Ranking the olympic basketball teams starting lineups

Posted: 07/18/2012 by levcohen in Basketball

I’m going to continue to focus on Olympic Basketball by ranking all the 2012 Olympic Teams.

All Bold players play in the NBA

The Teams: (top 4 from each advance to medal round)

Pool A:
Argentina
France
Lithuania
Nigeria
Tunisia
USA
Pool B:
Australia
Brazil
Great Britain
China
Russia
Spain

#12: Tunisia

Projected Lineup:
PG: Marouan Kechrid
SG: Marouan Laghnej
SF: Amine Rzig
PF: Radhouane Silmane
C: Salah Mejri

Exactly. I don’t know one player on this roster. They were the second to last team to qualify (Nigeria was the last) and for good reason. Rzig, Silmane and Mejri are decent, but not nearly enough.

#11: Nigeria
Projected Lineup:
PG: Tony Skinn
SG: Chamberlain Oguchi
SF: AL-FAROUQ AMINU
PF: Alade Aminu
C: Ike Diogu

Even the Aminu brothers won’t be able to stop a 5th place finish in group A. While this is a talented team, the 10 above them are more talented. However, they could win 1 or 2 games

#10: Great Britain

Projected Lineup:
PG: Nate Reinking
SG: Kyle Johnson
SF: LUOL DENG
PF: JOSH FREELAND
C: Pops Mensah-Bonsu

This team could have been really good if not for two major absentees. Ben Gordon and Byron Mullens, both NBA players. A lineup with 4 NBA players would have been much more lethal than this roster. I still think that they can make a little noise, but they have a tough draw in group B.

#9: Lithuania

Projected Lineup:
PG: Mantas Kalnietis
SG: Martynas Pocius
SF: Jonas Mačiulis
PF: LINAS KLEIZA
C: JONAS VALANCIUNAS

While they have a good frontcourt, (SF, PF, C  could be for 35-40 points, 20 rebounds), their backcourt is shaky. They will have some good games, and should advance to the medal rounds over the two African teams.

#8: China

Projected Lineup:
PG: Liu Wei
SG: Sun Yue
SF: Zhu Fangyu
PF: YI JIANLIAN
C: Wang Zhizhi

This team won’t be great, but they will be competitive. They have the first NBA player from China (Zhizhi) and another guy who has been productive in the NBA Jianlian. They have 3 other solid starters, but it won’t be enough to get better than a 5th place finish in Pool B.

#7: Russia

Projected Lineup:
PG: Anton Ponkrashov
SG: Alexey Shved
SF: Andrei Kirilenko
PF: Viktor Khryapa
C: TIMOFEY MOZGOV

3 of the 5 players on this team have played in the NBA, including Kirilenko who was close to a star. However, now Kirilenko is passed his prime so Russia won’t be able to do better than 4th in Pool B.

#6: Australia

Projected Lineup:
PG: PATRICK MILLS
SG: Joe Ingles
SF: David Barlow
PF: Matthew Nielson
C: David Andersen

Just because Australia doesn’t have a lot of big name players doesn’t mean that they won’t preform well in the Olympics. They have a solid, deep roster and should finish over .500 in group play and advance to the medal rounds. However, I think they will finish 3rd in group B, which will give them a likely matchup against France or Argentina. I think they won’t be able to get past either team.

#5: Argentina

Projected Lineup:
PG: PABLO PRIGIONI
SG: MANU GINOBLI
SF: CARLOS DELFINO
PF: LUIS SCOLA
C: Juan Pedro-Gutierrez

Argentina has 4 starters who currently play in the NBA, and another player (Andres Nocioni) who has had a long NBA Career. They should be able to get through to the medal rounds where they would play Brazil in a very evenly matched game. But I see Brazil winning that game, and eventually competing for the bronze.

#4. Brazil

Projected Lineup:
PG: Marcelinho Huertas
SG: LEANDRO BARBOSA
SF: Marcus Vinicius
PF: ANDERSON VAREJAO
C: NENE

Brazil has a team that maybe has less talent than Argentina, but they will beat them when they go head to head. Here is why: They have a lot move depth down low, with three NBA starters in Varejao, Nene and Tiago Splitter. Argentina has Luis Scola, but that is about it. However, Brazil is clearly a notch below France, Spain and the US.

#3. France

Projected Lineup:
PG: TONY PARKER
SG: NICOLAS BATUM
SF: Mickaël Gelabale
PF: BORIS DIAW
C: RONNY TURIAF

France will likely be in a fight with Spain for a spot in the Gold medal match against the US. This is a team with a lot of talent. Led by a top 10 PG in Parker and a very talented swingman in Batum, they will be hard to beat. They also are solid down low with Diaw, Turiaf and Kevin Seraphin. AND this is without center Joakim Noah.

#2. Spain

Projected Lineup:
PG: JOSE CALDERON
SG: Juan Carlos Navarro
SF: Rudy Fernandez
PF: PAU GASOL
C: MARC GASOL

Spain has great depth all around. All 5 players in the starting lineup could be in the NBA if they wanted to, and all already have. With two stars in the Gasol brothers and a 10 assist guy in Calderon, they are set. Add in Navarro and Fernandez, both good shooters. Oh, and off the bench they have Serge Ibaka, who could average a double double with 3 blocks.

#1. USA

Projected lineup (all obviously in NBA):
PG: Chris Paul
SG: Kobe Bryant
SF: Kevin Durant
PF: LeBron James
C: Tyson Chandler

Duh. We are just ranking lineups here, and obviously nobody matches this one. The question is whether they have enough chemistry.

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Comments
  1. philabundant says:

    I feel like there should be a few more teams in pool competition. Hard to believe the Americans won’t win, but countries whose teams play together more than the US might have a meaningful advantage.

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