In what many anticipate to be an appetiser to the eventual Gold Medal showdown between the two nations, Team USA survived an early scare to rip through Spain in the second half en route to the biggest win in this current team’s short history.
Pau Gasol, Jose Calderon and Serge Ibaka (screams Spain doesn’t he) were having their way with the undersized Team USA through the first quarter, holding a double digit lead early in the game. Meanwhile Carmelo Anthony was in Knicks mode, refusing to pass the ball as it stopped dead in his hands every time and ended up being hoisted in spite of the wide open teammates around him. Luckily on this night his shots were going down as he eventually finished with a game high 27 points on 10/15 including 5 three pointers.
LeBron James continued his impressive exhibition form with 25 points, also shooting 10/15 from the field and adding 3 three pointers. He led the team with 7 assists.
America has been experimenting with it’s defensive strategy throughout their warmup games, opting for entire halves of zone and extended periods of full and half court press, just to flex their superior athletic muscle. This has given Coach K, someone who is more infused with college coaching as opposed to professional and FIBA strategising, which gives him a much better gauge of what his team can do and what they are best at.
With this being their final hit out before the Olympics begin, Coach K and the team can take a lot of positivity out of the fact that when locked on, they dismantled their nearest opponents and did it fairly comfortably.
Although with Marc Gasol still to return to the team, the Spaniards will only get better. We all expect the same from Team USA.