All along, ESPN's Chris Sheridan has been the naysayer of USA basketball, sensing doom in, well, nearly everything Team USA has done.
And you know what? I welcome that. Because while the US appears to have chosen players well, and run a very efficient camp that has everyone on the same page and playing hard, the point is well taken that big challenges lie ahead. The schedule, and the competition, are brutal.
After the US easily handled what was expected be one of the better teams of the tournament, Sheridan's doubt has, well, taken on its own personality. Called, I kid you not, "Bad Sheridan." One of those Sheridans wrote this:
Good Sheridan: "You can't really find much to dislike about the Americans after this one, can you? That four-point victory over Brazil the other day was just the wake-up call they needed, eh?"
Bad Sheridan: "Maybe you weren't watching Kristof Lavronivic lead all scorers with 26 points. Just goes to show you how big men who can score from inside and outside are going to give the U.S. team problems. Brazil was a lot quicker than Lithuania, too, so I'm not going to let this win cloud my overall vision."
Good Sheridan: "Problems? What problems? The Americans were up 18 after one quarter and 22 at the half? This was pure domination, no?"
Bad Sheridan: "Yeah, but that was only Lithuania, and they're playing without Sarunas Jasikevicius, Silius Strombergas and Ramonas Siskauskas, three veterans who are sitting out this summer. Lithuania actually looked even more inexperienced than the young U.S. team, and even China can move the ball upcourt better than these guys did."
Good Sheridan: "Why are you always looking to pick apart the U.S. team?"
Bad Sheridan: "Look, Sheridan, they're 11-6 over the past four years at the Worlds and the Olympics. You want to suddenly pretend that didn't happen?"