In Team USA’s first matchup in the knockout round, they aren’t facing an opponent who will go away easily.
Against Argentina, the Americans are facing a national team that is perhaps in the midst of its last run with its so called ‘Golden Generation’. With Manu Ginobli and Luis Scola leading the way, the Argentinians have talent that has aged pretty well. In Group B play, they had the second best point differential and looked like one of the best teams in the group despite losing two games.
Also expect the Argentinas to test Kyrie Irving on defense. Point guard Facundo Campazzo, who plays in Liga ACB and has his rights held by Real Madrid, is Argentina’s leading scorer at 16.4 points per game while shooting 40 percent from the field. Kyrie will probably light him up when the Americans are on offense, but there’s the potential for Argentina to make this a game if Campazzo and Ginobli get hot from the field.
And don’t forget: It was Argentina who beat the U.S. at the 2004 Olympics. This U.S. team isn’t struggling as much as that team, but it hasn’t been an ideal tournament thus far. A dominant win here - however it comes - would be welcome site.
Who: Team USA vs. Argentina
Location: Carioca Arena 1 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Time: 5:45 p.m. EST
TV: NBC Sports Network
Online: NBC Sports App/NBCOlympics.com