Argentina, Brazil already prepping for 2012

Two San Antonio Spurs, a former Spur and a “should’ve been” Spur all have their tickets punched for the 2012 Olympics in London, and while each team is already planning for 2012, they are always dealing with some adjustments that will need to be made for next summer.

FIBA.com writes that Brazil, which clinched a birth to London by making it to the FIBA Americas final, is facing a decision of whether to include NBA free agents Nene and Lenadro Barbosa to next year’s team.

“”It’s not our issue,” answered Tiago Splitter. “We are friends with all of them and it’s the coach’s decision.”

Anderson Varejao is still recovering surgery, but remains committed to playing for Team Brazil in London. As for Barbosa and Nene, it’s a no brainer to let them play in 2012 if they want. I think you allow these guys to play with two teams in mind: USA and Spain. A trio of Varejao, Splitter and Nene could match up defensively with both teams. You can even sprinkle in some Bebe Nogueira if you like. Barbosa is important because Rubio, Jose Calderon & Juan Carlos Navarro are all um… defenders best fit for a zone, so Leandro could put good some good pressure on them.

Argentina will go to London with almost all of their team intact from FIBA Americas. This is great because we’ve seen that teams with the greatest continuity fair really well in international competition. The problem, and even the Argentinian players admitted this, was that this golden age team is starting to feel a little long in the tooth.

“All we’re doing here is to play our third Olympics. After that, who knows?” Manu Ginobili said.

“It’s getting harder and harder to prepare for a tournament,” FIBA Americas MVP Luis Scola said. “Every year the difficulties grow. It’s so hard physically and mentally that achieving the goals make it even better than before.”

I think long term Argentinian basketball is in some trouble, but there’s really no reason to think that this, whose talent level is top five and their basketball IQ level is second to none in international competition, can’t compete for a medal in London. I’d give them the edge over any team in Europe, save Spain and maybe Russia.

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