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U.S. Survives Lithuania, 99-94

As we suspected, the Lithuanians, a tough and nervy team, caught the U.S. at a vulnerable point: it's almost impossible to follow a record-breaking performance with anything close to it.

But the U.S. has LeBron James, and nobody else has anyone even close that: James is built like a football player but blessed with immense athleticism. He does have a considerable ego (see: The Decision), but it doesn't require him to be the center of attention on every play.

For much of the Olympics, he had more assists than points, and when Coach K sat him, he was nonetheless content to simply win.

But when the U.S. needed him, when the Lithuanians were threatening an upset, James was more than ready. He scored nine points in the last four minutes, with virtually every basket a back breaker.

There were some concerns in this game: the offense wasn't where it should have been, and when the three pointers weren't going, no one pursued an alternative.

And the defense could have been better, particularly against the pick-and-roll, where Chris Bosh formerly excelled.

But don't overlook this: in a pinch, the U.S. rallied in a hurry and, importantly, rallied around a leader.

The U.S. closed on a 17-6 run, and while James quickly elevated his play, so did Chris Paul and Deron Williams.

They'll need to keep elevating as they play Argentina on Monday.

Argentina is as experienced as any team in the tournament and they have a great nucleus. Unfortunately, most of the team is past 30 and only two guys are under 26.

Will experience help or will age hurt down the stretch? It'll be interesting to see.

They might not be as athletic as the U.S., but we can guarantee you that they'll play hard - and they'll have a really good idea of how to attack after watching the Lithuanian game. The U.S. is going to get a game (again).