Indeed, the fault doesn't lie with anyone wearing a uniform or coaching courtside Thursday night. The Nigerians tried as hard as any team can that loses by 83 points, and the U.S. superstars weren't about to start tanking shots on the off chance that they, too, would get booted from the Olympics for not trying.
The games will get closer, if only because even the greatest players in the world can't shoot 71 percent every time out. But with Spain barely able to beat Britain and Argentina aging by the minute, the two teams that figured to stay, perhaps, within 20 points of the Americans don't pose any real threat.
The U.S will win the gold, but there won't be much to celebrate. The competition is way too lopsided, the results way too predictable.
Enjoy it as an exhibition, if you must. But the Olympics should mean more than that.
Tim Dahlberg is a national sports columnist for The Associated Press. Write to him at tdahlberg(at)ap.org or http://twitter.com/timdahlbberg
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