Sunday, August 24, 2008

Red, White, and Whew! In a tough final, US 'Redeems" itself

It was much closer than expected but the USA Men’s Basketball team “Redeemed” itself after the 2004 debacle with a 118-107 victory of the defending World Champion Spain in a game that was a lot closer than the final score indicated. The US had it largest deficit of the tournament in the early in the first quarter when they found themselves down by five points and with Kobe and King James on the bench with 2 fouls, but came back to take an 11 point lead largely due to the performance of Duane Wade, but lead by less than 10 at half, their smallest half-time lead of the tournament. Spain, who was the worst 3-point shooting team of the medal round at 30%, played like Villanova in the 84’ championship game raining 3’s and cut the lead to 2 points inside eight minutes to play. On a team full of superstars it was the NBA’s MVP who stepped up and took over the game. Kobe scored on a runner, a four-point play that fouled out Spain’s leading scorer and playmaker, and proceeded to score or assist on the next 14 US points. The lead oscillated between 6-8 but ended up at eleven. After beating Spain by 37 points in the qualifying round, you knew Spain would come swinging with reckless abandon but you figured the deep US team would wear them down. It didn’t really play out that way but they held on when they had to and close the show, but that wide margin is gone and from here on out each world tournament will be a war.


16 comments:

socrpal said...

I think it is unfair to expect USA to win gold in every tournament and call it (as the article states) an embarassment to win a bronze medal. If you look at other sports in other coutnries that have premier leagues, such as England or Brazil in soccer, while there is pressure for them to win a gold medal or World Cup, it is still considered a success to medal at all. We need to realize that the world is bigger than our country, and respect the athletes from around the world, and respect the work that our own best athletes put in.

KUShaw said...

USA basketball will never be the same again. I love all those people who thought the USA was going to breeze through this tournament. For the most part they did, but the better teams in the world wait for the medal round. I think everyone kind of knew that Argenina wouldn't be easy, but the USA didn't have much trouble with them. Argentina is so injury plagued and losing Manu didn't help them any during the game. They gave a hard fight and played like champions, but too many injuries depleted their roster. I wish USA would have had the opportunity to play Lithuania because that game would have been close in my opinion.

Spain played a great game and caused everybody back in the States to gasp for some air late in that game. Yes, the USA had blowouts, but those blowouts are deceiving. From the gold today until every olympics here on out; USA basketball is going to have to have this kind of committment and "Team" in order to win gold. It will be interesting whether or not we can keep that type of focus and intensity, but I still have my doubts. With the players and "Team" that we had we barely survived this gold medal matchup. For those of you who said this championship game was going to be a blowout; maybe you'll start respecting the international game a little more. Still very impressed with Rubio.

KHRosetti said...

Take note, the Portland Trail Blazers will have Rudy Fernandez playing in the NBA this upcoming season and vying for NBA Rookie of the year along with a another man named Greg Oden! USA! USA! How about that coaching staff. Nice work, Blazer coach Nate Macmillan did a great job with the guard defense. The Next Olympic team will have Blazers on it - Brandon Roy, LaMarcus Aldridge, Greg Oden! USA! USA! USA!

QueKSW32 said...

The dream team did not face this level of competition. Sure they were a collection of great players at a time when the international players were light years behind. The NBA now has over 75 players from overseas. So yes, the USA defeating Spain by a few points does qualify them to be a Dream team. Also, being young has nothing to do with it. Just research the facts!

how can Samcchat write a recap of this game and come from the angle that the USA was lucky to be better than Span on this day???? Luck had nothing to do with it. Grit, competitiveness, talent, skill, and hustle were the reasons the USA prevalied. Span played unbelievably well and shot the ball better than they had all tournament. Spain played as well as they could play and possibly played over their heads in the biggest game of their tournament. Credit them for being able to step up to the test. Smac, give the USA credit for being a great squad. They are better than dream team! They faced greater talent.

crazyivan said...

Look, the fact is, USA is not the DREAM TEAM. There was only one DREAM TEAM.

But, this team is the best in the world. USA did not play poorly tonight. Spain made them play that way--but Spain played the absolute BEST game they could every play and still did not win.

So, all of you Spain/Argentina lovers--stop trolling the US boards with "whatifs." We give you credit. You played well. But the USA is the best team in the world. Accept it. Quit whining and making excuses.

Spanish Track said...

I'll post on a US board! Your team was lucky by not having to face to excellent players in the last 2 games. You don't replace a Ginobili and you don't replace a Calderon, someone who beat out his fellow Americans for point guard on his team, something that is still rare in the NBA. Nash and Parker are the only ones that come to mind but they are head and shoulders above most other point guards.

QueKSW32 said...

Hey Smacchat Guy, how can you write a recap of this game like the USA was LUCKY to be better than Span on this day???? Luck had nothing to do with it. Grit, competitiveness, talent, skill, and hustle were the reasons the USA prevalied. Span played unbelievably well and shot the ball better than they had all tournament. Spain played as well as they could play and possibly played over their heads in the biggest game of their tournament. Credit them for being able to step up to the test. ESPN, give the USA credit for being a great squad. They are better than dream team! They faced greater talent.

smacchat said...

We didn't say the US was "lucky", as you put it, to win the game, we just stated that they "outlasted" Spain and got were only up by 2 points when a key player fouled out. That's all. It was a foul, should have been called regardless of the time of the the game. Would it have been called on if someone other than Kobe was shooting is a whole other conversation.

mightymouse said...

Navarro played excellent. He had like 17 points? 20 points? Thats a lot for international competition. Having Calderon would have helped a little bit but you guys CANT Guarantee that he was going to have a huge game either.

SoCalisheaven said...

Memo to Kobe Haters:
When the US was up 2 with 8 minutes to go and everything on the line, who carried them? that's right suckers...Wade and Lebron tried and failed twice in 04 and 06 and now with basically the same team plus Kobe they do what they did....Kobe/Wade/Leb ron basically all finished the teams 3 coleading scorers at 15/gm, nobody else even averaged double digits...so Kobe was the leading scorer and guarded/shut down the other team best scorer....NOt bad for shooting his worst ever and playing with a broken/dislocated finger.
Lebron and Wade both played slightly better these games, but Kobe is still the best....His 3 rings, 5 trips to the finals, and an undeafeated int'l record proves that.

goretheboar said...

I cant wait till four years from now.. at first, these countries are supposedly being blown out, yeah.. some of them dont belong.. but watching guys like Fernandez and Scola in the tournament, they have so much to grow on. Four years from now, they'll be NBA tested, and who knows.. we might have to make another redeem team in eight years. I'm not sure that the same players will commit this time around, I think a lot of them came because they were a part of the sour taste of 2004. And some have never won a gold medal.. we'll see.

rams_cards_mavs said...

That game was great. I'll give credit to Spain for it's coaches game plan and for it's GREAT offense but Spain like most International teams plays NO defense, I understand how that sounds coming on a night that the USA had it's worse defensive night but I can't fully give teams credit who sit back in a zone and HOPE players miss thier shots. USA has now beaten Spain the last 3 times they have played and on a night where Spain got most all of the breaks, had two of the best players in the world in foul trouble and probably played one of the best games as a team and STILL never led after the first few minutes and the USA STILL one. Any questions of who has the best basketball in the world??!! I will say Rudy Fenandez can ball. I know he is only 17 but I don't see much in Rubio, maybe my expectations were higher but he just seems like a poor man's Jason Kidd, and HOW do you have a player like Fernandez and all Spain can talk about is Rubio

cp3bestpgever said...

Team USA was pretty lucky to avoid the additions of Ginobli and Calderon to their respected teams, I'm convinced that the world has really caught up to USA basketball. I hope Lebron, Wade, Paul, Howard, Bosh, and D-Will come back to defend the title in 2012, they will be needed.

gatorsownfsu said...

THE WORST THING TO HAPPEN FOR THE REST OF THE WORLD WAS TEAM USA GETTING THEIR SWAGGER BACK, FOR ANY TEAM WHO HAVEN'T BEAT TEAM USA ALREADY IN '04, '02, THEN U MISSED YOUR CHANCE CAUSE TEAM USA WILL DOMINATE FROM THIS YEAR ON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

rgb89 said...

"Spain wasn't even playing with arguably one of the TOP 5 POINT GUARDS IN THE NBA. Do you realize what a difference that might have made?"
5 PG's better than Calderon (not in any order)
1. Nash
2. Paul
3. Williams
4. Parker
5. Kidd
and there's more

sbdrocks said...

I'm from Spain, You had to play your best game to don't lose against us, and you have needed some help from the refrees that didn't aplay the FIBA rules when you play. Besides that, We've been able to show that if you don't come with your best NBA players you can lose any match. Your shot rates were fantastic in the final, so congratulations guys. PS. Kobe is "simply the best"