Team USA blew the cap off the lid this afternoon with a Kevin Durant three-point shot, courtesy of a Lebron James assist. The first quarter saw a little bit more of Kevin Durant’s jumper as he and Patty Mills, Australia’s leading man and back up guard for the San Antonio Spurs, had a mini shooting battle.
Tyson Chandler picked up two early fouls, including one for unsportsmanlike conduct, which was probably a little far-fetched, but a foul none the less. Lebron on the other hand has completed two amazing passes already. The first was a bullet to Carmelo Anthony (8 points) and then a no looker to Russell Westbrook as the shot clock ran down.
The United States was not getting back on defense to start the game, for no other reason than shear laziness which is part of the reason they were unable to go on an extended run. There has been a little too much iso-ball going on but their sheer talent and a little bit of luck has helped Team USA keep the lead.
The American’s went on a run at the four minute mark, as soon as Kobe and Chris Paul came out of the game for Deron Williams and Russell Westbrook. This was partially because of Williams above-average play but mostly due to the fact that Kobe Bryant really doesn’t belong in the starting line up of this team anymore. He might want to take another trip to Germany after the Olympics.
Durant, who has nine points, opened the 2nd quarter the way he opened the first, nailing a three pointer. Later, Williams nailed three free throws to give the USA their biggest lead of the game at 12 and while Australia answered with a three, Deron Williams continued to be absolutely fantastic and answered back with a three of his own just seconds later.
Matthew Dellavedova threaded an amazing pass to Mark Worthington who finished a lay-up over Lebron James. I think everyone on the floor understood just how tough a play that was. It allowed Australia to get their deficit to just eight before Patty Mills checked back in.
While Australia has found ways to stay in the game so far, Williams has been relentless, canning jumper after jumper while slowly eating away at their resliliency. He ended the half with a team high 13 points. Team USA ended the half on a positive note, with Lebron threaded another great pass to Kevin Love for the dunk in transition.
Team USA leads Australia 56-42 at the end of the first half. The American’s should consider themselves lucky to be up by so much, considering how uncharacteristically bad Australia has been shooting from the free throw line and the amount of open lay ups they’ve missed. Patty Mills has 12 to lead the Australian National Team.
The American’s have already taken 21 three’s, connecting on an acceptable seven but it’d be nice to see them attack the paint a little bit more in the second half. They’ve assisted each other on 11 of their 18 field goals while the Australian’s have just four.
Tune in after the game to catch our full analysis!