Sunday, August 17, 2008

Dream Team Edges Spaniards

If a lot of people thought Spain was going to be a tough team to handle for the ‘Redeem’ Team, being bannered by the two Gasols and all, they were wrong. Team USA coasted easily over the Spaniards for their easiest victory yet, 119-82. In the battle of two unbeatens, USA for the first time launched a barrage of three-pointers for the first time in the Beijing Olympics, finishing with a 48% 3-Pt average (12-out-25). In addition to that, Team USA almost shot perfectly from the free-throw line with a near 80% average.

Every single US player scored, including Jason Kidd, who has not contributed to the scoreboard since the start of the Games. LeBron James has 18, while Dwyane Wade and Carmelo Anthony both scored 16 each. Kobe Bryant found himself in foul trouble early in the game and had to be replaced by Wade, who started the run for Team USA.

Spain tried to use zone defense to slow the tempo of the game and were successful in the earlier part of the game. But increased ball movement from the US players opened windows for 3-pointers. James, Bryant, Anthony, and Williams unleashed their 3-point artillery late in the first half after Spain trimmed the lead to 8 points. USA closed the first half with a 64-41 lead.

With the win, Team USA (4-0) is halfway in their gold medal quest in tie with Lithuania but will probably face either Australia or Croatia in the quarterfinals. If Spain wins its remaining games, they will possibly have a rematch with Team USA. That is, if Team USA snatches its last three games.