2016 RIO Olympics: Is Team USA invincible?

 

Whether Team USA is invincible has been a controversial subject for the past years, and it remains as it is for this year’s Rio Olympics too! Now, here’s my opinion on this topic. ( I must emphasize that this is just my personal perspectives and it shouldn’t be abused. Of course, I welcome any other precious views given by you! )

Team USA

Let’s get started.

First of all, I won’t call it “Dream Team”. I’d rather call it just another “Team USA”. Why? Let’s take a look at the roster and see who we’ve got here – KD, K. Irving, K. Thompson, D. Green, J. Butler, D. Jordan, D. Cousins, K. Lowry, D. Derozan, C. Anthony, P. George and …….. Harrison Barnes. To me, this roster is not “dream” enough, at all!

No doubt, I have to admit that they are really decent players in NBA and are talented. However, to me, I only see one dominant superstar player in this team and he’s no other than KD.

KDWhy would I say so, let’s take a look at his stats in 2015-2016 season. He averaged 28.2 pt, 8.2 rb, 5.0 ast, 1.2 blk with a .505 FG percentage! The other player who average at least 28pt and .50 FG% other than him in 2015-2016 season is Stephen Curry ( MVP of the season). Moreover, KD has got 1 time MVP, 4 times scoring leader for single seasons and have led OKC to the finals and western finals! To sum up, this is why I say he’s a dominant superstar player to me. ( The focus of this post is on Team USA in the Rio Olympics, not KD, so this is just a quick summary. Don’t worry, if you guys want to know more and listen about him, there will be a post on him coming up :))

What about the rest? I know many of you might disagree with my view on the rest being not dominant superstar players. Nonetheless, don’t get me wrong, some of them are superstars, but just not DOMINANT enough to have that kind of great impacts and to bring their respective teams to conference finals, more wins and good results.

C. AnthonyFor example, C. Anthony, one of my favorite players, is one of those. Frankly speaking, I hate to admit this since I like him so much! But to be more objective, although he’s got great scoring skills and is able to drop 20+ pts every night easily, he has failed to bring Knicks to be one of the championship-contestants.

K. IrvingAnother controversial player would be Irving. I agree that he’s proven himself to be more than a scorer in the finals with his incredible ball handling skills and fatal jump shots, but his performances are not as consistent as those dominant players and fluctuates to a certain extent.

And I won’t touch on the rest of the players on the team as they are comparably less controversial ( feel free to let me know if you are interested in this topic by simply dropping yours precious comments below)

On the other hand, they are still decent players who are crucial to their respective teams.

Team USA, as usual, are still made up of talented and athletic great players after all. It’s almost impossible to find a more talented team other than Team USA in the world. They have impressive basketball skills and enviable athleticism! So what’s the problem here?

#1.  Relatively poor team chemistry.

This might be due to the little and limited time they have spent to train with each other. They were only gathered a few months before the actual Olympic Games. And more importantly, their respective playing styles and the kind of plays they’re used to be playing with respective teams are all different from one another. Hence, it would be a challenge for them to have a good team chemistry.

#2.  Lack of complicated and a variety of different plays.

We’ve seen this a lot of times where there’s only little ball movement and more isolations. They are more of like individuals and not a team. For me, I think Coach K should be held partly responsible as as a head coach of a team, he’s unable to set different plays. The point guard, Irving, seldom initiate players. What we can see is just isolation, isolation and more isolation. Where’s the off-ball cutting and where’re the complicated plays which Team USA is capable of executing? I mean this really bother me quite a lot.

#3 Poor defense.

I think this is the main, the most important and the most fatal problem which cost Team USA a lot. They can’t just focus on the opponents who are right in front of them. More than often, we can see the opponents making wide-open shots and easy lay-ups due to unrestricted off-ball cutting and poor attitude on Team USA’s defense. Take the game with Australia for example, Team Australia shot 50% from the FG! Yes, it’s  “fifty percent”! This shouldn’t have happened to Team USA since defense is usually its strength and advantage. What I can see is just individual defense and what we expect is a team defense where they should communicate more with one another and defend as a team. When you encounter world-class basketball teams like Team Australia, Team Spain and Team France, lack of communication on defense and defense solely based on individuals are not gonna work well! The defense isn’t just individual’s job, it’s the whole team’s. It takes the whole team’s effort to lock down the opponents! In this way, I believe the opponents would have harder times to score or win.

Despite all these flaws, Team USA is still the toughest team to be defeated due to their incredible personal one-on-one skills and athleticism. Nonetheless, nothing is impossible in basketball and it has been proven in the 2004 Athens Olympics where the “Dream Team” was defeated by Team Argentina.

I hope you guys have enjoyed reading it and I’d love to receive more different views and suggestions that you guys have on this hot topic. So do leave some comments below if you wish to share with me, thank you!

Best regards.

Founder of The NBA Insider,

King Ho

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