I was certainly one who was skeptical that this team, minus Kevin Garnett and Tim Duncan inside, had the depth and team ethic to win against countries with more entrenched rosters and programs. But, to date, the USA has gotten it done with an excellent trapping defense that creates turnovers and breakaway baskets. There are still tougher opponents to play, but the USA has to be rated the favorite for gold in Beijing at this point.

The biggest surprise has to be Dwyane Wade, who has completely healed from injuries and is scoring in transition well. LeBron James has played a lot of power forward on a U.S. team built for speed. Using James that way allows the USA to utilize three smaller/quicker players for their tough backcourt defense. The potential issues inside where Dwight Howard and Chris Bosh are the only real bigs has been nullified because most opponents have not been attacking in post play. The USA has won the rebounding battle in each game so far, with most opponents chucking three balls as the bulk of their offense. Missed threes then start fast-break baskets for the U.S.

It's not over yet, and they are still very beatable. But these guys have come to play. They are the team every other country has to beat right now to even consider gold.

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