We haven't gotten a chance to see the USA Olympic Men's Basketball squad in action yet, but tonight, that changes. The USA will host Argentina in Las Vegas in the first tuneup exhibition heading towards Rio.
Who? Argentina vs United States of America
When? 9 PM EST
Where? T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas, Nevada
Where on my eyeballs? NBA TV, or you can head to USA Basketball or the NBA's Facebook pages. The games will be streamed on Facebook live, and I'm sure the comment sections will be illuminating.
Enemy Blog: Just kidding. I don't think there's a blog for the Argentinian National Basketball team, and no, I'm not going to look it up.
What to Watch for:
- Who takes primary playmaking duties? There's no Chris Paul or LeBron James on this roster to get the U.S. into their sets, so a heavy burden of playmaking should fall onto Kyrie Irving's shoulders. He'll get his, but it'll be interesting to see how much he looks to set his very talented teammates up.
- Does Argentina have the juice to compete with the United States anymore? Their best player is still Manu Ginobili, and he and the rest of the golden generation are getting very, very old. My best guess is that we won't see Argentina's best shot tonight anyway. They're not going to blow any strategic advantage they might have in a meaningless exhibition.
- Who starts? With a lot of heavy hitters sitting out, it's worth wondering who Coach K trusts with the starting gig. My best lineup would probably be Kyrie Irving, Klay Thompson, Paul George, Kevin Durant and Boogie Cousins, but you really can't go wrong. Unless you start Harry Barnes or DeMar DeRozan, that is.
- Will Carmelo Anthony settle in as the on-court leader of the team? Much has been made of the fact that this is his fourth Olympics, and he's historically thrived in international play. I wonder how much the identity of the team will revolve around him, as he's clearly been getting a ton of love from the coaching staff leading in.
- Finally, this should mostly be fun and low-stakes. This is, again, just an exhibition, so don't be disappointed if the quality of play isn't insanely high.