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News, observations and reader questions about the Sacramento Kings and the NBA.

August 15, 2008
Opening Tip: United States (3-0) vs. Spain (3-0)

Keeping this short because we're temporarily back to 24-hour Artestvision, but if any game in Olympic pool play deserves buildup, it's this one.

Spain has Pau Gasol, more-physical brother Marc Gasol heading to the Grizzlies, Jose Calderon as one of the better point guards in the Eastern Conference, Rudy Fernandez coming to the Trail Blazers with considerable hype, Ricky Rubio projecting toward the top five in the draft, and other former NBA presences. The Spanish have also been shuffling the starting lineup a lot, so it's tough to say what they'll have at tipoff Saturday at 7:15 a.m. California time. Given that the team has been together for years, maybe it won't matter.

The outcome won't matter a great deal either -- both teams are advancing to the quarterfinals that begin Wednesday. The peg for tomorrow is that Spain and Argentina are the teams with the best chance to beat Team USA. An upset now, in the prelims, would be a confidence boost in the medal round, while a convincing victory by the U.S. would send a clear message to all challengers.

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