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Victorious
05-20-2012, 07:17 AM
In the last few years the USA has once again regained the top spot in international basketball. That's mainly because USA basketball has developed a much more serious program to prepare their players for international tournaments.
But I also think there is another important reason for the fact that they have been undefeated in the previous two tournaments. It seems to me that some golden generations of elite international teams were over their peak. Ever since 2008 and especially since 2010, teams like Argentina, Lithuania and Greece (who in earlier tournaments potentially could beat the USA) had lost their freshness. Only Spain remained at its peak in 2008 and they almost managed to beat the USA in the final, but Spain is declining as well in the last couple of years. I think that their domination in Europe is slowly coming to an end.

The olympic team of USA however is also aging. And some countries like France and Russia are becoming better than ever. Serbia will slowly mature as a new power and Greece with its talented players has the potential - according to some experts - to dominate in a couple of years.

If we look at the evolution of international basketball and consider that the gap between Americans and non-Americans is closing, it would be reasonable to assume that once the elite international teams of this decade will reach the peak of their cyrcle, they will be better than ever. Will Durant and Rose dominate over international stars just as Kobe and Lebron have during the last decade? I think not.

So the question is, will the USA dominate a few years from now? I personally think that in couple of years, a new period will come in which the USA will have a draught. Just like the period between 2000 and 2006.

Mindozas
05-20-2012, 07:49 AM
If I recall correctly in that period between 2000-2006 USA didn't sent their best teams to international competitions, after some fails, they decided to do that in 2008 and the difference was kinda big. IMO just like USA had the best athletes throught-out the game history, it won't change in upcoming years, it'll only depend on their motivation, in other words - what kind of teams they'll bring.
Now I don't see any NT which could be better than USA at it's best in the nearest future. In one game anything might happen of course, but overall before entering the court - USA would be clear favorites.

Victorious
05-20-2012, 11:28 AM
If I recall correctly in that period between 2000-2006 USA didn't sent their best teams to international competitions, after some fails, they decided to do that in 2008 and the difference was kinda big. IMO just like USA had the best athletes throught-out the game history, it won't change in upcoming years, it'll only depend on their motivation, in other words - what kind of teams they'll bring.
Now I don't see any NT which could be better than USA at it's best in the nearest future. In one game anything might happen of course, but overall before entering the court - USA would be clear favorites.

The main difference between team USA of 2006 and 2008 was Kobe. Yet, there were three teams that could potentially beat them in the WC of 2006. After the Olympics, most of the players of this generation will retire and team USA will probably be something in line with the American team of 2010. I think the team which won the gold medal in Turkey was not as strong as the one who won the bronze in Japan in 2006. They simply didn't encounter teams which had the proper guards to play against them. Moreover, as I mentioned before, the elite international teams were over their prime. Lithuania and Argentina of 2002-2004, Greece of 2005-06 and Spain of 2006-08 would have beaten them.

If the new generations of international teams will be better than the previous ones, the USA will not dominate. I.e. they will not be undefeated every tournament, but will loose every once and a while. They'll win many medals, but not all of them will be gold.

Mindozas
05-20-2012, 11:57 AM
The main difference between team USA of 2006 and 2008 was Kobe. Yet, there were three teams that could potentially beat them in that tournament. After the Olympics, most of the players of this generation will retire and team USA will probably be something in line with the American team of 2010. I think the team which won the gold medal in Turkey was not as strong as the one who won the bronze in Japan in 2006. They simply didn't encounter teams which had the proper guards to play against them. Moreover, as I mentioned before, the elite international teams were over their prime. Lithuania and Argentina of 2002-2004, Greece of 2005-06 and Spain of 2006-08 would have beaten them.

If the new generations of international teams will be better than the previous ones, the USA will not dominate. I.e. they will not be undefeated every tournament, but will loose every once and a while. They'll win many medals, but not all of them will be gold.

That's one of the things I had in mind too when wrote my opinion/conclusion. Even if USA will be weaker a bit, I just don't see which NT could come to the level of the NTs from the past you mentioned. Atleast in nearest future as I've wrote. Thats why I belive USA will be dominate force. Though I really would like to be wrong, cause would really like to see more unpredictable international tournaments what comes to the winner

Dtown
05-20-2012, 03:52 PM
I don't think the US team will be dominant at the 2014 world cup, all the ingredients are there for that to be a sub par team, however it could be like 2010 where no other NTs were able to take advantage of it. The World Cup has never been the US' top priority, so managing to win two in a row would be really surprising.

I don't think we'll ever see a drought like 02-06 though, it was the perfect storm of US malaise and the ascension of some of the best non US teams ever.

Victorious
05-21-2012, 05:50 AM
I don't think the US team will be dominant at the 2014 world cup, all the ingredients are there for that to be a sub par team, however it could be like 2010 where no other NTs were able to take advantage of it. The World Cup has never been the US' top priority, so managing to win two in a row would be really surprising.

I don't think we'll ever see a drought like 02-06 though, it was the perfect storm of US malaise and the ascension of some of the best non US teams ever.

I also think that 2014 will be too soon to judge. The thing is that the core of the best international teams is still based on the best generations of the last decade. Lithuania still needs Saras, Spain is based on Navarro and Gasol, Argentina is all about Ginobili and Scola etc.

The truth is that we haven't really seen the next generation teams as of yet. And we don't know which countries will be the dominant international powers in a few years. Serbia is the only country which is playing with a new roster. But we don't know how good they really will become, or if there will be better teams. We will have to wait for 2016 to get a clear picture of the next generations.

I think that the upcoming teams will be on par with team USA though. Perhaps not as talented, but their talent and their basic skills will be enough to be a constant threat to American teams.

Khalid80
05-21-2012, 12:48 PM
If you ask me I believe the most important factor that helped U.S basketball in winning those gold medals was the coaching skills and techniques of coach K.
All the players respected him like no one else and were committed and dedicated while preparing seriously for these tournaments. Coach K also has a great understanding of the international game which not many other U.S coaches are capable of.

And since coach K has announced that these Olympics will be the last tournament he will be coaching the U.S NT I don't believe the other coaches have what it take to be able to lead and guide future U.S NT's to win a gold medal in the near future unless they are to continue with what coach K started with which isn't an easy task whatsoever.

Dtown
05-21-2012, 03:21 PM
And since coach K has announced that these Olympics will be the last tournament he will be coaching the U.S NT I don't believe the other coaches have what it take to be able to lead and guide future U.S NT's to win a gold medal in the near future unless they are to continue with what coach K started with which isn't an easy task whatsoever.

Right now the US has Gregg Popovich tapped to replace Coach K, while he doesn't have the international experience coach K has (though he has acted as the assistant coach on three US teams) you'd be hard to find a person more respected in the NBA than him. As such coaching isn't my biggest concern going forward.

Straight forward
05-21-2012, 03:48 PM
It's not only about USA. The question is - will there be strong enough national teams to compete with them? 00's had these teams in Argentina, Lithuania, Greece, Spain. If some international teams will have extremely well fixed teams than there will be a battle.

What exactly means for USA team being "not a dominant team"? Staying with silver or being kicked out of the semifinals? Or maybe to win only every other tournament?

I can't agree with Victorious. USA is filled with talent while the future of some ex- international powerhouses is very questionable. Argentina is the first in the line.

Victorious
05-22-2012, 09:36 AM
It's not only about USA. The question is - will there be strong enough national teams to compete with them? 00's had these teams in Argentina, Lithuania, Greece, Spain. If some international teams will have extremely well fixed teams than there will be a battle.

What exactly means for USA team being "not a dominant team"? Staying with silver or being kicked out of the semifinals? Or maybe to win only every other tournament?

I can't agree with Victorious. USA is filled with talent while the future of some ex- international powerhouses is very questionable. Argentina is the first in the line.

To be honnest, by dominating I meant having the same results as the previous two USA teams had, or every other NBA team consisting of NBA players prior to 2002. They will always be medal candidates if they bring their best.

Argentina's cyrcle is almost complete, but other countries seem to have their future secured. Teams like Serbia, Greece, Spain, France, Russia, Lithuania look good imo. Brazil is becoming a new power in South-America. China will be more competitive this decade. Not good enough to win medals though.

macleopard13
05-26-2012, 03:50 AM
It depends... if Durant, Rose, Wade, James and such aren't available, and there are few good youngsters, USA could end up being like the 2002 Indianapolis or the 2004 Olympics team. They gotta keep an eye on teams like Russia (who can bury them with threes), Spain (who can beat them with talent) and France (who can shut them down with aggressive defense).

turk-jugoslav
07-04-2012, 09:32 AM
Spain is a team which can beat USA.It just seems possible.With Kobe,Lebron and Wade USA's not different from dream team of 90's.Spain did good job in 2008 against USA but Kobe helped a lot his team whenever they need.
Actually I am thinking different from general.France may beat USA.Usa's guards' defence is very efective on European guards.In 2008, Possibly best European guard Diamantidis had diffuculty in breathing against Kobe and other American guards.Diamntidis had 0 point if I am not wrong.Tony Parker is a American style guard and can fight with Americans.Athletic Afro-Frenchies can defend athletic Afro-Americans.Of course,USA must be at bad day to lose European teams

NorCal
07-05-2012, 05:01 AM
To reply to the topic of the thread I think the USA will still be the clear favorite at any tournament they enter this decade. That doesn't mean they will win every tourney but they should be favored.

The '02-'06 drought for USA was due to a number of factors, IMO:

1) a large % our best players didn't participate especially in '02 and '04- the best players in the league around that time were probably Shaq, Garnett, Duncan, Kobe, McGrady, Iverson and Kidd and only Duncan and Iverson participated in '04 with none of those players participating in '02.

2) an overall lower talent pool to choose from for the USA team- its my personal opinion that there was a slight drop in talent in the NBA from the mid to late 90s through the mid 2000s which has recently picked up (but the late 80s to early 90s still is the strongest in our history, IMO, and that is another reason the Dream Team was so special)

3) we had little to no game plan and little to no scouting done on the opposition (I'll always remember Coach K referring to Papaloukas as #12 after the '06 loss, also if anyone has a chance- go back an watch that game, USA's inability to adapt on defense and its uber-isolation offense are glaring after watching it again years later).

4) other top level international teams had 'golden generations' playing or, at least, above average teams for their respective countries- Argentina, Spain, Italy, Lithuania, etc.

5) simply that other country's basketball federations and domestic leagues have grown and the popularity of basketball in those countries has grown, thus you have a larger talent pool and more resources to find and develop that talent

The gap in talent has definitely lessened between the USA teams and the other nations, it just hasn't closed as quickly as the '02-'04 period suggests. Consistency is key and the goal for all national teams and their federations should be to consistently compete with the teams above them from year to year and then from decade to decade. To do that takes time and resources, and many countries are providing more resources to their basketball programs as compared to 10-20 years ago. As those resources continue to be engaged we will see the gap continue to lessen between the USA and its competitors.

Olympiacos
07-05-2012, 07:51 PM
4) other top level international teams had 'golden generations' playing or, at least, above average teams for their respective countries- Argentina, Spain, Italy, Lithuania, etc.

What about other countries and their new golden generations? Don't just assume that no golden generations are out there. I admit the only one I can think of right now is Greece, but there probably will be another one somewhere, maybe Croatia or Serbia.

You can't just assume that golden generations will not be coming from other countries. For sure, at least Greece has one that is coming with,

Giankovits
Pappas
Sloukas
Mantzaris
Kavvadas
Katsivelis
Sarikopoulos
Papanikoloau

Maybe even some others like Giannopoulos, Bogris - guys like that might even pan out, plus Chrysikopoulos, if he gets healthy again. But those above players look to be a fantastic future for Greece, well above and beyond any previous generation of Greek players.

I also know that the '94 Greek generation is tremendous and the '97 European generation is just unbelievable. I mean the kids from the former Yugoslav countries and Greece of that '97 generation are outstanding.

There is much more upcoming competition than you realize.

NorCal
07-05-2012, 10:06 PM
What about other countries and their new golden generations? Don't just assume that no golden generations are out there. I admit the only one I can think of right now is Greece, but there probably will be another one somewhere, maybe Croatia or Serbia.

You can't just assume that golden generations will not be coming from other countries. For sure, at least Greece has one that is coming with,

Giankovits
Pappas
Sloukas
Mantzaris
Kavvadas
Katsivelis
Sarikopoulos
Papanikoloau

Maybe even some others like Giannopoulos, Bogris - guys like that might even pan out, plus Chrysikopoulos, if he gets healthy again. But those above players look to be a fantastic future for Greece, well above and beyond any previous generation of Greek players.

I also know that the '94 Greek generation is tremendous and the '97 European generation is just unbelievable. I mean the kids from the former Yugoslav countries and Greece of that '97 generation are outstanding.

There is much more upcoming competition than you realize.

I made no reference to whether or not other country's upcoming generations are or are not strong. Other countries very well might have their respective golden generations up and coming but I, like a number of others on this site, believe that a number of the European nations and Argentina had better teams in the early to mid 2000s then they have had in the last few years.