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Home - Can anyone come close to Team USA at the Rio Olympics?

  Can anyone come close to Team USA at the Rio Olympics?

The United States basketball team will once again attempt to defend their Olympic gold medal in Rio de Janeiro this summer. Since basketball became an integral sport at the Games, Team USA have won the gold medal an incredible 14 times and are looking for their third successive triumph this summer.

Can anybody step up and stop this incredibly talented nation from winning the gold medal for the 15th time? Probably not – but we thought that in 2004 and Argentina shocked the world to claim a famous scalp.

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At the time of writing, punters who are betting on the Olympics can get 1/8 with Paddy Power on Team USA winning the tournament this summer. And if truth be told, it is hard to imagine them failing on the big stage.

In 2012, the likes of LeBron James and Kevin Durant played prominent roles and those two players alone are capable of winning a basketball game. This year, James will be joined by a number of the record-breaking Golden State Warriors team as the United States look to assert their dominance once again.

Even if Team USA perform poorly, they will still fancy their chances of reaching the final four at the very least – such is the vast array of talent across the roster, even without MVP Stephen Curry in the side. Right now, the United States are streets ahead of their nearest rivals and it is almost impossible to imagine they will fail.

Every single member of their side is an NBA star and they are blessed with riches in almost every position; both in attack and defence. In fact, it’s almost unfair – THAT’S how good they are when they play at their very best.

But they cannot afford to get complacent. Complacency and taking others for granted has hurt many elite nations in the past and the United States will be wary of this. The likes of France, Spain and 2004 winners Argentina will be quietly confident of causing an upset, especially if the United States fail to gel as a team.

While this is unlikely, all three of these nations are capable of hurting Team USA and producing one of the biggest shocks in sporting history. After all, this is the Olympics and strange things tend to happen...

Realistically, it will take a major collapse for the United States to fail in their bid to win a 15th gold medal this summer. Basketball is THEIR sport and they are the best at it. The NBA isn’t exclusively American anymore and other nations are improving rapidly but Team USA are still the guys to beat. And with so much talent across the squad, it’s not exactly difficult to see why they are so highly regarded in the basketball world.

Yes, they may not be earning the millions that they do during the NBA season but at the Olympics, it’s about the pride and passion of representing your country and winning medals – and that’s exactly what Team USA are going to do this summer.

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