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which beat then-No. 12 Michigan

RIO DE JANEIRO -- Everyone in American basketball circles understands that there will never, ever be another Dream Team. Cheap Pernell McPhee Jersey .Thats easy to accept.Far less pleasant for the latest assemblage of Team USA hoopsters to stomach is the growing realization that even their dream scenario here at the Summer Olympics, which was presumed to be pretty attainable, continues to dribble out of reach.Winning in style is no longer the target.Winning, period, is the sole aim now.USA Basketballs Rio roster is unquestionably stronger than the one stocked with fill-ins that dominated the 2014 FIBA World Cup in Spain, but opposition continuity is proving to be a stubborn and dangerous equalizer a mere two years later down here in South America. Although a clutch of perennial powers have all creakily descended from their respective peaks -- namely Spain, Argentina and the hosts Brazil -- no longer is Team USA expected to roll like so many know-it-alls worldwide presumed when we got here.Not after three successive struggles for Mike Krzyzewskis squad.Not after three very jittery fourth quarters in a row against teams from Australia, Serbia and France that really look like t-e-a-m-s.Obviously everybody wants us to win by a lot of points, but its not how its gonna go this time, Team USA star forward Kevin Durant conceded Sunday after Tony Parker-less France refused to cave and fell just shy of a momentous upset in a 100-97 escape for the Yanks in these teams Group A finale.Weve gotta be prepared for a grind-out game, Durant continued. I think we showed the last three games we can grind it out.Give the Americans that much. They are finding ways to prevail even though defensive struggles continue to plague a group that legitimately believed as recently as five days ago that this was a shutdown outfit that would snuff out anyone and everyone.Theyve still got a team full of All-Stars, France center Rudy Gobert said. Today they didnt play very good and still won. So theyre still the favorite.Added French veteran Boris Diaw, Goberts new teammate with the Utah Jazz: They havent been dominating, but they havent lost either. Theyre still unbeaten, so we cant say that theyre struggling.Except that we most certainly can.The French entered Sundays play as the second-rated defensive team in the tournament. They certainly havent been flowing at the other end like Australia or Serbia, yet managed to make a run at triple digits despite the fact that Parker was forced to watch the whole game from the bench in a white team hoody, held out as a precaution after a toe bruise he suffered Friday night against Venezuela.Kyrie Irving (12 assists, zero turnovers) was clearly more intent on getting teammates involved Sunday -- especially after Durant mustered just four field-goal attempts Friday night against Serbia -- while Klay Thompson busted out of his hard-to-believe shooting slump in a vintage Klay way. But weve seen precious little progress from the Americans over these past three games, starting with the Australia scare.Thats the worry.Its probably unreasonable to expect them function like a true team after essentially a month together. Comparing these Yanks to this generation of French players -- whove largely been a unit for six years, as wily coach Vincent Collet pointed out -- is harsher still.Yet it seems more than fair to have expected Team USA in one of these last two games, against either Serbia or France sans Parker, to look more like a unit than it has.Or to expect the Americans to register more than the whopping two blocked shots theyve managed in the past two games.This isnt a tournament that were going to just dominate, Team USA swingman Paul George said. Theres talent around this world and theyre showcasing it. For us, its just figuring out how were going to win. Were having spurts of dominating, but were just not finding ways to put a full 40 minutes together.Krzyzewski lamented what he described as a fourth-quarter letdown when the Americans felt like we had the game won. George spoke of squandering that moment when we looked like we were gonna steamroll em.Down 16 late in the third quarter, playing loose and free to use Krzyzewskis words and undoubtedly inspired by the troubles Australia and Serbia caused the heavy favorites, France uncorked a rally that clinched yet another uncomfortable postgame round of whats-wrong probing from the assembled media before the medal round.Team USA wont know who it faces in Wednesdays quarterfinals until after Mondays final round of games in Group B, but France looms a potential semifinal opponent.With Parker surely back at the controls.And lets not even start with the stuff about all the various studs back home who, for whatever reason, either couldnt be here or chose not to. There certainly are several top American stars who arent here, but it should be an official IOC rule: No one who plays, coaches or roots for Team USA is ever allowed to complain about what the roster might be missing.At the end of the day, no one will ask you anything else except if you won [gold], Krzyzewski said. While youre approaching that winning the whole thing, youre asked a whole bunch of other things.I think were getting getting better offensively and we have to get better defensively. Just a succinct comment in that regard.Translation: Coach K essentially just confirmed that this tournament has already been too tough to worry one whit about style points. Wholesale Bears Jerseys .C. United of Major League Soccer. United chose the defender in the second round of the 2013 MLS re-entry draft. Cheap Chicago Bears Jerseys . The Nashville Predators were glad their captain was still on their side. Weber had a goal and two assists, and Roman Josi scored the shootout winner to lift the Predators to a 4-3 win over the Flyers on Thursday night. . Philadelphia is 2-0 against the Senators this season and scored five goals in each victory. The Flyers recorded a 5-0 win in Ottawa on Nov. 12 and then earned a 5-2 home decision on Nov. 19. The Flyers have claimed three straight and four of the last five encounters with the Sens overall and Philly has won two in a row and three of its past four tests in Canadas capital city. Duke held onto its comfortable lead in The Associated Press college basketball poll while Cincinnati and California are newcomers in the first regular-season poll.The Blue Devils (2-0) received 58 first-place votes from the 65-member national media panel Monday, keeping their large lead over Kentucky, which was No. 1 on one ballot.Defending champion Villanova received five first-place votes and moved up one place to third, replacing Kansas, one of three rankeed teams that lost last week. Cheap Bears Jerseys. Oregon and North Carolina both moved up one spot to fourth and fifth, while Indiana, which beat Kansas 103-99 in overtime, jumped from 11th to sixth. The Hoosiers were No. 1 on one ballot.Kansas was seventh followed by Virginia, Wisconsin and Arizona, which beat then-No. 12 Michigan State. Cheap NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys China Cheap Jerseys From ChinaCheap NFL Jerseys Authentic Wholesale Jerseys China Cheap NFL Jerseys China NFL Cheap Jerseys ' ' '
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