On Sunday morning I woke up at 7:30.
I made coffee, snatched the New York Times from my driveway and hopped on the couch to watch men’s Olympic basketball live from London.
Only basketball junkies get up this early in the summer to watch a great sport. What can I say, I need my fix.
In progress was Brazil and Australia. At half-time of their game, Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated was in studio for NBC.
Chris is a fine writer, I enjoy his work. He also covers boxing for SI.
“They are flawed,” Mannix said.
Take a guess who he was talking about?
Reaching for my laptop, I logged onto Twitter and tweeted what Mannix said and asked him how do the opposing bigs defend USA on the perimeter?
It wasn’t long until I heard back from Mannix. A few minutes after I tweeted about his comment he got back at me with the following, “You think it’s flawLESS?”
Do I think Team USA is flawless? Of course not Chris but the media wants to make us think that the Americans are the only team in this tournament that has flaws. The next negative comment I hear about a country other than America, will be the first. Are we to think that these countries are perfect?
One thing about the game of basketball, all teams have flaws. Another thing when discussing this particular team is someone out there will find some sort of weakness.
I’m tired of listening to people say the U.S.A. men’s Olympic basketball team is undersized.
That argument is tired.
I don’t care if it’s a journalist, sports talk show host, a fan, a coach, or a player.
Find something else, please!
We’ve been hearing about their lack of size since they announced this team.
Not being as tall as your opponent is not the problem. Since when did someone’s height determine the winner of a basketball game? There’s more to basketball than the size of your body. The size of your heart is a lot more relevant. The United States of America men’s basketball team have huge hearts!
What these so-called experts fail to realize is these big men they speak of from other countries are not Moses Malone, Hakeem Olajuwon or Bill Walton. And by the way, after their obvious point on how does USA defend opposing bigs in the post how come you never hear, ”How do these bigs defend USA at the other end?”
Can you say match-up nightmare?
Can you imagine if we could listen to an opposing team scheduled to play the U.S. and hear what they tell their bigs when guarding LeBron or Carmelo Anthony on the wing?
Words like vulnerable and beatable are also in the conversation when discussing the Americans. Yeah well of course, all basketball teams can lose one game. And last I checked Tyson Chandler and Kevin Love are the USA big men. Are those guys chopped liver? Chandler was named defensive player of the year in the NBA this past season.
During the Brazil-Australia game a Brazilian player made an awful pass into the post from the right wing. The Aussie defender stepped in front of the post man and intercepted the pass leading to a fastbreak bucket at the other end.
Whenever American players make bad entry passes into the post color analysts are quick to point out how it is a lost art.
Is it me or do these analysts only criticize American players when something bad happens on the court?
As for the game between USA and France, the Americans were favored by 24.5; final score USA 98 France 71. Kevin Durant scored 22 points and pulled down 9 rebounds. James scored 9 points and dished out 8 assists. Love was a spark off the bench with 14 points for the Red, White and Blue.
Tony Parker, France’s fantastic point guard sported a pair of Goggles for the game and only managed to score 10 points.
Once again, USA’s depth and defense was the difference in this game. USA will wear teams down by applying relentless pressure on the ball. When the opposing team goes to their bench, USA counters with All-NBA players.
France tried to play a zone late in the first half and all the Americans did was score inside on a powerful dunk by James.
“We want to play the right way,” James said after the game.
And the Americans have shown that they play the right way. They share the ball (27 assists on 31 field goals) they defend and rebound. Plus, they are on all loose balls.
USA’s defense is suffocating at times. When they trap the ball they are like piranha’s but it’s their rotation that makes it so effective. Watch weakside defenders move on the pass and close out. USA gets deflections that lead to lose balls that leads to steals which lead to fast break points. France guard Nando de Colo received a taste of what his future job is going to be like when he suits up for Coach Pop next season in San Antonio. de Colo turned the ball over often and looked uncomfortable on the floor. USA’s defense will do that to a ball handler.
On offense USA beats their man off the dribble with ease but they must kick it out to the open shooter when the help comes. Forcing the issue in the lane will not get it done. A point guard’s job is to get into the lane, draw the defense and kick out.
This is a great United States team that Jerry Colangelo has put together. I enjoy watching them play. They are well coached and work very hard. Can they lose a game? Sure they can. If you have played basketball or coached it, you know anyone can beat anyone at anytime. Just ask Coach K about their game against Lehigh in the 2012 NCAA tournament.
I love the USA bench guys that get up and cheer for their teammates on the court.
France was awful from distance (2-21) and I thought they said the Americans can’t shoot the ball?
I was impressed with Doug Collins doing the color for NBC.
The San Antonio Spurs have six players participating in the olympics but add assistant coach Brett Brown who is running the show for Australia.
If Colangelo is looking for an ideal coaching staff for the 2016 USA mens team he should look at Tom Izzo, Doc Rivers, Mike Dunlap and Bob Hurley.