The U.S. men's basketball team is the only undefeated men's basketball team at the Rio Olympics, but Team USA hasn't been as dominating as some people were expecting them to be. After opening the Olympics with a 57-point win over China and a 44-point win over Venezuela, Team USA has come back down to earth and won their last three games against Australia, Serbia, and France by a combined 16 points. They're still the gold medal favorites, but they're clearly not playing the brand of basketball that most fans thought they would. And even some Team USA players like Paul George sound confused by the way things have gone over the last week.
"I think to start out, personally, I thought we were going to dominate and these games were going to be easy," George told Yahoo! Sports. "We started playing better competition, I think you see, across the board, these teams are pretty good."
So what gives? TNT analyst and original Dream Team member Charles Barkley has a theory. While speaking with Sports 360 AZ on Tuesday, he explained that Team USA has plenty of talent, but he doesn't believe they have the right mix of players on their roster to crush the competition night in and night out. "It's not a good team to put together," he said. "If you take away DeAndre Jordan, every guy on that team is a ball-dominant guy. You see them playing a lot of one-on-one basketball. That's the thing I've noticed more than anything. Like, you have to understand when you put a team together like that, you have to have some role players."
Barkley went on to compliment some of the individual players while continuing to point out that Team USA has too many scorers for its own good. "You take a guy like Kyle Lowry, who is a hell of a player, he wants to score," he said. "Kyrie [Irving] wants to score. Kevin [Durant] wants to score. DeMar [DeRozan] wants to score. So I think they have been really stagnant offensively. When they put that team together in the future, they have to realize we can't have just really, really great offensive players. They gotta have players that, if they don't get a shot, they're not just gonna stand around and mope."
Barkley's not necessarily wrong, but even with the current construction of the roster, Team USA should still be beating teams by more than three points, which was their margin of victory against both Serbia and France. And they should be able to get back to their winning ways when they take on Argentina on Wednesday afternoon. They beat them by 37 points in an exhibition in July, so an easy game against the aging Argentines is exactly what they need right now.