Four teams will advance from each group after round-robin play.
1 1 Argentina Not only are Manu Ginobili & Co. deep and
aggressive, but they also play a winning style, moving without
the ball like the Bill Walton-era Portland Trail Blazers.
1 2 Serbia and Montenegro Though the world champs are in
transition (and without Peja Stojakovic, who's skipping the
Games), they still have forward Dejan Bodiroga, the Larry Bird of
1 3 Spain With Pau Gasol and guard Juan Carlos Navarro, a 2002
Washington Wizards draftee, the Spaniards are a dark-horse medal
1 4 China Coach Del Harris must raise the level of his backcourt
to complement NBA giants Yao Ming and Mengke Bateer.
1 5 Australia No longer in the shadow of Andrew Gaze (who's
retired), point guard Shane Heal leads a veteran group that plays
like a Big Ten team.
1 6 Italy Surprise qualifiers, the Italians need a lot of
miracles from their talented backcourt of Gianluca Basile and
1 1 U.S. After three losses at the 2002 world championships, the
Americans are counting on better chemistry and leadership from
Tim Duncan and--believe it or not--Allen Iverson.
1 2 Lithuania Went unbeaten at the '03 Euro championships with
help of assistant coach (and Dallas Mavericks president) Donn
1 3 Greece Despite the absence of Jake Tsakalidis, the Greeks
will overachieve with balanced scoring and the home court
1 4 Puerto Rico A difficult opponent because of the NBA twosome
of guard Carlos Arroyo and 7'1" Daniel Santiago--plus, possibly,
6'10" 40-year-old Jose Ortiz.
1 5 New Zealand The overmatched Kiwis will struggle to match
their shocking fourth-place finish at the 2002 worlds.
1 6 Angola A decade from now Africa will contend for a medal,
but for the moment the continent's champions remain the weakest
entry in the field.