USA beat Greece 92-69. ESPN recap here.
– Even Carmelo Anthony played defense this game, that’s how much this game meant to the U.S.
– Greek guard Spanoulis is deceptively quick, and totally looks like Marco Jaric of Clipper/Wolves fame (Slam’s Lang Whitaker also noticed that first in his Game Notes).
– Jason Kidd is having a rough Olympics. The thing he seems best at is stripping the opponent as he goes up for the shot, but that’s about all he’s got left. He even tried an off the backboard pass to Lebron that went unanswered. He got subbed for after that play. Well, he was coming out anyway, but the timing made it look like that’s why he got benched.
– Pick and roll defense for Team USA looks niiice, especially with Bosh’s quick hands disrupting things.
– All the stars brought their best to this game. I felt like Chris Paul was really a stabilizing influence, and this may have been Dwyane Wade’s best game of his life. You could see how motivated DWade was the moment he got on the court. He was everywhere, getting steals, rebounds, making great passes, canning threes, driving to the hoop. He was just a force, and his energy was palpable.
– Chris Bosh took an offensive charge on the Greek Baby Shaq. I though that was important to make GBS hesitate just a little bit on offense on future plays. Way to take one for your country, Chris.
– DWade and Kobe connect for the play of summer. DWade saved a tipped ball in transition from going out of bounds on the sideline, and as he fell out of bounds, spotted Kobe, and threw the ball up to the hoop. Kobe elevated, and reached back with both arms over his head and jammed it in with two hands. If that was a regular season NBA game, I don’t know if Kobe would have had enough energy to get up that high. Nuts. Also that play probably made Kobe Haters’ heads explode as they had to appreciate a nice play involving DWade and Kobe.
– Kobe sure does shoot a lot.
– LBJ is a terror, just a terror to any opposing player trying to make a layup. Even if he’s not close by, the potential of being viciously swatted can cause opponents to rush shots.
– Lebron was fired up, and had a couple of plays where he basically did everything, going from blocking the shot or stealing the ball to making the basket at the other end.
– The Greek team seemed a little whiny to me. The refereeing was balanced, and yet they seemed to want all the calls to go their way. Their defensive philosophy looked like “We each have five fouls. Let’s use them.”
– LBJ accidentally pulled off a street ball move when he lost his balance, the “Slip-and_Slide” from NBA Street.
– At one point in the game, the cameras showed Deron Williams on the sideline saying “Dwight!” and doing the throat cutting gesture, as if to say “Zip it!”. Was Dwight Howard talking smack or something? Complaining too much to the refs?
– I was little worried in the 3rd quarter as the US had established a comfortable lead. The energy dropped, Melo was no longer running out to close out shooters, and if Greece had made a run of three pointers, they could have been back in the game.
Next up, Spain!