Everything you need to know about the men’s basketball team at Rio Olympics

Aug 11, 2012; London, United Kingdom; USA forward Kevin Love (11) and forward LeBron James (6) and guard Kevin Durant (5) celebrate after winning the gold in the men's basketball final against Spain in the London 2012 Olympic Games at North Greenwich Arena. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

The new NBA season gets underway in October but we are sure the die-hard fans are finding it hard to wait that long but guess what you don’t have to either with the Olympics commencing early in August you’ll have the chance to witness some of the best stars in action in their country’s colors and USA are once again favorites to grab the gold. Here’s all that you need to know about the team.

In the Past

Let’s begin with some insight into the past years. There’s a reason the USA team are top seeded and clearly are no strangers to the huge expectation and pressure placed on their shoulders and are on 17 game winning streak. USA has won gold 14 times out of the 17 Olympics and in 1988 and 2004 they won bronze.

They are expected to continue the stellar record this year too. One of the worst incidents in their history came in the 1972 Olympics. You can read all about it here. This lose ended a 63 game winning streak.

usa basketball

Tournament Format

To get into the elimination phase USA will have to rally past China, France, Australia, Serbia and Venezuela. Remaining 6 teams are part of group B. Only 4 teams will qualify from each group. In the next round winners will be awarded 3 points while loser only 1 and stats such as point difference and scored will be used in case of a tie. The team consists of 12 players in total and there are some big names in there which we’ll talk about later.

Schedule & Expectations

The USA team begin their gold medal defense on 6th August against China who is expected to be the toughest opponents in the group. They end the group stages with a match against France. The next round begins on 17th August with the final being held on 21st. Like I mentioned above the expectations are once again high and anything short of gold could be a disappointment. So if you’re in for a bet I guess it’s an obvious choice.

Training Routine

Since the NBA season ended just a few months back you’d expect most players to be in good condition. They have had few warm up matches to get the rhythm and coordination right. Apart from that cardio and weight sessions on treadmills, Concept2 rowers etc. have been regularly conducted to maintain strength and overall fitness.

training

Players to keep an eye on

Well the US team is the most star studded line up with players such as Kevin Durant, Carmelo Anthony etc all part of the lineup. Even the Spanish squad has a few big names this year like Pau Gasol etc. Other players you’d like to keep an eye on are Mark Ginobili of Argentina etc. The women’s team too is expected to come back with gold so don’t miss out on them in action.

Let us know who you think is going to shine at the Rio Olympics this year in Basketball.