- Bradford Doolittle
Sunday's 98-71 romp over France won't be the toughest test Team USA will face during the London Olympics. Nevertheless, you can expect to see more of the same type of dominance as the competition progresses. A lot more.
America's lack of big-man depth was a nonissue against the French, who weren't really equipped to exploit a potential advantage in that area. Perhaps Joakim Noah could have helped, but when Ronny Turiaf, Kevin Seraphin and Ali Traore are the foundation of your frontcourt, you're not exactly the kind of inside-out team that can threaten the power-packed U.S roster.
The French aren't really firing on all cylinders right now. They needed a transcendent effort by Tony Parker to beat the Americans, but after a trying summer full of off-court trouble and eye surgery, he was in no position to offer that. He looked rusty on both his midrange jumper and with his collection of floaters. He also seemed a step slow.
That was disappointing, because one area where Team USA could prove to be vulnerable on the defensive end is against a waterbug point guard who can break down Chris Paul or Deron Williams off the dribble and kick out to some rangy shooters (Australia could potentially do this, but the U.S. doesn't play it in the preliminary round). Parker isn't that guy right now, and France isn't a good outside shooting team. It hit 2-of-22 from 3-point range against Team USA, killing any upset hopes it may have harbored.
We can nitpick Team USA -- it lacks a dominant interior presence, its small lineup could use some work -- but as Bradford Doolittle writes, it probably doesn't matter. USA's sheer talent will overwhelm most teams like it did to France.