BEIJING — The U.S. is playing Spain in the hottest game of pool play at the Beijing Olympics, which is being touted, yes, by me and the rest of humanity, as a possible gold-medal game preview. The U.S. is favored to win the gold. Spain is the defending world champion.
Since they last played each other at the 2004 Athens Games, we finally get to see how they stack up. Here are some numbers to chew on before the 10:15 a.m. ET start:
minus 0.4 — The U.S. is getting outrebounded by an average of 0.4 boards per game (37.3 to 37.7).
0 — Number of times Spain has beaten the U.S. in eight tries in Olympic action.
1 — Number of times the U.S. and Spain have met in the Olympic gold-medal game. The U.S. beat Spain in 1984. The silver for Spain in Los Angeles was its highest-ever Olympic finish.
10 — Spain has outworked its opponents by an average of 10 rebounds per game (41.0 to 31.0).
17.7 — Points per game average for Pau Gasol, who leads the Spaniards in scoring.
18.3 — Points per game average for Dwayne Wade, who leads the U.S. in scoring.
19.3 — Number of assists, on an average of 37 made baskets, the U.S. records per game.
Unknown — Number of Chinese who dig on U.S. guard Kobe Bryant.