This game was never close. In fact, Team USA scored 49 points in the first quarter alone. USA’s worst quarter was the second, where they scored 29 points. Nigeria’s best quarter was the first, where they put up 25 points. You can definitely see where this is going.
Carmelo Anthony had the best game ever by a Team USA men’s player with 37 points on 13-16 shooting in just 14 minutes of play. He shot an incredible 10-12 from behind the arc. So far in the Olympics, Anthony has been the best player. Since his move to the bench he has gained more confidence, probably from having a chip on his shoulder. He has something to prove. And for Knicks fans this could be the start of a great year for Melo and New York.
Kevin Durant had a solid game with 14 points on 5-9 shooting and 4-7 from three. He also dished out 6 assists. Him and Melo’s newly refined roles have been a game changer for Team USA. Without these two guys playing at a high level, USA could have been in big trouble in the upcoming games.
Kobe Bryant played only 11 minutes, and that’s all he needed to make a major impact on the game. His leadership and willingness to win is unmatched in the NBA. The Black Mamba had 16 points on 6-8 shooting and 2-2 from three-point land. He also had 3 rebounds, 2 asissts and 2 steals in a very solid win.
Guys that deserve more credit so far in the Olympics are Russell Westbrook, Kevin Love and Andre Iguodala. Against Nigeria they combined for 45 points, 10 rebounds, 5 assists, 5 steals and 1 block. Westbrook shot 7-8 and 3-4 from downtown. Iguodala shot 3-3, which were all from three, and Love shot 6-9 and 3-6 from behind the arc. Not a bad trio coming off the bench.
All in all this was a very impressive win. I don’t care who you play, if you win by 83 points that’s an insane accomplishment. As a team, USA shot 59-83 (71%) and made 29-46 (63%) three-pointers. The entire team was on fire and made Nigeria look like a bunch of 9 year olds at your local YMCA. The competition will get harder from here, but i still don’t see anyone coming close to taking down America’s team.