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Team USA looks too much like the Nuggets...

My skepticism about Dwyane Wade being healthy enough for Team USA proved to be totally idiotic and unfounded. But after watching the four "friendlies" (by the way, when did soccer terms creep into basketball? I'm not happy about this - it's an "exhibition," not a "friendly!") that took place in Macao and Shanghai, I came to a scary realization: these guys look like the 2007-08 Denver Nuggets.

Tell me if this sounds familiar...

"Porous defense, inside and outside. Abysmal 3-point shooting. Bad free-throw shooting. Sloppiness with the ball."


"They need to play smarter, they need to play better, and they need to get a grip on the fact that there are going to be nights when mistakes, hubris and failed defensive execution are going to put them in grave danger."

That's's Chris Sheridan's description of Team USA after today's squeaker against the Australians sans Andrew Bogut, but he might as well been describing last season's Nuggets.

Like our Nuggets of 2007-08, Team USA is supremely talented and flat out spectacular in transition. But also like our Nuggets, Team USA is plagued by too much one-on-one basketball, too many rushed shots, bad execution with the half court offense, indecision against zone defenses, inconsistent outside and free throw shooting, and no backup big men.

Team USA is so talented that it can - almost - get away with this type of play against the Aussies, Turks and Russians, just as the Nuggets got away with their sloppy play against lesser opponents or in home games en route to 50 regular season wins. But what's going to happen when Team USA faces superior international teams that play great as a unit like Greece, Spain or Argentina? Will they bow out as the one-on-one Nuggets did against the team-oriented Lakers in the playoffs?

I might be the biggest Nuggets fan on the planet, but the last thing I want to see is Team USA emulating us. Put me down for very concerned going into the Olympics, downgraded from slightly concerned.