The U.S. men’s basketball team, coached by Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski, must figure out how to defend the pick and roll, a basketball basic the Greeks used effectively to keep the Americans out of the gold medal game in the 2006 World Championships.
That’s the only loss for the U.S. since the team began asking for a three-year national team commitment from players.
When the teams meet in pool play Thursday (8 a.m. EDT, live on the USA Network), point guards Chris Paul, Deron Williams and Jason Kidd will be the key to defending the play — and producing a different outcome.
But it won’t be easy with the more-stringent officiating in the international game.
“It’s different,” Williams said. “You reach out and grab somebody, it’s going to be an intentional foul.
“It’ll be a tough test. Things didn’t play out well against them in the world championships. They’ll be a difficult team.”
— Mike Persinger