Top players: SG Dwyane Wade, SF LeBron James, PG Gilbert Arenas
Skinny: The Americans (right) must bond quickly; among the contenders, theywill draw the toughest opponent in the knockout round of 16.
Top players: SG Manu Ginobili, PF Luis Scola, SF Andres Nocioni
Skinny: While the 26-year-old Scola will be out to prove he's NBA-worthy, thisaging group will be hard-pressed to keep its edge after a half decade ontop.
Top players: C Pau Gasol, SG Juan-Carlos Navarro, SF Jorge Garbajosa
Skinny: The Spaniards' nucleus has been together for several years, theirbackcourt is exceptional, and the versatile Gasol is a matchup nightmare.
Top players: PG Tony Parker, PF Boris Diaw, SF Micka√´l Pietrus
Skinny: With the help of NBA big men Ronny Turiaf and Johan Petro, Les Bleusare capable of winning it all.
Top players: SG Leandro Barbosa, PF Anderson Varej√£o, PF Tiago Splitter
Skinny: This young, skilled team could spend the next quadrennium contendingfor gold medals.
6. GERMANY Topplayers: PF Dirk Nowitzki, C Patrick Femerling, PF Ademola Okulaja
Skinny: No opponent is safe against the unstoppable Nowitzki, who led Germanyto a silver medal at last year's European championships.
Top players: SG Arvydas Macijauskas, PF Darius Songaila, SF MindaugasZukauskas
Skinny: Even without NBA sharpshooter Sarunas Jasikevicius, this deep team iscapable of frightening the perennial powers.
Top players: PG Jaka Lakovic, SF Bostjan Nachbar, C Rasho Nesterovic
Skinny: With five NBA players (including C Primoz Brezec, PG Beno Udrih androokie PF Uros Slokar) and scorers at every position, this tiny country (pop. 2million) could be the tournament's Cinderella.
JOHN W. MCDONOUGH