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Question 6 Any Chance The Dream Team Might Have A Nightmare?

U.S. coach Rudy Tomjanovich can afford to sleep soundly, but he
probably won't. "We're taking no one for granted," he says.
"That's how you get beat. Every team we play is going to make me
nervous." If Tomjanovich really needs something to fret about, he
can start with his front line. With Shaquille O'Neal, who elected
not to play, and Tim Duncan, who's recovering from knee surgery,
not on hand, Alonzo Mourning is the Dream Team's only true

But Russia and Yugoslavia, the Americans' top challengers, aren't
well equipped to attack the U.S. up front. The Russians' offense
is built around high-scoring guards who aren't likely to be as
potent when shadowed by defensive standouts Gary Payton and Jason
Kidd. Yugoslavia will be without its best center, the Sacramento
Kings' Vlade Divac, who passed up the Games to spend time with
his family.

Divac is one of several European stars whose absence should make
the going even easier for the Americans. Lithuanian big men
Arvydas Sabonis and Zydrunas Ilgauskas are sidelined by foot
injuries, and Russian captain and point guard Vasily Karasyov
withdrew after complaining of a slow recovery from a
tonsillectomy. Maybe Karasyov simply saw the futility of
competing against the U.S. team, whose strengths include the
athleticism of forward Kevin Garnett, the outside shooting of
Allan Houston and the defense and playmaking of Kidd and Payton.

Australia, with a pair of mediocre NBA big men in Luc Longley and
Chris Anstey; Canada, led by Dallas Mavericks point guard Steve
Nash and Philadelphia 76ers center Todd MacCulloch; and Italy,
which has one of Europe's best big men, Gregory Fucka, will
battle Russia and Yugoslavia for silver and bronze. But no team
seems strong enough to stay within 20 points of the Americans.
The Dream Team will be as numbingly superior as ever, which
Tomjanovich should find as comforting as a glass of warm

--Phil Taylor