Thursday, July 12, 2012

Cruising Past the Dominican Republic

The U.S. struggled offensively at the outset. They settled for outside shots and weren't making them. But the dejected Dominican Republic didn't really have its heart in it after narrowly missing out at a chance to play in London.

When Kevin Durant entered the game, he went ballistic from three-point range. Durant ended with 24 points in 22 minutes on 9 for 11 shooting (5 for 6 from three) and ten rebounds. Not bad. The U.S. led 50-27 at halftime.

The U.S. continued dominating in the second half. Kevin Love and Andre Iguodala scored a ton of points each when the game was no longer in doubt. Only one Dominican player scored in double figures and it wasn't Al Horford, who isn't as proficient when he's the first option. Even Jack Michael Martinez couldn't grab double digit rebounds, a rarity.

The U.S. had no trouble, even with Tyson Chandler struggling with fouls early. He is the only center on the team, but it didn't matter in this game. The strength of LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony, and the length of Durant, negated Dominican's inside game. The ferocious pressure of Russell Westbrook helped cause 27 Dominican turnovers. The final score was 113-59. And it wasn't even that close.

One interesting moment came when Anthony Davis, filling in for the injured Blake Griffin, started woofing at his old college coach, John Calipari, the coach of the Dominican Republic.

The team's lack of size could hurt in the future. The U.S. also doesn't have great consistent shooters. Kobe Bryant, Anthony, James, Durant, among others, can all light it up, but most of the team is pretty streaky. I'm also curious about the dynamic between Anthony and his former coach with the Knicks, the man he got fired, Mike D'Antoni.

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