Team USA finally found its weak spot in the 2012 London Olympics. After several games where the United States obliterated anyone who dared to step onto the court, the Lithuanian national team met them shot for shot and forced the U.S. into a totally different rhythm than any opponent before them. The end result was still a victory for the U.S., but it was one that was hard fought and rather revealing.
While defenses will continue to try to force the United States into a halfcourt game and slow things down to avoid the up-tempo runaway games that the U.S. has been enjoying, it also revealed who head coach Mike Krzyzewski is going to rely upon down the stretch as the competition gets tougher.
"The game revealed the half-dozen core players upon whom Krzyzewski will be relying over the final two rounds, when the pressure is high and the games could be tight," writes Ian Thomsen. "There were no surprises for the final 8:38 (which began with an 80-75 U.S. lead): James, Kobe Bryant and Chris Paul were on the floor throughout, along with a two-man rotation that featured Kevin Durant, Deron Williams and Anthony (with Anthony remaining on the bench for the final 4:29)."
While the U.S. roster is loaded, Team USA has a definite core with those guys. There's no big man the team will turn to, but Tyson Chandler will also play a part in the tight rotation Krzyzewski will employ. It will be interesting to see if that lack of size in the defined core makes a major difference for the U.S.