Sorry this started so late; I wasn’t sure what channel they were showing this game on. It was NBC or USA like they have been. No, this time, they choose the Hi-Def NBC Basketball channel, a channel I didn’t know existed. Nothing like bucking tradition when showing one of the more important games the Redeemers are playing in Beijing. That makes perfect sense.
OK, enough NBC-bashing. The game is underway and the the US is wearing their blue jerseys and will probably rely a great deal on their depth to put Argentina away late.
9:30 – JASON KIDD IS STILL PERFECT AS HE HITS ANOTHER 3-POINTER!!!!!!!!!! And on the next possession, he finally misses his first shot of the Olympics. Sadness looms. Hopefully, disaster doesn’t.
9:33 – Ginobili picks up his second foul with four minutes left in the first quarter. Now it appears as if Manu has hurt his foot. If he’s done, so is Argentina.
9:35 – Six turnovers already for the Argentinians. Kobe has nine points, five more than his
It’s 21-4 and waiting on some James free throws to take it to 23-4. This one may be over as soon as it starts, as the Redeemers hitting ground running with a 18-0 run.
Oh yeah, James missed both freebies.
9:43 – Argentina switches to a zone and Team USA promptly hits two threes. And now, Chris Bosh gets fouled hitting a putback and now has a chance for an old-fashioned three-point play.
At the end of the first quarter – 30-11.
And Ginobili is going back to the locker room to get his foot looked at. That does not bode well for his team.
9:48 – Chris Paul is abusing EVERYONE who is trying to guard him as he gets his ninth point already.
9:53 – Kobe gets a dunk blocked and Argentina hits a three. In normal circumstances, this might be bad for a team that has a lead but, as long as Manu is out, this just seems like using your finger to stop a dam from flooding.
9:55 – I guess the above entry is a not as complimentary to Argentina as it should be. Team USA has gotten sloppy, allowing a 10-3 run.
10:00 – The sloppy play continues as the Redeemers allow Argentina to get within 10. They are missing shots and turning the ball over. Looks like they relaxed after getting up big and with Ginobili’s injury. Michael Redd is in to get Argentina out of the zone.
10:10 – Team USA’s woes continue as they allow Luis Scola to single-handedly outplay them and since Argentina has gone to the zone, the U.S. has played like garbage by missing threes (6-20), turning the ball over and by playing lackluster defense.
They still have the lead though, but if they were playing like they were capable — like a true team — they’d be hammering the Argentinians.
Alas, halftime score – 49-40.
No commercials here, so that’s kinda weird. Here’s some halftime entertainment for your enjoyment. Please keep your eye on the drummer. Best. Performance. Ever.
Be back in a few. Hopefully, Team USA’s game will be too.
10:30 – We’re back and apparently, Coach K ripped his team at the half. Good. Let’s see if it works.
Two Howard buckets puts the Redeemers back up by 13.
10:33 – Team USA is playing better defense in the third quarter, but it HAS to continue. No more lapses or Argentina — Ginobili or not — will only continue to gain more confidence.
10:35 – Carmelo has decided to be the team enforcer after Nocioni hammers Howard.
10:40 – This is a weird 3rd quarter. We’ve had a technical foul that led to four free throws for Carmelo Anthony. Luis Scola is tearing the U.S. a new ass on the offensive end but the Redeemers are still up by 17. Unless Argentina EXPLODES from downtown, this game is safe for Team USA, but they certainly haven’t played their best.
Not even close.
10:45 – In more Carmelo Anthony news, he’s 11-11 from the free throw line. Argentina as a team is perfect as well. Team USA by 18.
10:50 – Annnnnnnnnnnnd the U.S. has relaxed again and let Argentina get back within 14. Turnovers, turnovers, turnovers. Fourth quarter upcoming.
In other news, this is the first time I’ve watched a televised basketball game without ANY commercials. I think I kind of miss them. Where’s my AT&T? Where’s my McDonalds? Wait, what am I talking about?
This is pretty awesome.
10:53 – And Team USA starts the fourth with, wait for it, a turnover.
The Redeem Team defense is absolutely terrible tonight. If they do this against Spain, they will be in danger of turning their golden dreams silver. Bad, bad defense.
10:56 – LeBron has already scored eight points and the fourth quarter is only about two minutes old.
11:00 – Wow. The U.S. cannot sustain a damn thing when it comes to good play. And again, their defense is ATROCIOUS. Delfino and Scola are absolutely KILLING the Americans.
11:03 – Team USA has 15 turnovers, tying Argentina. Entirely too many 3-pointers for the U.S., but, the zone allows that and takes them out of the open court, where Team USA absolutely destroys teams. Right now, it’s a 15-point margin but the Redeemers just could never put that killing run together.
11:10 – Ultimately, a win is a win is a win. And the U.S. is going to win going away (now 20) but Spain will probably use this game as a blueprint Sunday morning. Expect A LOT of zone from the Spaniards and a lot of pick-and-roll with their speedy guards.
If they can duplicate the Delfino/Scola attack, they’ll have a chance against Team USA.
Final score — 101 – 81.
Carmelo is your leading scorer with 21, but he was 3-14 from the field. He was perfect from the line however. Overall, an interesting game. Should be a good one on Sunday.
Player of the game — Chris Bosh. 11 points, 11 boards