Olympic Basketball 2012: How Team USA Could Lose the Gold Medal

August 4th, 2012 by Ethan Sherwood Strauss Leave a reply »
Well, it would seem that Team USA is not indomitable after all, eking out a "victory" over Lithuania, 99-94. And a near-loss happened roughly the way I've been warning that it could (I'm no psychic, I certainly did not expect problems versus Lithuania specifically). 

When you shoot a lot of threes, you open yourself up to risk. High three-point shooting leads to volatile results, as it's a shot that is less likely to go in, but more likely to yield points. 

Three-point volatility is fine in a playoff series. If your team goes cold and misses a bunch of treys, you can suffer a loss or two. The 2011 Dallas Mavericks were built around hitting the three and it worked out fine for them. Over the course of a seven-game series, the long ball pays. 

In a tournament that goes down to single elimination? This could be an issue. Just one cold shooting night can end it all. 

Team USA shot an astounding 33 threes against Lithuania, making 30.3 percent of the tries. This was a mediocre result, but it could have been worse. What if it had shot closer to 20 percent? What if its opponent was hitting a bunch from deep (Lithuania only sh ...

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