USA Passes Latest Test

Gatinho —  August 17, 2008

Do you think you made other teams fear you with tonight’s performance?

Kobe Bryant: “Maybe a little bit because everybody knows what a great team Spain is. I think we sent a pretty strong message tonight.”

They did it with defense. This is a team that is not relying on the fact that it is bigger and stronger than any other team in the tournament, even though it is. A total commitment on D and a set offense that is finding its rhythm is beginning to take the drama out of the tournament.

Fast break points:
USA 32…Spain 0.

But 12-25 from behind the arc? KD, as usual, said it well:

Sure, Team USA had 16 steals and caused 28 turnovers, but the team’s stroke from long-range is what turned this into a laugher … early. That said, the D was spot-on. When you hold the NBA-veteran troika of Jose Calderon, Jorge Garbajosa, and Juan Carlos Navarro to 1-12 shooting from behind the arc? A shorter arc? Something’s working.

The intensity of this team was evident. The seemed edgy, as if they were upset that Spain wasn’t putting up a bigger fight. Unfortunately it led them to do some NBA style griping that had been missing in previous games.

Lebron James had 4 steals and Chris Paul had 5.

Pau was himself. About what was to be expected from him. He struggled with the strong USA double team committing 5 turnovers. Proving what we all already know, he’s not a 5.

Younger brother Marc has NBA size but not NBA fitness.

17 year old Ricky Rubio has a mountain of internet hype to live up to, but he seems poised beyond his years. Flashy but fundamentally sound. I’d like to see what he could do in the NBA, but with three years left on his contract with Joventut, watch while you can.

Up next: Dirk, Chris Kaman and the 1-3 Germans. The USA has already qualified for the next round, so look for Coach K to control the minutes of some of the older guys.

Watching on NBColympics.com: No commercials, no commentators, and you could frequently hear the chatter from the players and coaches.

And thank god that the music is only played during breaks for basketball. The in-between-every-point music in the beach volleyball matches is maddening. Do they really think that lowly of our attention spans?

The Next Round is One and Done: The quarter finals begin on August 20th, with the semis on August 22nd and the Gold Medal Game is on the 24th.

41 strides: I’m glad Usain Bolt‘s coach let him try the 100m.

Note: When commenting on games that are in progress or recently played, please give other commenters a SPOILER ALERT.

-Gatinho

Gatinho

Posts

7 responses to USA Passes Latest Test

  1. At this pace, all we as USA citizens need to ponder is who will the silver medal. And as a Laker fan, I can only hope for the one two punch, that the Gold goes to Kobe and the Silver goes to Gasol.

    Michael Phelps, Michael Phelps, Michael Phelps!!!

  2. I just want it to be over to be assured that Kobe and Pau come out healthy and ready for some rest.

  3. thanks Gatinho for reminding about the SPOILER ALERT.
    cheers

  4. if team usa keeps this pace (32 differential after german rout) up, kobe should have easy sailing to gold…wanted to see more from him though. but hey, he’s the “quiet leader”… hope not productivity-wise or else it might carry over to the regular season. he should take a long rest after surgery. la will be fine.

  5. Gatinho, you are 100% right they did it with D, and Kobe is the best defensive player in the NBA. I’m thinking it’s gold for Redeem Team and we’ll see Kobe joining LeBron in celebrating LOL
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cl4vXgwsxPM

  6. Just threw up a post on Kobe in China:

    http://jonesonthenba.blogspot.com/2008/08/kobe-in-china-kind-of-big-deal.html

    Kind of amazing how he is loved there but the most polarizing figure in all of sports here.