The U.S. takes on Spain Saturday morning at 10 a.m. and that means that Ricky Rubio makes his debut against NBA competition.Â If you haven't heard of Rubio, you will. He's 17, he's billed as the next Pete Maravich, and he's got the potential to take over any game he's in.
On top of that, Spain is as set on revenge against the U.S. as the U.S was against Greece. You may remember that Larry Brown infuriated the Spanish coach by calling a late timeout in 2004, which the Spaniard took as an insult. He said something along the lines of I know Dean Smith and Dean Smith wouldn't have done that.
That was the one game where Stephon Marbury played well.
On the other hand, in 2004, LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, and Dywane Wade were chained to the bench, so those guys have something to prove, too.Â And of course, the U.S. didn't have Kobe Bryant, who has shown a willingness to be a defensive stopper.
He'll probably be the guy to pick up Rubio whenever he comes in (and the Spanish coach hasn't been conventional about his lineups).
But Rubio is just one piece of the puzzle. Spain could be the best team in the field.Â So could the U.S.Â This game is going to be great, and it's going to take a great effort to win it.Â And it's going to come from the defense as much as anywhere else.
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- Team USA's Suffocating Defense Stymies Greece, 92-69
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