Wednesday, August 8, 2012

one on one

The United States, moments ago, defeated Australia in the quarterfinals of the Olympic basketball tournament. Next up is Argentina, a team the US defeated on Monday.

Still, despite the victory and as I have written before, I think the US could be in jeopardy and has been outcoached.  Australia was in the game until the fourth quarter.  At one point during the third quarter in the game against Argentina Kevin Durant got hot and started hitting one three after another. Today, against Australia, it was Kobe Bryant in the fourth quarter who hit three or four threes in a row during a stretch when the US created a lead that was insurmountable.

The Americans are playing one on one basketball. Their opponents, today Australia, are moving continuously in an attempt to free a player for a shot.  And they are often successful.  What happened today and what has happened throughout the tournament, is that the individual talent disparity between the US and the opponents is so glaring that eventually a scoring spree occurs from which the opponents cannot come back.

However, I do not like the way we are playing.  And against deeper teams like Russia or Spain and perhaps even Argentina despite Monday's game, I wonder if we will prevail.  So many open shots for the opponents. Each time the US comes down the court whoever has the ball goes one on one.  Eventually, that has to be a problem.

Even if we are to prevail in 2012, I think the US teams and coaches might benefit from seeing how these international opponents are moving the ball and freeing players for easy shots.

Also, it would be nice if a team composed of millionaires so enriched because of their basketball prowess, could make a free throw. The US missed ten of thirty two free throws today.  I know that when it really mattered I could hit mine. You're making a million dollars a year and playing for your country, make your free throws Messrs Love and Anthony and James.  I am inclined to give Lebron some slack as he has been the one consistent player in the tournament who has played big when the US needed it.

Next up, Argentina.  It would be sweet if we have an opportunity to play Russia in the Gold. Something attractive about having Doug Collins doing the play by play forty years after his team was robbed of Olympic Gold in 1972.

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