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Team USA: Three problems shown in the France blowout

File photo of U.S. basketball Chairman Colangelo and the 2012 U.S. Olympic men's basketball team posing in Las Vegas

U.S. basketball Chairman Jerry Colangelo (R) and the 12 players selected for the 2012 U.S. Olympic men’s basketball team pose during a news conference at the Wynn Las Vegas Resort in Las Vegas, Nevada in a July 7, 2012 file photo. USA Basketball chief Jerry Colangelo acknowledged that the wheels were in motion for a “sea change” to shift basketball’s showcase global event from the Olympic stage to a World Cup format patterned after the enormously popular world soccer tournament, but cautioned there were speed bumps ahead. Back row (L - R) Carmelo Anthony, Blake Griffin, Tyson Chandler, Kevin Love, Kevin Durant and LeBron James. Front row (L - R) Chris Paul, Russell Westbrook, Deron Williams, James Harden, Andre Iguodala and Kobe Bryant. REUTERS/Steve Marcus/files (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT OLYMPICS BASKETBALL)

REUTERS

“Problems” are kind of a relative term for Team USA, at least in group play. Talent’s going to carry them pretty far in the opening rounds of Olympic play. But we’re always able to get better. So here are three problems that showed up in Team USA’s win over France.

1. Shooting is going to be OK overall, but it’s worth a note. Team USA shot just 44 percent from 2-point range in the first half, and it took a hot second half to get their three-point shooting to 32 percent. The idea is that even without pure shooters like Eric Gordon on the team that someone will get hot each game, but there has to be some concern. If Kevin Durant’s not on the floor, Team USA struggled on the catch-and-shoot, and that’s going to have to be a big part of Team USA’s gameplan because better teams will stack the paint against them. Russell Westbrook and James Harden are both inconsistent. Team USA could really use Eric Gordon, who was cut for harden, though Harden played well overall.

2. Post defense. France has some better post players than a lot of the competition, but it still should be noted that with Tyson Chandler out, France went right to work down low. That contributed to the big deluge of fouls that befell Team USA, and it’s going to have to be an area of emphasis for Team USA’s forwards. Carmelo Anthony, LeBron James, and Kevin Love have to be prepared to play low and defend without fouling, not an easy ask with FIBA officials.

3. The initial adjustment to the blitzkrieg. Team USA hammered France early, getting out in transition and running them out of the gym. But the French adjusted, and started getting back in transition to cut off angles. Team USA has to keep pushing the issue. It wears the opponent out and eventually, that’s when the real break-apart happens. Constant attack has to be the motto because this team just isn’t built for brilliant halfcourt play.