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U.S. Olympic Basketball Team

After a bronze in '04, LeBron James looks for redemption.
After a bronze in '04, LeBron James looks for redemption. (By Jamie Squire -- Getty Images)
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Tuesday, June 24, 2008

THE STRENGTHS

Athleticism and Versatility

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The team is loaded with gifted athletes that can play multiple positions such as Carmelo Anthony, LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Tayshaun Prince and Dwyane Wade.

Experience

All 12 players have participated in international basketball, eight were part of the gold medal team at the '07 FIBA Americas and Jason Kidd has a perfect 44-0 record in four international competition.

Shooting

Michael Redd is a deadeye shooter expected to be a zone buster, while James and Anthony were proficient from the shorter international three-point line.

THE WEAKNESSES

Size

The U.S. team has just three big men, and just two players taller than 6-9 in Chris Bosh (6-10) and Dwight Howard (6-11).

Defense

The United States struggled against the pick-and-roll in Japan. Howard is the only shot blocker on the roster; Bryant and Prince the only lock-down defenders.

Overconfidence?

The United States won gold at the FIBA Americas tournament by an average of 39.5 points, the most since the 1992 Dream Team. The competition will be stiffer in Beijing.


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