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Gold Is Not a Sure Thing for U.S. Basketball Team

September 03, 1988

Jim Murray (Aug. 28) is concerned that John Thompson is shielding his charges from the U.S. press. That's his problem.

All we care about is whether they're good enough to win another gold medal. Murray thinks winning will pose no problem. I disagree.

The U.S. team will meet practiced zone defenses. The pros didn't really play much zone; they played the normal shifting double coverage that looked pretty effective to me. By the Las Vegas game, the pros were in shape. The Olympians were never in the game.

Where is this year's leader? Where is this year's (Michael) Jordan? Or (Patrick) Ewing? They don't have any good outside shooters (that I could see, anyway). Why is Murray so confident?

I will agree that no Olympic team is going to break our trapping defenses as expertly as these pros. That's a plus. The only one that I could see. Murray is absolutely wrong when he says that this team could beat Boston. Not Boston, not even the Clippers.

Last year's Clippers, that is.

RONALD BENKERT

Marina del Rey

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