The men’s basketball team tipped off Sunday in London with an opening round matchup against France. A sloppy start to the contest that consisted of turnovers, foul trouble and poor shooting. With everything going wrong, the U.S. still found themselves with a 22-21 lead after the opening quarter. The U.S. would turn that around in the second quarter. Finally getting some shots to fall, along with a tenacious defense, the route was on. Not even one of the NBA’s top point guards in Tony Parker could save the French national team from the loss column. The U.S. headed into the intermission with a 52-36 advantage.
The U.S. hit France with a sledgehammer to start the second half with back-to-back 3-point baskets from Kevin Durant and Kobe Bryant, followed by a Lebron James alley-oop dunk from Deron Williams. At the end of the third quarter, the U.S. had a comfortable lead of 78-51. Kevin Durant led the second half surge with his team high 22 points. Lebron James did his fair share of damage as expected but in an unexpected fashion. It was not his scoring but his flurry of passes that opened scoring opportunities for others, leaving him with 9 points and 8 assists.
The only weak spot for this U.S. team thus far has been the lack of a true post player. This did not seem to be a factor as Head Coach Mike Krzyzewski received a collective team effort from Durant, Tyson Chandler and Carmelo Anthony who snagged 9 rebounds each. He also received solid bench play from Kevin Love who chipped in 14 points of his own. The top pick in this year’s NBA draft, Anthony Davis, made his Olympic debut in the closing minutes of the contest when he threw down a dunk to put on the finishing touches of a 98-71 victory for the United States.
France forward Ronny Turiaf describe this U.S. team as a “nightmare”.
Although the overall performance turned in by the U.S. was a good one, they will have to improve in order to continue American dominance. They will need to do this when they take the floor again Tuesday against Tunisia.