Forum Blue & Gold: Here’s my prediction – not only is the USA going to win the gold in Beijing, it will win it in London in 2012, too.

I’ll explain the second prediction first. One thing has been pretty clear in these Olympics and said by Kelly Dwyer among others – the USA is the best NBA-style team in this Olympics by a mile. It’s not a gap that other countries are going to close completely in the next four years.

And in four years (actually in two), the international game is going to look more like the NBA game.

The 3-point line will move from 20 feet, 6.1 inches to 22 feet, 1.7 inches. The NBA line is 23-9…..FIBA also will reconfigure the three-second area to match the NBA shape, going from a trapezoid to a rectangle.

FIBA is also throwing in a charge circle under the basket, as in the NBA. These rule changes favor the NBA players. For example now Dwight Howard can post deeper on the low block, and what player in the world can move him off that? All those changes will move the game toward more of an NBA style – there still will be no defensive three seconds and other key differences, but it will be more in the comfort zone of the NBA players.

Combine that with the larger three-year commitment and other things used as a structure this time around, and the USA will win the gold in London.

And they will win in Beijing too. Spain may be the most NBA-like team outside th USA in this tournament (although I expect they will break that mold some in the Gold Medal game) and as was said earlier, the USA is by far the best NBA-style team in this tournament.

Much like the Argentina game, I think for the USA to lose they would have to take the game off. Spain has a lot of talent, but not enough to withstand a focused USA team at both ends of the court. The USA has to be focused on defense and use ball pressure and stick with men at the three-point line. They have to be focused on offense and take advantage of good ball movement against a zone defense, not over-dribble and go into isolation then launch threes (Spain prefers a man-to-man but will play zone much more because Argentina had some success with it). They have to play through what will be a physical Spanish side. But they can do all that, and they have advantages. Rubio may be one of the best 17-year-old players I’ve ever seen, but he still makes 17-year-old mistakes when pressured and the USA bench should be able to run on those. The USA is a very deep team and that will wear Spain down.

As way of evidence, look at the raw +/- numbers for the Olympics and you see something interesting – no USA players in the negative. Also, whether adjusted or straight up, the two guys doing the best with plus-minus are the first two guys off the bench – Wade and Bosh. The USA brings guys off the bench that would be a team’s main weapon anywhere else.

There is no way the USA is not focused for the Gold Medal game. So there is no way they lose. And I don’t see them losing in major international play for a while now.

By the way, I’ll be up and commenting during the game (probably not a live blog, unless there is a lot of interest, but there are ones all over the Web tonight). Come by and share your thoughts.

  • MILO

    what time is the fu-ck-en game??? im tired of watching it at five in the morning??? please tell me they will try and accomodate the USA viewers…

  • David

    if you have nbc’s basketball channel, you can watch the game live at 11:30pm (Saturday Night PST). If not, the game will be broadcast at 2:30am (Sunday PST) and again at 4:30am (Sunday PST) on NBC4 (here in socal). I believe you can also watch the game live at 11:30pm (Saturday PST) online at nbcolympics.com

    hope that helps

  • goodfella

    i second that MILO

  • kobe

    so you are asking to change the game.time just the usa viewers can see it??? c’mon!!!! hahahahaha

  • LakersStar24

    game is at 11:30 pm pacific on nbc

  • PauKobeBynumOdomDynasty

    [Comment ID #49308 Will Be Quoted Here]

    well i live on the east coast…and the time here is 2:30 AM

    so if u live in the Pacific…then its 11:30 PM

  • PauKobeBynumOdomDynasty

    this game will be as easy as Kobe getting his birthday present

  • osm0nd

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO KOBE!

  • dctim211

    if you have nbc’s basketball channel, you can watch the game live at 11:30pm (Saturday Night PST). If not, the game will be broadcast at 2:30am (Sunday PST) and again at 4:30am (Sunday PST) on NBC4 (here in socal). I believe you can also watch the game live at 11:30pm (Saturday PST) online at nbcolympics.com

    hope that helps

  • http://www.modenadude.com/ThaDogg Imadogg

    Good post, and extra thanks because I was looking for +/- stats for these guys

  • goodfella

    Felize Cumpleanos Kobe Bryant

  • KOBEISKING

    Happy birthday kobe!!!!!

  • Kobe Forever

    The USA team will crush the Spanish. This will be a easier game than Argentina because last time they played Spain they beat by 37.
    U.S.A. 122
    Spain 83

  • http://www.thelakersnation.com Fred A.

    Happy B-DAY Black Mamba!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    The game will be on NBC at 2:30am EST do the Math if it is in another time zone.

  • http://k1k0.com KiKosDad

    We Won. 118-107

    You got to give it to Kobe…Men oh Men!!! Truly..amazing!

    All 13 pts (at the 4th) by him and was all important to that game to give us some cushion. Plus he was the one who was making plays during that majority of 4th qtr. Successive points and assist kept us a breather and 10 pt cushion.

    When they needed to have the Man…Kobe provided!!!

    You can hear it even from the interview after the game with Wade and Kobe…when the game was close to 2 and during the timeout..everyone ask to show the Mamba…and he delivered that 4 pt play and that also took away Rudy Fernandez.

    My hats off still to Spain …that was a very exciting game and closest one during this Olympics.

    Good part …also we can have a breather that no one between Pau and Kobe got injured….

    Congratulations our Team!!!