When it comes to the Olympics, its clear that the United States are the team to beat. Even without Lebron James, Chris Paul, Russel Westbrook, James Harden, Kawhi Leonard, Lamarcus Aldridge and Stephen Curry, the Dream Team are still dominating the competition with impressive wins against China and Venezuela.
Heading into the Olympics, it was expected that Spain would be the USA’s biggest challenge. After all, the European team is ranked #2 in the world behind America.
However, it appears another country has their sight’s set on being the team that could challenge the Dream Team.
The Australian Boomers.
Currently on the FIBA ranking’s, Australia is 11th. However, an impressive showing so far has made people pay attention to the team from down under.
Australia started their campaign by taking on a strong French side, a country which were expected to take down the Australians. Instead, the Boomers proved their worth, with former no.1 pick Andrew Bogut proving that he’s more than just a defensive anchor.
It’s not just Bogut who’s stepped up. Australia’s NBA stars have shined, including players like Matthew Dellavedova, Patty Mills, Joe Ingles, Aron Baynes and former Bull Cameron Bairstow have all shown that Australia should not be ignored.
The Australian team proved this more last night when they came back from at 3-quarter time to beat Serbia, another side they were expected to lose against. The comeback effort was helped by Dellavedova who finished with 23 points and 13 assists.
Tomorrow, they take on the United States, and although they’re expected to lose, this will be a test to see the standard of basketball that the Boomers can show. Australia has never won a medal, with the best that the country has ever seen is finishing 4th. Yet with a 2-0 start against very strong teams, Australia could see itself on the basketball podium for the first time in history.