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Key dates: July 29, U.S. opener against France; Aug. 10, semifinals; Aug. 12, medal games
Venue: Olympic Park Basketball Arena (pool play); North Greenwich Arena (quarterfinals, semifinals, finals)
Big story: Is there really any way Team USA loses? This team might be better than the one in Beijing, which went 8-0 and won its games by an average of 27.9 points. Spain has some interesting players (the Gasol brothers, Serge Ibaka, Jose Calderon) but can't touch the U.S. in overall depth.
Top U.S. prospects: Take your pick: LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Chris Paul, Kevin Durant, Carmelo Anthony.
Others to watch: Backups Russell Westbrook, James Harden, Kevin Love, Andre Iguodala and Deron Williams would challenge for a gold medal if they were the only guys on the team. Forward Anthony Davis was the top pick in the NBA draft after taking Kentucky to the NCAA championship.
Little-known fact: Hard to believe and easy to forget, but only eight years have passed since the U.S. went 5-3 and staggered to a bronze medal in Athens.
July 23, 2012