LONDON — Ten mesmerizing minutes can’t make the U.S. men’s basketball team forget the past 10 years.
When the Americans face Argentina today in the Olympic semifinals, they aren’t preparing for the team they left in the dust Monday during a 10-minute third-quarter onslaught. That was so easy, so effortless, that another matchup so soon seems like a waste of time.
The Argentines have a core of veterans fighting to go out in glory, a team whose accomplishments are almost on par with the Americans over the past decade.
That’s the team the U.S. players are counting on seeing at the North Greenwich Arena.
“We already know what to expect as far as the intensity of this game tomorrow night. They’re going to bring it,” U.S. forward Carmelo Anthony said Thursday.
“We know what to expect from ourselves, we know what we’ve got to do, we know what’s at stake and tomorrow is one of biggest games that we’ve ever played,” he added. “Tomorrow is just about who wants it the most.”
It’s the third consecutive Olympic semifinal meeting for the countries, adding to what’s been perhaps international basketball’s foremost rivalry in the last decade.
Argentina beat the U.S. in 2004 en route to the gold medal, two years after a victory in the world basketball championship made the Argentines the first team to beat a U.S. team with NBA players.
The Americans won four years ago in Beijing, and have beaten the Argentines twice this summer.