What's happened to USA Mens Basketball?

There's no doubt about it, even without a LeBron James, Stephen Curry, or a now retired Kobe Bryant, Team USA is still the best Basketball team on paper and in practice in this year's edition of the Summer Olympics in Rio. That's not an exaggeration or biased American pride, that's a fact. After an opening game against China, and the following game against Venezuela, Team USA struggled against the Australian national team, and just barely survived a nail-biter against Serbia that went down to the wire yet again.

Though the first two games were blowouts, the last two were closer than any American fans would like to admit, and, even though Team USA is still 4-0 in Olympic play, and even though they got the W's in the end, Coach K can't exactly be happy with how his team got those wins.

Even though Team USA have been able to rely on talent and star power alone to get them through games in the clutch, one has to wonder if there isn't something more at play here. Just like with the Australian national team, the Serbian teamare a group of bench players at best (at least by NBA standards).

It's essentially like putting an All-Star team against a team full of role players, and yet, having the role players actually push the All-Star team to the limit (and nearly beat them).

Team USA only barely edged out Serbia with a 94-91 win in a manner that was anything but convincing. Serbian player Bogdan Bogdanovic had possession of the ball with 0.2 seconds left in the fourth quarter. He missed a 3-point shot from beyond the arc that could have sent the game into overtime had it gone in.

At the end of the day, a win is a win, and in that sense Team USA can breathe a temporary sigh of relief prior to gearing up to face the French national team later today.

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No matter how much talent they have collectively, they need to find a way to tighten the screws, get rid of the rust, and start playing together as a team if they want to progress to the later rounds and ultimately bring home the gold.

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