Five questions for Team USA
Team USA has not won a gold medal at the FIBA World Championship since 1994, when
Ask any USA official about the team's stop concern and each will give you the same answer: shooting. The Americans can expect to see a steady diet of zone defenses, with international teams prepared to dare the U.S. to beat them from the outside. And while Team USA has plenty of players who can make shots (
The U.S. coaches are convinced that they will be able to create more offensive possessions by deploying a full-court press. With
If shooting is worry No. 1 for the U.S., rebounding is worry No. 1A. The loss of
Durant has dodged questions about his role, but U.S. coaches have acknowledged that for this team to win, the Oklahoma City Thunder star will have to dominate. The NBA's reigning scoring champ needs to be a scorer, rebounder and facilitator as well as a vocal leader on an inexperienced roster. The pressure will be on, too. Anything short of a gold medal means the U.S. will have to qualify for the Olympics next summer, when the entire roster could be detonated if the NBA is involved in a work stoppage.
Greece, which defeated the U.S. in the semifinals of the 2006 World Championship, remains strong. The Greeks run a lot of misdirection to create mismatches for