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Bob Lipper On What's At StaKe

One of the big questions about the Olympics is this: how much will Coach K benefit if they win, and how much will he take a hit if they lose?  Bob Lipper thinks quite a bit.

He misses a couple of things here, though.  Does the U.S. have a backlog of big men? No, but with the trapezoid lane and the outside-in nature of international basketball, where shots come from outside first.  The trapezoid is going to make life more difficult for Yao Ming; it won't be a concern at all for Dirk Nowitzki (assuming the Germans win their way in in the qualifying tournament).

This team is built to pressure the perimeter.  While Lipper is correct in noting that Duke hasn't been as great lately as they were a few years before, there are reasons for that (Luol Deng and Shaun Livingston would have changed things a bit).

More importantly, though, Krzyzewski has installed a version of the national game, and he's matched it with his traditional focus on defense.

The issue is not size; the issue is coherence.  This team seems fairly coherent, and motivated by the right things.

It's also immensely athletic, and that's something that no one else in Beijing can come close to touching.