Columnist Noah Perkins will be covering the 2014 FIBA World Cup for One-Bid Wonders. Leading up to the Aug. 30 tip-off, he will be previewing all 24 qualified teams.
As much as I’d like to predict another team besides the U.S. winning the World Cup, I just cant. For me to do so would be completely disingenuous internet prostituted trolling, done so for the sake of presenting myself as a genius on the infinitesimal chance another team pulls of a Buster Douglass-Mike Tyson upset, Ditto for Spain coming in second.
Really, the only team who could beat the U.S. is Spain, but they won’t.
Eight years ago, everyone knew the 2006 tournament would come down to these two nations; same at the 2008 and 2012 Olympics. They’re just that much deeper than the field.
I don’t even enjoy watching or writing about these two teams because a sure thing is boring. I find myself far more interested in the competition for the Bronze Medal (though, in my opinion, the Greeks are a lock to win that, if you want that expanded upon by all means read posts 1-23).
Gone are the days of the Americans trotting out a 40-year-old Reggie Miller and Lamar Odom and expecting to cruise past other countries (wait, they actually tried that in 2004 and got their asses kicked).
We here in the US-of-A are still the best basketball-playing nation in the galaxy, but the gap has shrunken…considerably. Winning these tournaments now requires a full effort.
Without top-level NBA talent on the roster an American team is not good enough to beat many competing teams.
We all know whose not playing for this team: Lamarcus Aldrige, Blake Griffin, Paul George, Kevin Durant and Kevin Love. If Australia, France, Lithuania and Argentina were all at full strength it might matter, but they’re not, so it doesn’t. (more…)