Aug 11 2012 8:46AM

2012 Olympics Gold-Medal Game: USA vs. SPAIN


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GOLD-MEDAL GAME: USA (7-0) vs. SPAIN (5-2)

Best Players On The Court: Do not underestimate the ability of the Gasol Brothers to potentially slow down the vaunted USA offensive attack. If there is one thing Spain is good at in the 2012 Olympics, it is taking away 3s and eliminating second-chance baskets--two area where the Americans have been especially great on offense. With Marc and Pau providing tremendous in-the-paint defense, they totally took Russia and France out of their sets in the tournament (both teams only scored 59 points against Spain, despite averaging 77 and 73 in the tournament, respectively). USA, on the other hand, seems untouchable, averaging 116.7 points per game, which is on par with the Olympics record set by the 1992 USA Basketball Dream Team (117.3 points per game). That is because the Americans are getting other-worldly performances from LeBron James (12 points, 5 rebounds and 6 assists in 24 minutes per game), Kevin Durant (18 points in 24 minutes per game with a .696 true shooting percentage) and Carmelo Anthony (122 points in 122 minutes on .715 tsp--yes, 122 points in 122 minutes) .... Teamwork, Luck & Chemistry: The composure of USA's players has been amazing. Time and time again, they have got the world's best efforts against them. And time and time again, they have responded. Teams may cut leads to five-to-10-point margins in the third quarter, but more often than not, USA has responded by exploding in the fourth quarter to eventually win those same games by 30-plus points ... History In The Making: The Americans have been able to mow over opponents by a 36-points-per-game margin and have done so with a relatively small lineup (7-1, 240-pound Tyson Chandler and 6-10, 260-pound Kevin Love are their biggest players). If USA puts up another terrific performance in the Olympics finals, everyone will hail this fleet-afoot roster. However, if 7-1, 265-pound Marc Gasol, 7-0, 250-pound Pau Gasol and 6-10, 235-pound Serge Ibaka get the upper hand on the USA bigs, then you can be sure USA Basketball will pay more attention to the center position in the future.
Prediction: USA 95, Spain 80.

USA

PG Chris Paul ... 7 games, 173 minutes, 55 points, 20 rebounds, 39 assists, 17 steals, 0 blocks, .659 true shooting percentage

SF Kevin Durant ... 7 games, 171 minutes, 126 points, 37 rebounds, 20 assists, 12 steals, 4 blocks, .696 true shooting percentage

PF LeBron James ... 7 games, 169 minutes, 87 points, 38 rebounds, 41 assists, 9 steals, 2 blocks, .657 true shooting percentage

PG Deron Williams ... 7 games, 135 minutes, 66 points, 12 rebounds, 36 assists, 4 steals, 1 blocks, .528 true shooting percentage

PF Carmelo Anthony ... 7 games, 122 minutes, 122 points, 33 rebounds, 7 assists, 4 steals, 0 blocks, .715 true shooting percentage

C Kevin Love ... 7 games, 119 minutes, 84 points, 52 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals, 3 blocks, .682 true shooting percentage

SG Kobe Bryant ... 7 games, 112 minutes, 80 points, 12 rebounds, 8 assists, 8 steals, 0 blocks, .593 true shooting percentage

PG Russell Westbrook ... 7 games, 102 minutes, 65 points, 12 rebounds, 13 assists, 7 steals, 0 blocks, .591 true shooting percentage

SF Andre Iguodala ... 7 games, 94 minutes, 34 points, 21 rebounds, 11 assists, 5 steals, 1 blocks, .814 true shooting percentage

SG James Harden ... 7 games, 74 minutes, 42 points, 5 rebounds, 6 assists, 4 steals, 1 blocks, .595 true shooting percentage

C Tyson Chandler ... 7 games, 79 minutes, 30 points, 31 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals, 4 blocks, .644 true shooting percentage

C Anthony Davis ... 6 games, 51 minutes, 26 points, 18 rebounds, 0 assists, 1 steals, 3 blocks, .662 true shooting percentage

SPAIN

PF Pau Gasol ... 7 games, 195 minutes, 129 points, 53 rebounds, 16 assists, 2 steals, 9 blocks, .653 true shooting percentage

C Marc Gasol ... 7 games, 193 minutes, 84 points, 36 rebounds, 16 assists, 2 steals, 5 blocks, .547 true shooting percentage

SG Rudy Fernandez ... 7 games, 178 minutes, 63 points, 26 rebounds, 22 assists, 6 steals, 3 blocks, .579 true shooting percentage

PG Jose Calderon ... 7 games, 160 minutes, 56 points, 15 rebounds, 19 assists, 6 steals, 0 blocks, .583 true shooting percentage

SG Sergio Llull ... 7 games, 140 minutes, 39 points, 14 rebounds, 10 assists, 1 steals, 1 blocks, .472 true shooting percentage

SF Fernando San Emeterio ... 7 games, 111 minutes, 20 points, 21 rebounds, 8 assists, 2 steals, 0 blocks, .421 true shooting percentage

SG Juan Carlos Navarro ... 5 games, 115 minutes, 46 points, 19 rebounds, 12 assists, 2 steals, 0 blocks, .489 true shooting percentage

PF Serge Ibaka ... 7 games, 99 minutes, 52 points, 26 rebounds, 5 assists, 1 steals, 9 blocks, .597 true shooting percentage

PG Sergio Rodriguez ... 7 games, 84 minutes, 15 points, 9 rebounds, 16 assists, 2 steals, 0 blocks, .359 true shooting percentage

C Felipe Reyes ... 7 games, 71 minutes, 27 points, 26 rebounds, 2 assists, 0 steals, 2 blocks, .486 true shooting percentage

PG Victor Sada ... 4 games, 31 minutes, 13 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists, 0 steals, 0 blocks, .732 true shooting percentage

SF Victor Claver ... 4 games, 23 minutes, 3 points, 7 rebounds, 1 assists, 1 steals, 1 blocks, .188 true shooting percentage


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BRONZE-MEDAL GAME: RUSSIA (5-2) vs. ARGENTINA (4-3)

Best Players On The Court: If the Olympics had a 10-man All-Tournament team, three honorees would be from the Argentina and Russia squads: Manu Ginobili, Luis Scola and Andrei Kirilenko. Each has had a marvelous showing. Kirilenko was the only Olympian to rank in the top 10 in four of the five main box-score statistics (7th in points per game, 7th in rebounds per game, 3rd in blocks per game and 2nd in steals per game). Ginobili and Scola were second and third in scoring, both averaging 19 points per game while posting terrific true shooting percentages (.659 and .586, respectively) ... Teamwork, Luck & Chemistry: Russia seemed to peak in pool play, once they locked up the No. 1 seed at 4-0. Since then, the chemistry that was instrumental in getting them a great seed has somewhat disappeared (the team has gone 1-2, only getting 15 assists to 13 turnovers in its game against Spain). On the other hand, Argentina has played well against every team not spelled out USA. In the five non-USA games, Argentina went 4-1, beating foes by an average of 12 points per game. Expect La Generacion Dorada to fight like crazy in their last game together in hopes of winning one more Olympics medal (bronze in 2008; gold in 2004) ... History In The Making: LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony, who won gold in 2008 and bronze in 2004 for USA, are both guaranteed to win a third Olympics medal; if Argentina wins the 2012 bronze, they will have five players who join LBJ and Melo in that elite three-medal club, with their golds from 2004 and bronzes from 2008 (Ginobili, Scola, Carlos Delfino, Andres Nocioni and Leonardo Gutierrez)
Prediction: Argentina 84, Russia 80.

RUSSIA

SF Andrei Kirilenko ... 7 games, 236 minutes, 120 points, 52 rebounds, 9 assists, 15 steals, 12 blocks, .605 true shooting percentage

PF Victor Khryapa ... 7 games, 197 minutes, 48 points, 43 rebounds, 32 assists, 4 steals, 2 blocks, .513 true shooting percentage

PG Alexey Shved ... 7 games, 167 minutes, 66 points, 20 rebounds, 40 assists, 6 steals, 1 blocks, .462 true shooting percentage

SG Anton Ponkrashov ... 7 games, 159 minutes, 46 points, 13 rebounds, 30 assists, 4 steals, 0 blocks, .499 true shooting percentage

SG Vitaliy Fridzon ... 7 games, 147 minutes, 73 points, 14 rebounds, 14 assists, 4 steals, 5 blocks, .707 true shooting percentage

SF Sergey Monya ... 7 games, 146 minutes, 37 points, 28 rebounds, 7 assists, 4 steals, 4 blocks, .442 true shooting percentage

C Timofey Mozgov ... 7 games, 142 minutes, 80 points, 27 rebounds, 1 assists, 2 steals, 4 blocks, .659 true shooting percentage

C Sasha Kaun ... 7 games, 126 minutes, 56 points, 23 rebounds, 4 assists, 0 steals, 6 blocks, .512 true shooting percentage

SF Semyon Antonov ... 6 games, 32 minutes, 13 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists, 0 steals, 1 blocks, .945 true shooting percentage

SG Evgeny Voronov ... 5 games, 22 minutes, 0 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 steals, 2 blocks, .000 true shooting percentage

PG Dimitry Khvostov ... 4 games, 21 minutes, 3 points, 1 rebounds, 2 assists, 0 steals, 0 blocks, .521 true shooting percentage

SG Sergey Karasev ... 2 games, 6 minutes, 0 points, 2 rebounds, 1 assists, 0 steals, 0 blocks, .000 true shooting percentage

ARGENTINA

SF Carlos Delfino ... 7 games, 213 minutes, 107 points, 24 rebounds, 12 assists, 7 steals, 1 blocks, .591 true shooting percentage

SG Manu Ginobili ... 7 games, 210 minutes, 134 points, 40 rebounds, 30 assists, 11 steals, 1 blocks, .659 true shooting percentage

C Luis Scola ... 7 games, 206 minutes, 133 points, 31 rebounds, 18 assists, 4 steals, 4 blocks, .586 true shooting percentage

PF Andres Nocioni ... 7 games, 176 minutes, 67 points, 26 rebounds, 10 assists, 2 steals, 4 blocks, .571 true shooting percentage

PG Facundo Campazzo ... 7 games, 147 minutes, 34 points, 18 rebounds, 26 assists, 3 steals, 1 blocks, .589 true shooting percentage

PG Pablo Prigioni ... 5 games, 131 minutes, 22 points, 10 rebounds, 32 assists, 8 steals, 0 blocks, .486 true shooting percentage

C Juan Pedro Gutierrez ... 7 games, 86 minutes, 48 points, 20 rebounds, 0 assists, 1 steals, 3 blocks, .608 true shooting percentage

PF Leonardo Gutierrez ... 7 games, 81 minutes, 35 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 steals, 0 blocks, .676 true shooting percentage

SF Hernan Jasen ... 6 games, 75 minutes, 16 points, 9 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steals, 0 blocks, .454 true shooting percentage

SF Marcos Mata ... 4 games, 32 minutes, 9 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 steals, 2 blocks, .500 true shooting percentage

PF Federico Kammerichs ... 3 games, 25 minutes, 6 points, 9 rebounds, 0 assists, 1 steals, 0 blocks, .600 true shooting percentage

C Martin Leiva ... 3 games, 16 minutes, 2 points, 6 rebounds, 1 assists, 0 steals, 0 blocks, .125 true shooting percentage