Don’t Sleep on Spain as Scariest Elimination-Round Threat to Team USA Basketball

August 15th, 2016 by Dan Favale Leave a reply »

Saturday afternoon, Spain reasserted itself as a medal contender with its 50-point thrashing of previously unbeaten Lithuania. Two days later, it cemented its return to glory with a 92-73 win over Argentina in a game that never felt close.

Now, it moves on to the elimination stage, which begins Wednesday. This is how the tournament bracket looks, per Sports Illustrated's Ben Golliver:

Against Argentina, Spain did its best Usain Bolt impression early in the proceedings—letting the opposition get out of the blocks with a nifty 8-0 run before sprinting past and leaving it in the dust. By the time the buzzer rang to end the first quarter, it had already earned a 10-point advantage, which it never relinquished.

This was not the Spain from the beginning of the group stage.

"Honestly, I don't like the situation for sure," Rudy Fernandez said Tuesday, according to the Associated Press (via the New York Times). "We lost the first two games, but I remember in London we lost two games, too.

"I trust in my teammates. ... We are very good players. We know the situation we are in. Hon ...

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