The Argentinians have a tough task ahead of them if they want to get on to the medal podium in this year’s Olympics. They’re in Group A with the United States, which means winning the group is going to be a monumental task. However, Spurs guard Manu Ginobili makes it seem like that’s not their top priority.
Ginobili says he’d like for Argentina to get second or third in the group, which is definitely a possibility. To do that, they’d have to get off to a very good start in their first two games against Lithuania and France. Ginobili has the highest respect for those two teams and knows that his guys will have to stay focused if they want to start off with two wins.
“Lithuania has a good mix of experience and youth, talented guys,” said Ginobili (translated so the English is a little rough). “Historically very good technically, good fundamentals, all throw, pass, know the game. And France is younger and has a totally destabilizing player like Tony Parker, you can make a mess and break up any defense. They have good size and with a balance of experienced players in the NBA and FIBA.”
After the exhibition game with the United States, Ginobili felt that Argentina was definitely capable of hanging with the Americans but he marks Lithuania and France as equivalent teams. That means those are going to be the most important games for the Argentinians in the group stage, and they get to knock them out right off the bat.
I like Argentina’s chance to finish second in Group A. I think they’re definitely one of the stronger teams in the group and they’re playing very well right now.
France has fallen off a bit and they aren’t playing as well as some expected. If Manu can lead his team well, they’ve got a great chance to finish well through the group stage and compete for a medal.