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to be fair, the US has been "focused" the last 2 tournaments about "getting back gold" ...

Defensivley, Greece is likley the better team, at the moment, best defensive team in the world, I am convinced. Whats to say, the Greeks do defense as a team and individually quite well. We press hard, we force turnovers we are complete. Physically in the center will be more difficult vs the big guys NBA has...but what an opportunity that is for Bouroussis to kick some ass and make a name for himself. Obviously skill USA always had the best but team cohesion of Greece is got to be the strength, particularly on defense.

No, the US hasn't been focused on getting back the gold the last 2 tourneys. If they were, they would have brought their best player, Bryant.

It seems that this group is more focused, but once again, you can't expect great results by putting a team together for a few weeks and trying to beat the top Euro teams. The Euro teams have gotten much too good for that. There is no question the US has the most talent, by a significant margin, but their lack of cohesion and the differences in the international game may prove to be their undoing.

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Apparently USA beat Australia with quite some difficulty in this pre-Olympics slew of friendlies in which they thrashed their other opponents.

I think Greece can take gold. I agree with all your comments except drakos' about Greece being abysmal at last year's Eurobasket. I think we played great, had to dig deep to overcome a huge, late deficit vs. Slovenia (shades of the 2005 thriller vs. France), but played great against Spain whom we could have beaten and maybe gone on to repeat.

In fact, I think Greece has been steadily improving since 2005, and perhaps destined to reach unprecedented heights in Beijing.

Greece also lost by 18 to Spain in that tourney. Hardly stellar.
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But, USA has the tendacy to choke in big games like in a quarter or semifinals so they remain to be seen. ;)

The US, who has more Olympic gold medals than any team in the world, chokes?

Well then, what would you call Greece's performance in the World Champiosnhips against Spain?

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Well, the Dream Team beat Australia by a margin of 11 points, with the Aussies resting their best player Andrew Bogut.

11 points is a good margin, but I'd like to believe the Greek team are superior to the Aussies, and that 11 point spread might be much closer if USA plays against an Hellas team that is in "Full throttle" (like that term :D ). I think it comes down the form of both teams, since we know that both teams are capable of beating each other.

The one thing I've been debating lately is whether or not I want Greece to beat the Dream Team in the Group Stages. If we were to beat them in the Group Stages and meet them later in the Semis of Finals, that would mean that we would have to beat the Dream Team (including the 2006 victory) 3 times in a row!

I'm thinking I'd rather prefer a close 1-5 point margin defeat in the group stages against USA so that we have our confidence up if we have to play them later on, but not have to face the incredible challenge of beating them 3 times in a row in the knockout stages.

But then again, a group stage victory would be good too. I wouldn't mind being able to talk trash to my buddies, who always laugh like a pack of wild hyenas whenever I tell them "it will be a tough game against Greece".

Edited by BlueStriker
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It is interesting that the three favourites will meet in the 1st round, the coaches and players will go to school on each other. The problem for the US is that if they lose in round robin, the critics will jump on them hard adding even more pressure to their squad.

I can't believe Kobe waited until now to wear his nation's jersey -- probably because when he was younger he wasn't ready to accept a background role, or share the ball. He is peaking right now, and those around him are saying he has matured, so lets see what happens

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No, it's actually because US players really aren't that concerned about Olympic basketball. Its not a life or death matter to them, like it is in other parts of the world.

Remember, Kobe was busy winning three NBA championships early in his career.

Ask ANY American NBA player what's more important, a gold medal or an NBA championship, and all to a man will tell you an NBA championship.

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Well, the Dream Team beat Australia by a margin of 11 points, with the Aussies resting their best player Andrew Bogut.

11 points is a good margin, but I'd like to believe the Greek team are superior to the Aussies, and that 11 point spread might be much closer if USA plays against an Hellas team that is in "Full throttle" (like that term :D ). I think it comes down the form of both teams, since we know that both teams are capable of beating each other.

The one thing I've been debating lately is whether or not I want Greece to beat the Dream Team in the Group Stages. If we were to beat them in the Group Stages and meet them later in the Semis of Finals, that would mean that we would have to beat the Dream Team (including the 2006 victory) 3 times in a row!

I'm thinking I'd rather prefer a close 1-5 point margin defeat in the group stages against USA so that we have our confidence up if we have to play them later on, but not have to face the incredible challenge of beating them 3 times in a row in the knockout stages.

But then again, a group stage victory would be good too. I wouldn't mind being able to talk trash to my buddies, who always laugh like a pack of wild hyenas whenever I tell them "it will be a tough game against Greece".

By the same token, you can say that the US beat a team (Russia) that's the Euro champ (AND beat Greece head to head in that tourney), hence theoretically stronger than Greece, by 20, so Greece is in a world of hurt vs. the Americans.

Funny how people see only what they want to.

Why not point to the fact that the US beat two of the four best European sides (including the Euro champs) by an average of 27.5 points?

Not to mention thrashing Canada by 55 and embarasssing Turkey by 30+.

The US won their first four exhibitions by an average of 35.5 points, and people are looking only to the last game versus a mediocre Australian side?

Your right n one respect though, it comes down to form-AMERICA'S form. If the US is playing at its peak, everyone else is playing for second and hoping they don't get embarassed.

The good thing for the rest of the field is a) anything can happen in a knockout stage in ONE game, and B) the US hasn't hit peak form so far.

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USA basketball team is full of talent,some really great names and if you let them play there kind of basketball,fast pace,one on one and pick and rolls,they would have a field great day,but,they are not a blend team yet.Spain,Greece,Russia,Argentina and Lithuania players know each other and have played with each other as a team for a longer time.As long as we show the same attitude and tsampouka like the last time we met of actually competing against them,instead of taking autographs while they dunk on us,i believe that we will be fine. :tup: :box: :gr:

Dream team was only the first one with Legends like Magic,Bird,Jordan,Pippen,Drextler,Malone,Barkley and the other guys,this one is full of great players,but no legends,....yet.

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The remarkable thing is that Russia, Greece, Spain and Argentina have all won major international competitions,

Greece has been a 2-time continental champion and never won an international tournament like FIBA WC or Olympic basketball. Russia did so when they were the former Soviet Union.
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Well, the Dream Team beat Australia by a margin of 11 points, with the Aussies resting their best player Andrew Bogut. 

11 points is a good margin, but I'd like to believe the Greek team are superior to the Aussies, and that 11 point spread might be much closer if USA plays against an Hellas team that is in "Full throttle" (like that term  :D ).  I think it comes down the form of both teams, since we know that both teams are capable of beating each other.

The one thing I've been debating lately is whether or not I want Greece to beat the Dream Team in the Group Stages.  If we were to beat them in the Group Stages and meet them later in the Semis of Finals, that would mean that we would have to beat the Dream Team (including the 2006 victory) 3 times in a row!

I'm thinking I'd rather prefer a close 1-5 point margin defeat in the group stages against  USA so that we have our confidence up if we have to play them later on, but not have to face the incredible challenge of beating them 3 times in a row in the knockout stages.

But then again, a group stage victory would be good too. I wouldn't mind being able to talk trash to my buddies, who always laugh like a pack of wild hyenas whenever I tell them "it will be a tough game against Greece".

By the same token, you can say that the US beat a team (Russia) that's the Euro champ (AND beat Greece head to head in that tourney), hence theoretically stronger than Greece, by 20, so Greece is in a world of hurt vs. the Americans.

Funny how people see only what they want to.

Why not point to the fact that the US beat two of the four best European sides (including the Euro champs) by an average of 27.5 points?

Not to mention thrashing Canada by 55 and embarasssing Turkey by 30+.

The US won their first four exhibitions by an average of 35.5 points, and people are looking only to the last game versus a mediocre Australian side?

Your right n one respect though, it comes down to form-AMERICA'S form. If the US is playing at its peak, everyone else is playing for second and hoping they don't get embarassed.

The good thing for the rest of the field is a) anything can happen in a knockout stage in ONE game, and B) the US hasn't hit peak form so far.

The Aussies are not a mediocre side, and besides you calling them so actually provides an argument to 'these people' who in your eyes are attempting to bring down the USA side or give themselves an illusion that we can beat them, or whatever it is you're accusing them of.

Anyway, in sports, one cannot live by the 'a>b>c therefore a>c' argument, but if one chose to, more recent history suggests Greece has a legitimate shot at beating the USA (we beat the Aussies by 20, while the USA struggled against them).

As for the importance of Olympic gold to the US players, that argument is neither here nor there. They are in Beijing, and this Redeem Team of all teams, is taking this tournament seriously believe me, they have lots to prove, coach K is still smarting over the 2006 humbling at the hands of the Greeks. And it's not like any of them is sacrificing their pro career to be there. So Olympic golds are not as important to them as the NBA title is? So what? That's probably true for all other pro athletes too, hockey included, where everybody dreams of the Stanley Cup not of Olympic gold. Can you say with certainty that Papaloukas values the Olympics more than his pro team, or any other Greek player for that matter? But ultimately who cares? The players are there and they might as well play to win. The most convincing evidence for my argument is the US players' and coach's stunned and devastated reactions to losing in 2006. The Americans' arrogance stopped short of pretending they didn't care, I will give credit where credit is due.

And the USA always took these tourneys seriously, not having Kobe in the past doesn't necessarily suggest otherwise. Who says he's the best player anyway? What some fail to understand is that talent alone does not suffice. Kobe was busy winning 3 titles? What does that even mean? Did he have to make a choice between the NBA finals and the Olympics? Kobe may be awesome, but he may go down as history as the most talented player ever who failed to make any of his teammates better by even one iota. He is already widely recognized as quite possibly the single most selfish player ever.

I'm willing to bet none of the other Olympic squads has a player even remotely resembling Kobe. Up to you to figure out whether this is an endorsement of the Americans' chances to capture gold. I will say this: if the USA prevail, it will be in spite of the Laker star, and not because of him.

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i consider the Euros a major competition because of its importance and the depth of good teams, compared to the Tournament of the Americas.

Absolutely. And finishing 2nd in 2006 WC was a major achievement for us.
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Well, the Dream Team beat Australia by a margin of 11 points, with the Aussies resting their best player Andrew Bogut. 

11 points is a good margin, but I'd like to believe the Greek team are superior to the Aussies, and that 11 point spread might be much closer if USA plays against an Hellas team that is in "Full throttle" (like that term  :D ).  I think it comes down the form of both teams, since we know that both teams are capable of beating each other.

The one thing I've been debating lately is whether or not I want Greece to beat the Dream Team in the Group Stages.  If we were to beat them in the Group Stages and meet them later in the Semis of Finals, that would mean that we would have to beat the Dream Team (including the 2006 victory) 3 times in a row!

I'm thinking I'd rather prefer a close 1-5 point margin defeat in the group stages against  USA so that we have our confidence up if we have to play them later on, but not have to face the incredible challenge of beating them 3 times in a row in the knockout stages.

But then again, a group stage victory would be good too. I wouldn't mind being able to talk trash to my buddies, who always laugh like a pack of wild hyenas whenever I tell them "it will be a tough game against Greece".

By the same token, you can say that the US beat a team (Russia) that's the Euro champ (AND beat Greece head to head in that tourney), hence theoretically stronger than Greece, by 20, so Greece is in a world of hurt vs. the Americans.

Funny how people see only what they want to.

Why not point to the fact that the US beat two of the four best European sides (including the Euro champs) by an average of 27.5 points?

Not to mention thrashing Canada by 55 and embarasssing Turkey by 30+.

The US won their first four exhibitions by an average of 35.5 points, and people are looking only to the last game versus a mediocre Australian side?

Your right n one respect though, it comes down to form-AMERICA'S form. If the US is playing at its peak, everyone else is playing for second and hoping they don't get embarassed.

The good thing for the rest of the field is a) anything can happen in a knockout stage in ONE game, and B) the US hasn't hit peak form so far.

I don't see just what I want to, I watched most of the USA exhibition games, and saw them destroy their opponents. However, as someone looking to beat the USA (at least in the knockout stages), you don't just dwell on their superiority over other teams, we all know that the USA has an awesome team. But every giant has its weaknesses. This is classic David vs. Goliath, and there is a reason that story has remained popular for thousands of years.

It always has happened throughout history, and it is always a possibility in the Olympics. I respect the USA team a lot, but I am not going to sit here and say "Oh my gosh, they destroyed every team, we are doomed!"

And I am not saying "if we could beat the Aussies, therefore we could beat the USA". I was simply saying we are better than the Aussies. It had more to do with the way the USA played in that game rather than the Aussies.

I'll explain my point more clearly. I am saying in that game with that form, the way the USA played, if they were playing with the Greeks (at full throttle of course), the Greeks could win. That is why I pointed out that it's about form. In this game vs. the Aussies, the USA was not in its best form. If they play against Greece in that same form as they played against the Aussies, the USA could lose. I hope it makes more sense now.

I am trying to point out the possibility of winning, I don't feel there is a need to point out all the possibilities of us losing. ;)

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Anyway, in sports, one cannot live by the 'a>b>c therefore a>c' argument, but if one chose to, more recent history suggests Greece has a legitimate shot at beating the USA (we beat the Aussies by 20, while the USA struggled against them).

As for the importance of Olympic gold to the US players, that argument is neither here nor there. They are in Beijing, and this Redeem Team of all teams, is taking this tournament seriously believe me, they have lots to prove, coach K is still smarting over the 2006 humbling at the hands of the Greeks. And it's not like any of them is sacrificing their pro career to be there. So Olympic golds are not as important to them as the NBA title is? So what? That's probably true for all other pro athletes too, hockey included, where everybody dreams of the Stanley Cup not of Olympic gold. Can you say with certainty that Papaloukas values the Olympics more than his pro team, or any other Greek player for that matter? But ultimately who cares? The players are there and they might as well play to win. The most convincing evidence for my argument is the US players' and coach's stunned and devastated reactions to losing in 2006. The Americans' arrogance stopped short of pretending they didn't care, I will give credit where credit is due.

And the USA always took these tourneys seriously, not having Kobe in the past doesn't necessarily suggest otherwise. Who says he's the best player anyway? What some fail to understand is that talent alone does not suffice. Kobe was busy winning 3 titles? What does that even mean? Did he have to make a choice between the NBA finals and the Olympics? Kobe may be awesome, but he may go down as history as the most talented player ever who failed to make any of his teammates better by even one iota. He is already widely recognized as quite possibly the single most selfish player ever.

I'm willing to bet none of the other Olympic squads has a player even remotely resembling Kobe. Up to you to figure out whether this is an endorsement of the Americans' chances to capture gold. I will say this: if the USA prevail, it will be in spite of the Laker star, and not because of him.

I'm really not sure what you're trying to say here.

THE MOST recent history suggests that the US beat Euro champ Ruusia by 22, who had beaten Greece (and everybody else) in the Euro championships, or did we conveniently forget that?

Coach K smarting over the loss to Greece? Maybe, but nowhere near what you think he is. People in Greece are making a big deal about it because Nike did a promo bit with Coach K trying to motivate his players talking about losing to Greece. Well what else is he going to talk to them about and use as an example? That's the ONLY team they lost to.

btw, I never mentioned what the GREEK players valued more. I only mentioned the Americans. Its simply not a life or death matter of pride for them like it is for players in other countries.

Stunned reaction of the Americans? No more stunned than what Greece was two days later when we got drubbed by Spain, WITHOUT Gasol! Of course you're going to be stunned if you lose as a favorite? so what? That doesn't mean the team had made adequate preparations before the tourney to compete. Nor does it mean they brought their absolute best squad.

The US, outside of the original Dream Team, has ALWAYS sent second and third rate sides to these tourneys.

Kobe failed to make any of his teammates better? Honestly, do you watch the NBA? He has singlehandedly carried the Lakers for the last couple of years, a team with average talent at best all around. (At least until this year). He also won 3 NBA championships, giving quite a few stiffs the opportunity to don an NBA champ ring.

Already "widely" recognized as the most selfish player? says who? By whom? YOU?

If you think having Kobe on your team is a negative instead of a plus, I have a good shrink for you to see.

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But, USA has the tendacy to choke in big games like in a quarter or semifinals so they remain to be seen.  ;)

The US, who has more Olympic gold medals than any team in the world, chokes?

Well then, what would you call Greece's performance in the World Champiosnhips against Spain?

I'm taking about 2002 and beyond. :whistle:
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Kobe Bryand said that if the USA team does not win the gold,he will change natioanality,become italian and likes to be called Kobe Jovanni while Carmelo Anthony said that he will talk to other teams outside of the states and never go back home. :LOL: :LOL: :LOL:

http://www.contra.gr/Basketball/World/Olym...USA/207833.html

You got to love them.This time they want the gold badly..

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They will be tough, thats for sure

But beatable.

It makes you respect and appreciate that original dream team so much more, that team was truly unbeatable, maybe the greatest team in the history of team sport.

Where there is an omatha with no room for Isiah Thomas, 40+ average margin of victory and a coach that never had to use a timeout, they were amazing.

This team is better than the 2004 team for sure, and probably more talented than the 2000 team.

But that 2004 team was more balanced, I'd say.

Payton and Kidd were peaking, and more experienced than Paul or Williams.

This team has tons of talent, but their best players are 2s and 3s - Kobe, LeBron, Carmelo, Wade and even Prince, a guy I love. That 2000 team wasn't as deep on the perimeter but they did have Vince Carter, before he went all soft and become a mama's boy. He had grown out his fro and was dunking over 7 foot Frenchmen. And Ray Allen was a much more complete player than the best shooter on this team, Redd, who I don't see getting any playing time with the other wing players.

Up front that team had Zo and Garnet who were clutch. As a Raptors fan you can't say the same about Bosh. Howard and Boozer have also not proven themselves in the playoffs.

The US should be awesome in 2012 when Paul, LeBron and Howard will be peaking, but for now I think the Spain Greece and Argentina have very good shots at beating them.

That said I bet they destroy us in the round robin by 25 points.

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Kobe Bryand said that if the USA team does not win the gold,he will change natioanality,become italian and likes to be called Kobe Jovanni while Carmelo Anthony said that he will talk to other teams outside of the states and never go back home. :LOL: :LOL: :LOL:

http://www.contra.gr/Basketball/World/Olym...USA/207833.html

You got to love them.This time they want the gold badly..

:LOL: :LOL:
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For those of you in the USA, the match Greece-USA will be televised on the USA network at 2 AM on Thursday morning.

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Current EuroBet odds for Olympic Basketball:

USA - 1.33

Spain - 5.00

Argentina - 10.00

Greece - 17.00

Lithuana - 26.00

Russia - 26.00

China - 101.00

Germany - 101.00

Croatia - 151.00

Australia - 251.00

Angola - 501.00

Iran - 2001.00

------------------------------------------------------------

Olympic power ranking from the basketball director of International Scouting (has Greece ranked #3)

http://www.draftexpress.com/article/2008-O...r-Ranking-2977/

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For those of you in the USA, the match Greece-USA will be televised on the USA network at 2 AM on Thursday morning.

Is there a legal internet site that I could watch it on? I'm in the UK so don't think it will be shown on tv. Edited by DUDE
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