Team USA Men's Basketball got a major scare last time out when they managed just a 5 point win over Lithuania. They should face a similarly tough test as they wrap up prelims today against another medal favorite, Argentina. That game can be seen as 5:25p eastern time on NBC Sports network or streamed live on NBCOlympics.com.
[Note by JasonB, 08/06/12 5:08 PM EDT ] Because the US Soccer game has gone to extra time, the basketball has been moved to MSNBC
To a man, team USA says the close call against Lithuania hasn't panicked them, but it has woken them up. James Harden said they may have gotten a bit overconfident after their overwhelming win against Nigeria, but are fully focused now.
"The big wins freaked people out. They probably thought every game was going to be like Tunisia or Nigeria," said Harden. "We knew that wasn't realistic. It was bound to happen, that we would let up a little coming off of that 83-point victory. Even when you're not trying to, it's hard not to be really confident. Obviously, we needed that [Lithuania] game to get us back on track. Argentina and the rest of these guys we are about to face are something special. And we have to be ready for whatever they throw at us."
Argentina boasts a number of NBA players on their roster including former Sixer Andres Nocioni and stalwarts Luis Scola and Manu Ginobli. However, Kevin Love cautioned that the Argentinians, by the far the oldest team in the tourney, are more than just their NBA notables.
"They are more than just Ginobili and Scola," said Love. "Manu might be the heart and soul of their team. But they have tons of talent, they are well-coached and they get up into you in ways that teams that haven't been together as long and haven't had as much success cannot. They know exactly who they are and what they want to do every time they take the floor."
Win or lose, the US will be on to the medal round later this week.