Preview >> USA Men vs. Germany
TV: Live at 8:00 a.m. on USA, USA HD
*All times listed are Eastern Daylight Time.
In the 2008 Olympics
Germany opened preliminary group play with a 95-66 win over Angola, followed by 87-64 loss to Greece, a 72-59 loss to Spain and at 59-55 loss to China. Germany, which can finished no better than fifth in Pool B, will not advance to the quarterfinals. Chris Kaman tallied 24 points in Germany's win over Angola, while Steffan Hamanb led his team with 15 points against Spain and Dirk Nowitzki scored 13 points against Greece and recorded a 24-point 17-rebound double-double against China. Overall, Germany is shooting 41.9 percent from the field, 38.7 from 3-point and 76.1 from the free throw line.
A Little History
Germany has played in just two previous men's Olympic basketball tournaments, once as the host country in 1936 when it finished tied-for-15th, and again in 1992 when it finished seventh. The country earned its 2008 berth through the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament in July. The USA has met Germany just once in previous Olympic play, recording a 111-68 win in 1992.
The Scouting Report
Tony, Ronzone, Director of International Player Personnel
What do we know about Germany?
Chris Kaman was a huge get for them. Before you could just double-team or triple-team Dirk, and he would still get his 30 points, which was amazing but didn't kill you. Now with Kaman, you can't just run guys at Dirk. They have more of a two-man game. And their perimeter guys, Hammon for example, are role players but they are very succesful in their roles, and they can shoot. Our guards should be able to dominate their guards, but if we lunge and overplay away from the basket, they can hurt us with outside shooting. With Dirk, we have to play him straight up, and with Chris, we have to play him smart. We need to get Chris in foul trouble. They are big. Germany's biggest asset is they have five 7-footers. They are the biggest team in the tournament. This is a game where we have to run them, make them play and get their bigs tired. Germany is well coached. Baumann has been over there for 20 years, and the team has good structure. They are very confident. Dirk and Chris know that if they can make this a game against us, it is huge for their careers. We always know that we are going to see the best from every team we play.
With their size and Dirk, do we worry about getting into foul trouble?
I think we do worry about foul trouble, but if we can get in transition and make the game an up-and-down game, it will be to our advantage. We can't let it become a halfcourt, possession game, and we need to make our possessions count. We haven't shot well from the three, but I see that getting better, and it needs to against Germany.
We know that we have advanced to the quarterfinals regardless, how does that affect this game?
Well I'd rather be playing Germany at the end than Spain or Greece where it would be really important to beat those guys. Of course we want to beat Germany, but we don't have to beat them by 20. That gives Coack K an opportunity to control minutes, knowing the next game is the quarterfinals and it's one-and-done. In USA Basketball, we have the best record. We dominate almost every tournament, but what everyone needs to understand is that the next round is where it all counts. Some teams will even thow games in the preliminary rounds to rest players. We are not used to that thinking. The next round has to be like NCAA Tournament format. You have three games. You lose, you're out.