Posted tagged ‘US Basketball’

“Redeem Team” Trounces Germany 106-57

August 18, 2008

The US Men’s Basketball team sure are looking like gold medalists in 2008. The “Redeem Team” defeated Dirk Nowitzki and Germany Monday, completing an undefeated march through pool play with a 106-57 victory.

From the Associated Press:

Not since the Dream Team rumbled through Las Ramblas 16 years ago in Barcelona has a team looked this unbeatable. The Americans won their pool games by 32.2 points and averaged 103 points and now move on to a quarterfinal meeting with Australia, the only team they haven’t been able to blow out.

After the game, the team exchanged congratulations with Michael Phelps, now free to enjoy the rest of the games after winning eight gold medals in his record-setting Olympics. Bryant and Carmelo Anthony were among the U.S. players who went out to the pool to watch Phelps.

“He made history as one of the best swimmers ever, so for us to be a part of that and be here with him, we just felt good about it,” said Anthony, like Phelps a Baltimore product.

The Americans (5-0) return to the basketball arena Wednesday against Australia, the team that’s provided them with their toughest test in China.

A gold medal appears to be in the cards for the US, but I won’t be handing out the medal just yet. The Americans have had a tough time the past few years winning it all. But this team appears to be the strongest team we have had in quite some time and a gold medal seem inevitable. Thoughts?

Team USA Defeats Spain 119-82

August 17, 2008

It was not as close as many thought that it could be. The “Redeem Team” looked flawless in their match up with Spain, led by Los Angeles Lakers star Pau Gasol.

From ESPN:

What made Saturday’s 119-82 throttling of Spain so impressive was the way the Americans did everything so extraordinarily well. They’re getting better each game, they’re improving their few weak areas and the only thing that’s scary about this 37-point beatdown is the notion that they might have peaked.

It’s up to them to prove that they haven’t, because the plane ride home is still more than a week away. But if they’re going to keep bringing it like they brought it against the reigning world champions, there’s no way they’re going to lose.

It never got close in the second half, and Jason Kidd even managed to attempt his first shot of the Olympics, a lefty layup off a feed from LeBron James on a 2-on-1 break after Dwight Howard had rejected Marc Gasol‘s shot at the other end.

James could find only one fault with Team USA’s performance, saying it had three or four unforced errors when it tried to force outlet passes to the point guards when Spain hung back on defense. But he rated this overall performance as superior to the one two nights earlier against Greece.

The victory clinched first place in Pool B for Team USA, who will complete pool play against Germany on Monday. Following that match up, they will likely face Australia in the quarterfinals and then Argentina or Lithuania in the semifinals should they get past Australia.

No matter who they play, if they play like they did today, no one will stand in their way of the treasured gold medal.

US Basketball “Redeem Team” Defeats Greece 92-69

August 14, 2008

The “Redeem Team” is certainly redeeming the face of American basketball at the 2008 Summer Olympics. The American players were excited to find out that Greece was in their pool and they backed up their talk with a 92-69 victory.

From the New York Times:

Kobe Bryant and Chris Bosh each scored 18 points to lead the United States, with Dwyane Wade adding 17 points, 6 steals and 5 assists. The United States made Greece look like just another overmatched opponent, hammering transition dunks seemingly at will and toying with them to the point where Jason Kidd attempted to throw an alley-oop off the backboard mid-way through the third quarter.

The performance rekindled memories of some of the dominant American Olympic teams of yesteryear. While the Greeks and other countries caught up to the United States in the past decade through better Olympic systems and more cohesive teams, this victory reminded the world that superior talent and athleticism can disrupt the best organizations.

Since the Athens games, the American basketball team has gone 20-1. The lone loss came to Greece in the semifinals of the 2006 world championship and forced the United States to settle for a bronze in that tournament.

There will still be a few tough challenges left for the Americans but they appear, at this moment, to be well on their way to winning gold in Beijing. Now let’s just hope they don’t get caught making any obscene team photos.

US Men’s Basketball Team Defeats Angola

August 12, 2008

The ‘Redeem Team” is now 2-0 in its quest for Olympic Gold.

Dwyane Wade had 19 points, Dwight Howard had 14 and Lebron James chipped in 12 as the Americans defeated Angola 97-76. It wasn’t an overly dominating performance, but the US got it done and will next face Greece, a team who shocked the US two years ago in the World Championships.

From the Associated Press:

LeBron James and his teammates easily shoved Angola aside. Now come the teams that can push back.

The United States improved to 4-0 against Angola, starting with the Dream Team’s Olympic debut in 1992. That romp is best remembered for Charles Barkley’s elbow to an unsuspecting Angolan player in a 116-48 victory.

Angola went down almost as easily this time.

We’ll see what happens next for the US as they have a couple of much harder opponents in the coming days with Greece and Spain. The US is looking as if they will dominate and walk away with the gold medal. But, as we have seen before, any one of the teams remaining could jump up and bite Kobe Bryant and the US team. Time will tell if they will redeem the name of US basketball this year. At this point, though, I don’t see anyone defeating this US team. Thoughts?