Thursday, August 14, 2008

Dream Team Dismantles Greece

Forget that Team Spain is under heavy fire for what seems to me a really harmless picture, the news is Team USA coasted past their rival, Team Greece, with relative ease. While most people thought Greece was going to be a major roadblock for the Dream Team, it did not seem that way yesterday.

Kobe Bryant and Dwyane Wade drove Team USA for an excellent display of run-and-gun and some tad (or a bit more) of dunking exhibitions en route to a 92-69 win. Perhaps it was just it – an exhibition game.

With the victory, Team USA avenged the painful semifinal loss to Greece at the FIBA World Championships two years ago. Revenge was the motivating factor, no doubt.

It was a blowout of slams dunks, dishes, and steals. At one time in the second quarter, Wade chased the ball into the sidelines and lobbed it perfectly for an alley-oop to a streaking Bryant. Lebron James also did his share of slams and monster jams.

The defense was superb as well. Team USA limited Greece’s shooting to 41%, caused them to commit 25 turnovers, and blocked 7 shots.

Greece employed the same strategy they used to beat Team USA two years – the pick and roll. Although they were successful during the first quarter, even sending star point guard Jason Kidd to the bench for making three fouls in the first 85 seconds, Wade and Bryant found chinks in Greece’s system and began running.

Moral lesson? Never used the same strategy twice, especially against someone who’s on a warpath.