The last time the U.S. men's national basketball team faced Argentina, there were two quarters of tight collars (thanks to porous U.S. defense and near-perfect execution by Manu Ginobili, Luis Scola and company) followed by one quarter of utter annihilation (sparked by the sheer dominance of Kevin Durant), a few moments of chippy bitterness (thanks to Argentinian point guard Facundo Campazzo's blatant low blow on Carmelo Anthony) and, ultimately, a 29-point rout.
But that was group play, before the live ammunition really started flying at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. Did Argentina's cagey, decorated "Golden Generation," which defeated Brazil in its first knockout-round game on Wednesday, keep enough powder dry to be able to hang with the U.S. for two halves of basketball this time? Or will Team USA — which allowed a tough Australian team to hang around for the better part of three quarters before activating the Black Mamba on Wednesday — again marry its superior offensive firepower with 40 minutes of strong national defense, erasing memories of Argentina's 59-point first half on Monday with pipe-bursting ball pressure and another aerial assault from long range?
Only one way to find out, y'all.
Join us back here at 3:45 p.m. Eastern time for a joint BDL-FPM live chat of the semifinal matchup between Team USA and Argentina, with a trip to Sunday's gold medal game hanging in the balance. (Just a reminder: We won't be able to get to every question or comment, though we'll try our best, and please remember to keep things PG-13 and civil. Much obliged.)
Take the jump to chat: