Once every four years, the basketball gods choose to combine to best talent across the NBA and pit them against, well, overmatched competition for the most part. There are only a small handful of countries which can present a challenge to Team USA, but it only takes one game to make the difference between a gold medal or bust. For that has been the equation facing the Team USA for ages, anything less than a gold medal is seen as a total and abject failure.
The USA team for 2016 Rio Olympics is especially intriguing. It features less star power than the 2012 team, but it is not a pushover by any means. Nor is it a lock to win the gold medal when you consider the competition. Here is an in-depth analysis of the roster, Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) facing the Team USA in the 2016 Rio Olympics:
#1 Team Roster
Playing for Team USA gives one an incredible opportunity to take their game to the next level. Kevin Durant saw his game skyrocket after the 2010 FIBA Championship. As did Stephen Curry, Tyson Chandler, Russell Westbrook and Derrick Rose.
For the 2016 Rio Olympics, Team USA is missing a number of superstars, including LeBron James, Stephen Curry, Chris Paul, Anthony Davis, Blake Griffin, Kawhi Leonard, James Harden and Russell Westbrook. Any team would be gutted by the loss of those names, but USA's talent pool is deep enough to power multiple teams.
The USA roster is still the most impressive in the tournament by far as it features Carmelo Anthony, Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, Klay Thompson, DeMarcus Cousins, DeAndre Jordan and Paul George among others. The roster is rounded up by Harrison Barnes, Draymond Green, Jimmy Butler, DeMar DeRozen and Kyle Lowry. Helmed by coach Mike Krzyzewski, USA has been undefeated in the last two Olympics.
Clearly, Team USA features the biggest names in the tournament.