In what was a severely anticlimactic, under performing night for Team USA, it’s unquestioned leader and star, LeBron James, stepped up and took the game over, finishing with a game high 30 points, including 14 in the fourth quarter.
It’s funny how bigger flip flopping, knee jerkers basketball media and fans are, as merely a month ago everyone say labelling James as a choker and someone that could never lead his side to a championship, yet now he has the support of the nation to lead his country to the gold medal.
America were egregiously disappointing, particularly on the offensive end as they missed their first 10 three point attempts. The free flowing offense from their first exhibition disappeared, rather stopping in the hands of volume shooters Carmelo Anthony, Kobe Bryant and Kevin Durant, who combined for 9/31 from the field. They are arguably America’s best three shooters.
Brazil, led by their NBA front line of Nene, Splitter and Varejao, held double figure leads on multiple occasions, but in the end were unable to stop the 3 time MVP from having his way in the paint. It was eerily reminiscent not only of the Finals, but the entire season where James set himself up down low and refused to be denied. This mentality change seems to be permanent, something that is unfathomably frightening for the rest of the NBA.
America now fly to London to play two exhibition games against the Olympic hosts. They will be looking for much better performances before they head to Spain to take on the mighty Spaniards.