By Evan Roessle, Guest Writer
This was more or less a meaningless game for Team USA. Their position in the upcoming rounds is secure because of their undefeated record in group play.
In their last game, the Redeem Team dismantled Spain who many believed to be the best team in the tournament, but it was possible they could let up in this game against the Germans, given that it will make no difference when the medals get decided.
The German team is built primarily around two key players, Dirk Nowitzki, a seven foot forward who plays for the Dallas Mavericks, and Chris Kaman, another seven footer that plays for the Los Angeles Clippers. Relative to these tall men, the US team could be considered somewhat undersized.
Although the German giants seemed imposing, it didn’t take long to establish that their size would have little impact on the outcome of the game. Team USA toyed with the Germans, stealing the ball, and setting up numerous fasts breaks for easy points.
Dwight Howard dominated the middle, blocking shots and scoring easily down low. He was extremely efficient, converting an astounding 90% of his shots. At half time, the United States had opened up a fairly large lead and did not show any signs of slowing down.
They continued to build their lead in the second half, with good defense and lights-out shooting. The United States doubled the Germans point total, cutting the German giants down to size, en route to a crushing win, 106-57.
The Redeem Team demonstrated that they understand winning games always matters, even when the championship isn’t on the line. Destroying Germany will remind every team to come that Team USA isn’t going to let up. The scores run up against Spain and Germany are intimidating, and will be on the minds of Team USA’s opponents for the remainder of the Olympics.
The United States will play Australia for their first game in the second round. This is a rematch of an exhibition game the Redeem Team won by 11, but at the time, the Australians were missing their best player, center Andrew Bogut. Will Bogut’s return matter?
We doubt it. That was an exhibition game…this one will count. As we look toward the match up, we expect Team USA will win easily, and it appears there is not one team that can stop them on the way to Gold but themselves.