bird!), the womens squad enters London as the favorites. Unless the Down Under Aussies find scant resistance going over the top to center, former WNBA MVP and Birds Seattle Storm teammate Lauren Jackson, Team USA, with Mystics assistant coach Jennifer Gillom on the staff, gets it done. I think Sue Bird might help.7) Passing of the torch One of the intriguing, behind the scenes aspects of the recent and stellar Dream Team documentary was the way Michael Jordan wrestled away top dog supremacy from a non-relenting Magic Johnson. Even though Jordan was coming off his second NBA title and the former Lakers star was essentially off the NBA stage, it wasnt until the spirited practices leading up to the Olympics when the Chicago Bulls and basketball shoe promoting king was crowned best of the best.Flash forward to present day London. LeBron James is still riding high after winning his first NBA title a few weeks back. Few outside Los Angeles (or maybe Cleveland) would argue the Miami star is not the current best of the best. Still, if Team USA finds itself in need of late-game offense, does James take control or does he and theother notable optionscede crunch time to 5-time NBA champ Kobe Bryant as they did during the 2008 gold medal run. Actually, Bryant didn't simply let the game come to him in China. Rather he took control in those rare moments when it looked the ship be sinking. Now, this is not my attempts to bring up the standard trope about James passing on game-winning looks. By all accounts, James - along with Durant and Carmelo Anthony - is running the scoring show. Will that pattern continue when the offense stagnates or the game is on the line and the Mamba is ready - and willing - to strike? Guess we have to defer on the potential deferring until the time comes, though for all we know, those watching the Team USA practice sessions already know the answer.At the buzzer All the talk has been about whether the U.S.s lack of size becomes an issue against Spains treetops, yet fellow Group A squad Argentina with Luis Scola and that GINOOOOOOOBILI fella scares me most. Should the U.S. have a game where its perimeter shooting disappears to the point assistance from Scotland Yard is required and Chandlers foul trouble woes becomes a Presidential campaign topic under the guise of national defense, then trouble looms against a confident and veteran squad (same goes for a meeting with Spain). Do I fear such a scenario? A little, especially since there are certain aspects of the roster makeup that don't jive with how I wouldput the pieces together(think more NBA team than All-Star squad). But not enough to pass on saying we will soon live in a world where LeBron wins the NBA title and Olympic gold in the same year. After writing that sentence, I can't wait for the Olympics to end and the NBA season to beginso I can get back to rooting against him.
Crossing halfcourt with Team USA Pt. 2
July 26, 2012, 12:05 am