Originally written on Project Spurs  |  Last updated 11/17/14

The United States of America and France open up the Preliminary round of their 2012 Olympic journey as they face each other on Sunday July 29 at 8:30 AM CST in London. The U.S. roster is made up completely of all NBA players, while the French have six NBA players as well on their squad.

San Antonio Spurs guard Tony Parker and the French will do what they can to contain LeBron James and the Americans, but it will be a difficult task for the French nonetheless. Among other Spurs notables on the French squad are Boris Diaw and rookie-to-be Nando De Colo, though they’ll both have some tough matchups against the Americans.

Positional Matchups

Point guards

  • France: Tony Parker                    
  • USA: Chris Paul, Deron Williams, Russell Westbrook

Advantage: United States

Shooting guards

  • France: Nando De Colo, Fabien Causeur, Yannick Bokolo                                    
  • USA: Kobe Bryant, James Harden

Advantage: United States

Small Forwards

  • France: Nicolas Batum, Mickael Gelabale, Yakhouba Diawara, Florent Pietrus                   
  • USA: LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Carmelo Anthony, Andre Iguodala

Advantage: United States

Power Forwards

  • France: Boris Diaw, Ali Traore            
  • USA: Kevin Love

Advantage: United States


  • France: Kevin Seraphin, Ronny Turiaf                              
  • USA: Tyson Chandler, Anthony Davis

Advantage: United States

Perimeter and Frontcourt Matchups

  • Perimeter Advantage: USA – Even though Parker will be out there cutting and dicing through the Americans, he still doesn’t have the depth behind him to keep up with the American’s for a full 40-minutes of play. Parker had his way with Paul and Los Angeles Clippers back in April in the NBA Playoffs, but then to have to defend and score against Williams and Westbrook will eventually be too much for the 2007 NBA Finals MVP. De Colo will handle the backup point guard duty when Parker gets a breather, but even he won’t be ready for the speed and physicality of players like Bryant, Durant, and Harden. Batum has experience against the Americans as well as Gelabale, but they too will have a difficult task at hand defending James, Anthony, and Durant continuously.
  • Frontcourt Advantage: USA – Even though Love and Chandler may not have a major impact on the game, it’s the American’s versatility in the frontcourt that gives them the advantage because they can use smaller lineups by putting James or Anthony in the frontcourt to use their speed and quickness to score points. Diaw, Seraphin, and Turiaf will have a tough time defending the paint against the athleticism of the Americans, even though the Americans don’t have a traditional center that can post consistently.

What will France need to do to upset the Americans?

From what I’ve observed of this current U.S. team, you need a dominant post game and must move the ball consistently and shoot well from the outside to defeat them. You must also limit their open court play and force them to play in the halfcourt. France doesn’t have the post play to do this, but they do have Parker’s ability to penetrate and kick the ball out to shooters like De Colo, Diaw, and Batum.

What will the Americans need to do to defeat the French?

For the Americans, the French are going to assist them in a certain waym because France runs the same offense as the Spurs. A quick-fast tempo offense that relies on motion and pick-and-roll execution like the French run, means the Americans will have many opportunities to get into the open court and out on the break, which will play into their hands. Their objective will be to limit Parker who is Les Bleus best chance of getting into the lane and creating plays.

Prediction: USA defeats France by 25 points or more

What's your prediction Spurs fans? Will the French upset the Americans?

Email: 24writertx@gmail.com

Twitter: @24writer


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