Tuesday, August 12, 2008
USA: 97 Angola:76 and other scores
Some games carry a ring of irony. Yesterdays game between USA and Angola was the first time these two met in the Olympics since the 1992 Dream Teams first ever encounter against the same side. The Dream Team back then won by 68. The 2008 USA team won by 21 although that could be down to the fact that when ahead by 30 they simply eased off a little on the intensity.
There really wasn't a whole lot to rdiscuss from todays game. Even the 12th man on the team Teyshaun Prince got some playing time thats how uncompetitive this fixture was. The Melo detractors got their nights worth of entertainment when Carmelo was posted up and scored on by a much smaller Angolan player. Melo's attempts to get him back were futile when turned the ball over against the very same player. I'm also one of those people who after the 2006 Finals really forgot how good D-Wade was. Then again it's all too easy recaping an easy Amercian victory without looking at the once again miserable shooting from downtown 5-21 and from the Free Throw line 16-26. Not cool. Then again the video below shows how different it was 16 years ago
In other games having watched Iran and Lithuania it's easy to see why Nugget fans appreciate Kleiza. His mean streak combined with deadly shooting meant Lithuania ran away from the Iranians. The Iranians kept it close through one quarter and then got blown out from that point on, particularly in the second quarter when the Lithuanians ripped off a 31-14 run. Lithuania was significantly better in turnovers (16 to 23), steals (18 to 6), and field goal percentage (57% to 31%). Not surprisingly the Lithuanians ended up with a 32-point victory
China somehow lost a 15 point lead against the World Champions Spain all the more difficult to believe when Spains starting Guards Ricky Rubio, Jose Calderon, and Jorge Garbajosa combined for 3 points On the flip side Pau Gasol dropped 29 points to remind everyone he can play and Rudy Fernandez threw in 21. They also grabbed 8 boards apiece. That was the deciding factor for the Spanish compared with Yao's 4-12 from the field or Yi putting up 5 points in close to 38 minutes of time. Spain took this one 88-75 in OT.
Croatia beat Russia a big surprise actually. Zoran Planinic Popovic combined for an impressive 42 points. Factor in Stanko Barac's 12 points and that's the bulk of Croatia's final score. Turnovers, steals, and rebounds were roughly a wash. And while the Russians had an advantage in assists (18-11) and a slight edge in 3-pointers made, there was a substantial discrepancy from the free throw line. Croatia was 25 of 29 from the charity stripe, while Russia was 14 of 19.
Greece had no problems with Germany all the more impressive when you think of their bad opening result with Spain. Dirk Nowitzki one of the best players on the planet and Chris Kaman only combined for 6 less points then the Greek scoring duo of Vasileios and Spanoulis. But 19 of 53 from the field (36%) is bad no two ways around it.
Lastly as expected the Argentians who like the Greeks had a dissapointing opening day loss were too much for the Australians.While it may not be all that surprising that Manu Ginobili led his team in scoring with 21 points Brad Mills led the way with 22 points in 24 minutes of time. Other than that Argentina's 3-point shooting advantage (11 of 22 to Australia's 2 of 13) and rebounding edge (37-29) were noticeable as well. The Aussies now have to beat Iran and upset either Russia or Lithuania to even have a prayer of advancing. More likely they would need to win their next three games, a long shot at best.