The USA men’s basketball team is now done with their exhibition games and are ready for the 2012 Olympics to start. Yesterday the American beat Spain in a tune up game 100-78. The Americans got off to a slow start but they crushed Spain in the second half. This was a matchup between the two best teams in the world although both sides had many injuries to star players.
Leading the way for team USA was Carmelo Anthony who finished with a game high 27 points. Anthony was 10 of 15 from the field including 5 of 8 from downtown. LeBron James added 25 points on 10 of 15 shooting also from the field. James also added 7 assists.
“I thought we played extremely well. Carmelo (Anthony) was sensational. I thought his play in the first quarter and second period was the difference in the game,” said Mike Krzyzewski, USA and Duke University head coach. “Carmelo kind of kept us in it and our bench kept us in. We got a really good performance from Kevin Love – double-figure rebounds. We shared the ball well in the second half. We were very pleased with the win.”
“It was a good test for us tonight, but the exhibition games are over, the friendlies are over and we look forward to the real challenge of going to London,” James said.
Kevin Durant was the only other American to score in double figures with 13 points; he also added 8 rebounds. Chris Paul had 4 steal while Kevin Love brought down 10 boards.
Now the USA is ready for Olympic pool play. These tune up games were great for Team USA. They played two of the other top teams in the world. The only question for this team is post play.
“We played against two very tough teams in Argentina and Spain, so I think it made us a better team,” Kobe Bryant said. “I think it showed us some things that we want to do differently, some things that we’re doing right, and I think because of it we feel pretty good about our chances.”
United States is in a pool of 6 teams and they will play each of those teams once. Those teams include France, Argentina, and Tunisia. The two other teams will come from the pre-Olympics qualifying tournament.
Here is the schedule:
July 29, France
July 31, Tunisia
Aug. 2, Nigeria
Aug. 4, Lithuania
Aug. 6, Argentina
From pool play 4 teams advance into a single elimination tournament. The first games are Aug. 8, the semifinals on Aug. 10 and the medal games on Aug. 12.