Redeem Team Keeps having Nightmares. Spain Outplays USA, but Falls Short of Gold

The Spanish outplayed the US for the first quarter, and with an array of players that are all paid millions, the US was trailing by 5 early, their biggest deficit of the Olympics. This was an injured Spanish team, and they were still beating the so-called Redeem Team.

Chris Paul, for the US, fortunately was strong driving to the basket, drawing fouls and sinking the basket, for 3-point plays.

Wade entered the game and exerted some obvious hustle, and the announcer noted “the team seems to play their best ball when he is on the court.” So maybe the US could show why they get paid millions to sink hoops.

Why can’t they just bring the championship NBA Team the Celtics to clean up this Spanish motley crew? If they could humiliate the Lakers, certainly they could make mincemeat out of a few Spaniards.

But the overly tattooed US Team looked kind of silly overall against a team that should have been a relatively easy target. At the end of the first quarter, Wade made a steal, but looked like a spaz going to the basket, throwing the ball away.

The US led after the first quarter, but not by much, and these are the best the US can offer?

Lucky for the US, as the game entered the second period, the Spanish team was missing free throws. Kobe sank a three to put the US up by ten. He is not getting enough credit in these games for his leadership. He sinks it when he has to and he is doing it from everywhere on the court. If he played like this against the Celtics, they would still have lost, just by not as much.

Dwight Howard of the US made a stupid foul. He let Gasol get by him and instead of just letting the shot go, he grabbed Gasol like a rag doll, and received an “Un-sportsman-like foul”. What excuse does a pro team up by 10 have for acting out like this?

Gasol missed both shots. Howard got lucky. And the Spanish, had they practiced their free throws, may have been in this game more.

Kobe traveled getting two on a fast break, but the ref missed it and he got the basket giving another break to the US.

Spain started getting sloppy, and the referees seemed to start getting much lighter on the foul calls, letting the US team take advantage of their aggressive play, leading to a 13 point lead. But Spain sunk a three to bring it from within 10.

An easy strip of the US by Rubio and a weak foul by the US led to Rubio sinking two free throws and reducing the US lead to 8.

On the ensuing play, Anthony got stuffed and Spain stole the ball. The US had to resort to a foul to keep Spain from getting within 6 easily. The US team looked like they were dancing with the Spanish players, grabbing them in ways the referees should never have allowed.

Kobe, our hero of this Olympics, took a weak shot by Spain and a fast break pass to sink an easy basket. Kobe was smooth.

But with the squeak of the sneakers, Spain snuck in another basket to keep it within 8.

Offensive foul US on a sadly missed layup led to the Spain throwing in 2 free throws to come within 6.

Now the weirdest play of the game. A quadruple steal. Spain steals from the US, who steals from Spain, who steals it back form the US and Wade finally steals it again from Spain. James went to the basket and sunk it and drew the foul. Spain blew a chance to come within 4. James missed, but Wade stole the ball again and sunk it for a 10 point US lead and Spain called for mercy with a time out.

At the half, it was within 9 for Spain, and the overpaid “redeem team” was looking vulnerable.

Spain immediately pulled within 6 and this was looking like a real play-off game. Something the US certainly did not expect after blowing out this same Spanish team by 40 points earlier in the Olympics.

The US looked like they had little heart. Maybe it was because there was no bonus paycheck in this game, but they threw it to Spain. The US countered with a steal, just to have Spain nab it back on their end of the court. Spain went for a three and missed.

The rest of the game was pretty much the same. The US did not give up their lead, but they didn’t expand it either. US Gets Gold by 11, 118-107.

The “Redeem Team” gets the Gold, but we are thinking after this kind of play, the teams they play for may want to renegotiate their contracts to save a few mill.

US Basketball All-Star Closer to Redemption. Advances into Olympic Gold Final After Defeating Defending Champs Argentina!

By Evan Roessle, Guest Writer

Was this to be a repeat of the 2004 Olympics in Athens? Team USA began that Gold medal game vs. an Argentinean team led by Manu Ginobilli. The US team’s inability to knock down three point field goals was evident as they lost 98-90, but what was more disturbing was the seeming lack of heart and the inability of the US to perform as a team.

Ginobilli scored 29 points, dominating the game with his effective three point shooting. Fabricio Oberto, Andres Nocioni, and Carlos Del Fino rounded out the field for Argentina, beating Team USA. The defeated US team was led by led by Tim Duncan, Allen Iverson, and Kobe Bryant who were never able to become comfortable with one another.

This year, the team has been constructed differently, requiring players to commit three off seasons to Team USA. This has allowed Lebron James, Dwayne Wade, and Carmelo Anthony to gel, and become comfortable playing as a cohesive team.

As the game began, Team USA ran up a huge early lead, going up 21-4 in the first quarter. Argentina was playing their game from there and began to chip away, cutting the lead to nine by half time, but Manu Ginobilli, Argentina’s most important player had been lost to an ankle injury. Typically this would indicate a blow out by Team USA in the second half.

Luis Scola and Carlos Del Fino of Argentina took up the slack. Scola dominated down low, using his slick back-to-the-basket moves to score 28 points while Del Fino continued his hot shooting from outside, scoring 17 pts.

On the US side, Carmelo Anthony was the catalyst, scoring 21 points and converting all 13 of his free throw attempts. Chris Bosh and Dwight Howard combined for 20 rebounds, solidifying the low post defensively.

Howard also had two blocks contributing to strong defense throughout the game. After winning easily once again, 101 to 81, Team USA will face Spain in the Gold medal game. This will be a rematch of the group level game where Team USA disposed of Spain like a used Kleenex, embarrassing them by nearly 40 points.

If the United States can win they will return to the Gold Medal status they demonstrated in the Sidney games in 2000. People forget, the US only had one bad game in 2004 despite not playing up to their capabilities, and still made the Gold round. This year, the team is vastly improved and looks unbeatable.

Spain is likely to have learned from their earlier whooping. Expect them to come out playing tenacious defense and sinking 3s. If they can get by their desire to be Chinese, they could work the US Team and play them tight, but if they run around pulling the skin around their eyes into an oriental shape, they may find it difficult to hold onto the ball.

Kangaroos Can’t Jump. US Olympic BasketBall Team Hops Over Australia.

The Australians played close for a while, but the Redeem Team would prove to just be too much for the Aussies.

Despite a run that brought the Aussies back to 25-24 by the end of the first quarter, and that run reminded us of an exhibition game in which the US had a tough time with Australia. Much of the media, especially ESPN, were quick to dump on Team USA after that exhibition Game despite a US team 9 point victory.  Not this time.  ESPN and company kept their mouths shut.

The US strategy throughout these Olympics is to keep up the speed and momentum with fast substitutions.  The opposing team barely gets used to playing one set of Americans just to turn around and face another.  Because every player is stellar, it just keeps everyone fresh and beats down any opposition.

We won’t bore you with detailed coverage of this game.  It was not close.  Another US blow-out 116-85.  And it could have been much worse for the Aussies.  A 31 point whooping was merciful.

There will now be a semi-final between Team USA and Argentina (the defending Olympic Gold Champions).  Argentina barely nipped the Greek team the US destroyed by two points 80-78.

This team has Gold written all over it.  They are playing incredible basketball and could easily contend in the NBA.  The biggest surprise is the coaching and team play.  The US is looking like a true team, not a group of disparate selfish players.  And the coaches are driving team play with frequent substitutions and clever offensive and defensive strategies.

Lithuania is still undefeated after wiping the floor with China.  That will likely be the team the US faces for the Gold.

US Olympics Basketball Team Embarrasses Spain In Quest for Redeem Team Gold

Spain was supposed to be the strongest competition the US would face in these Olympics. Sometimes, though, things just aren’t as they appear.

In 2006, the Spanish team were world champions. They didn’t look like world champions in this game.

The game was riddled with turnovers by Spain, giving the US team way too many opportunities to score. And the US team also did something they had not been able to do in previous games in these Olympics. They hit 3s. They were 12 for 25 from downtown.

The final score was an embarrassment for Spain, losing to the Americans 119-82, a 37 point spread. LeBron James scored 18 points, Dwyane Wade had 16 and Carmelo Anthony sunk 16 points as well.

The only remaining undefeated team is Lithuania, but the US will not have to face them until the final game for the Gold.

The US team did indeed look like the Redeem Team in this game. Certainly, if they continue to play like this, a Gold medal is in their future.



US Greeces the Wheels, Unstoppable after Wiping the Floor With Greece and Slipping Right On By!

By Evan Roessle, Guest Writer

Having lost to this same Greek team four years ago in Athens, the US team was determined to redeem itself and come away victorious.

As the United States basketball team prepared for their third game in the summer Olympics, you could sense the tension.  Would the US dominance in the games come to an abrupt end as it did in 2004, or would the improved level of competition put a road-block in the US team’s pursuit of a Gold medal?

In 2004, the US lost to Greece in the Bronze medal competition, and the fear was they would they just choke under the pressure, and their desire to return home to their cushy multi-million dollar contracts.

As the game began, the teams volleyed for dominance, each team in turn rotating between establishing its offensive and defensive strategies.  The volleying made it difficult to establish if either team had the advantage.

Jason Kidd started for the United States at point guard, and picked up three fouls in the first two minutes, creating a dire situation, leaving coach K to possibly have to resort to his reserves.  Chris Paul and Deron Williams were ready though, and both have more talent than most of the US competitition, so it wasn’t all that difficult of a problem.

Greece took an early lead, and with the US trailing 13-9 in the first quarter, Dwayne Wade entered the game. From there, Wade led the US team increasing both the intensity on offense and defense, reversing the trend and taking the US lead to 17 at half time.

In the first half, Wade, and Chris Bosh had the largest impacts providing tough D! Several steals for Wade and a couple of blocks for Bosh helped the US establish a lead Greece would be staring at for the rest of the game.

In the second half, the United States controlled the tempo, maintaining their twenty-point lead.  Aggressive defense and assistance from a Greek team that was not prepared to come from behind led to a final score of 92-69.

The United States proved that it is not the same team it was four years ago, and the Greeks were an easy target.  The team that lost to Greece in 2004 can now anticipate and prepare for their next competitor, Spain.   Experts believe Spain will be their toughest competition, having a mixture of NBA and European players.  The Spanish team has talent, and may be able to hang around with the United States team, but our bet is on a US GOLD rush and Spanish SILVER!!

Photo Credits: Nicolas Asfouri / Filippo Monteforte / Jeff Gross / Getty Images / NBC



USA Olympic All-Star Basketball Team Undefeated, Still Looking Like GOLD

By Evan Roessle, Guest Writer

As the United States prepared for its second game of the Olympics, there was little doubt in the outcome. The US team is far superior both in athletic ability and skill compared to the team from Angola. Angola’s roster lists its tallest player at 6’8″, while the US team includes a 7′ center in Dwight Howard, a 6’11” power forward in Chris Bosh, and a 6’8″ athletic freak in Lebron James, who can play every position on the floor. The US had history in its favor given a forty -point victory margin in past meetings.

When the game began, the United States started playing tough, physical defense, attacking the basket on nearly every possession.  James and Howard dominated inside with the clear size advantage, displaying their athleticism with high-flying, powerful dunks. While Howard and James played tough down low, Dwayne Wade and Deron Williams, players who contribute off the bench for the US team, provided speed and quickness in the backcourt.

Wade had the greatest impact scoring 19 points and grabbing 5 rebounds in his effort to redeem himself after the United States’ poor performance in 2004. Wade and James, the only two players from that team, have been demonstrating their utmost determination in their quest to bring home the gold this year. As the game progressed, the US expanded their lead to thirty points, sealing the victory. The Angolan team, led by point guard Morias, did not surrender easily, carving into the thirty point lead as the game concluded, but this still resulted in a 21 point deficit to the US.

In their second game in their push for gold, the United States came away with a 97-76 victory vs. an undersized Angolan team. For the positives, inside play continued to be strong, and point guard play provided numerous fast break points.

The United States team, however, continued to struggle from three-point range.This could be critical when the US plays Spain, Greece, and Germany later in the tournament. Against that kind of talent, the US may have to improve their low percentage performance (23%) from downtown if they expect to win the gold. That said, the US strategy of controlling the inside and playing tenacious defense have made short work of the competition thus far.

________________________________________________________

Evan Roessle joins sports writers for myrealitytelevision.com

Evan has just joined myrealitytelevision as a sports writer, and we welcome his extensive knowledge of sports and his ability to call a game like no other.

We are grateful to have Evan on our team.

Evan will be covering the USA Olympics Basketball Team, and we expect that he will add an experience and diversity to the website because of his thorough understanding of the team and of every US player and their strengths.

Evan is one more example of where myrealitytelevision is making every attempt to bring the best sports writing talent to you.

NBC Olympics Announcers Take American Fans For Fools

No one can get inside on the US basketball team, and this creates little risk for the US in their pursuit of the Gold.

Angola scored few baskets from the inside against the US Team in the game, and this clearly shows that the US is not going to lose in this Olympics.

Announcers on NBC sounded rather foolish in their attempt to find every fault in the US team to make it sound like anyone could pose a challenge, even as the US cruised to another big win. We realize that the announcers like to play up the televised games for all they are worth, but they seem to be trying to take American fans for fools.

Greece is supposed to be a stronger team, but they had better be hitting their shots from downtown, because the US did not and will not give up the inside.

The US strategy is simple. Play tenacious defense on the inside, take the rebounds and drive to the basket. When the US moves away from this strategy, going for 3s and playing with less of a team orientation, they give the other Olympic teams a chance to score points.

That scoring by opponents, though, has been extremely limited, and we expect the US is still trying to find a number of game strategies that will work for them as they move closer to Gold.

US easily 97-76.

Photo Credits: NBC and Getty Images

US Men’s Olympic Basketball Team Makes Short Work of China…

The US basketball team started off their competition against China.  The Chinese established themselves early, letting the Americans know they should not get too complacent.  The teams in the Olympics are prepared and they are well coached.  When a team is selected from well over a billion people, you have to respect their ability.

The US led 20-16 after the first, but the Chinese nailed a three pointer at the start of the second period.  The challengers in red were serious contenders here.   And they were keeping it close.  As you know, the US lost in 2004 despite bringing power-house players and only managed the bronze.  That loss was bitter, but it demonstrates that individual talent does not make a basketball team.  One can observe this in the All-Star games.  You get to see your favorite star, but typically not much of a ball game.

It looked like the energy on the Chinese team was about to wane, but then they nailed another three pointer and kept it within reach.  Henry Kissinger was in attendance in body, but not in spirit; the man was clearly snoozing, not cheering.  Even the elder Bush looked challenged to stay awake.

The US team started getting aggressive, but they could not sink baskets, and gave China the opportunity to catch up.   China was shooting 7/11 from the perimeter.  The US tried a three pointer, and missed again,  netting them a catastrophic 1/10 from behind the 3 point line.  You can’t do that in international basketball and not get challenged…or beaten.

They tell us that the referees can be horrendous in these games.  The reason, they come from different countries and this often presents language barriers.   In addition, there are subtle differentiations in the rules from nation to nation, which can lead to confusion on the court.  But so far, their calls were looking as good as most US officiating, and this Chinese team was still within 2.

Kobe then reminded us what greatness is about.  The US stole the ball and fed it up to Kobe against two Chinese defenders.  Kobe stuffed it between the two as they looked totally helpless to stop him.

The US kept on letting the three point shooters from China nail basket after basket.  While the US could only muster one 3 point shot, China had delivered 9!!  That added up to 27 points of China’s 32 points.

As the US tried to come back, Kobe missed another 3, putting the Americans in a sad position.  The US was 1 out of 11 outside the three-point line.  They have to learn, blocking a 3 pointer by the opposing team is just as good as getting one.  If you are going to depend on going to the basket to win, you cannot allow teams that focus on the 3-pointer to get shot after shot uncontested.

Yao Ming is a freak of nature.  At 7’6″ he towers above the US players.  One has to wonder how the Chinese, that average between 5’5″ and 5’7″ in height could deliver such a monster to the games!  But there are well over a billion Chinese, so anything becomes statistically possible.

The US continued to do what they do best.  Driving to the basket and drawing the foul.  Lebron James nailed the basket, but missed the chance to make it a three.

Now the rebounds and drives to the basket started to pay off.  The US generated a 16-3 run taking a commanding 13-point lead as the Chinese looked totally dismayed.  3 pointers aren’t going to win all by their lonesome, so perhaps the coaches for the US were right after all.  Just let the Chinese have all the 3s they want, but control the rebounds and the inside and let the game come to you.

The rest of the half was rather mundane, with the US ending up by 12 at 49-37.

The Chinese love basketball, and are great fans of the US teams.  The popularity of the game could result in as many as 800,000 basketball courts in the China by the end of this year, and there are still players waiting an hour or more to get into a pickup game.  They aren’t our equal in basketball yet, but their numbers are scary.

The US drew first blood in the second period as Kobe faked a 3 and drove to the basket.  He had China flatfooted on that move and the US went up by 14.

The US domination was on the 2.  They were only one for thirteen outside the 3 point line.  In reality though, if you control the inside, you control the game.  That was apparently the US strategy, and heaven forbid they start hitting a few of those 3s.

The US started getting lazy in the 3rd letting the Chinese get multiple offensive rebounds, but the Chinese started missing their shots.  Missed shot after missed shot by the Chinese led to a 16 point lead for the US, a cushion that was not going to be overcome.

The US was demonstrating they were unselfish here.  They looked like a team playing tenacious defense, wearing China down.  Fast line changes and US speed were starting to make the Chinese team look a bit foolish.  And then, James hit a 3 to take the US up 18.

It appeared that, as the game went on, China was getting more and more tired as the US team was just warming up.  Maybe the US should play a pick-up game to warm up before the actual game!!  They weren’t even looking slightly fatigued after almost three periods, so their strength is in their stamina and heart.

The Chinese started fouling ugly and the US started hitting free throw after free throw.  Chris Bosh was fouled, but only put down one out of two.  Even with that the US led by 21.  And the Chinese started to get humiliated.  Steals, easy baskets, and the US started to show that the Chinese were dramatically over-matched.  US by 24.

Another steal by Wade that leads to an easy stuff and the US margin expands to 26!  The Chinese could not find the basket anymore.  This game belonged to the US the rest of the way.

The 4th was no different, calling it play by play would just take up unnecessary space.  The Chinese were humiliated 101-68.  Over a 40 point margin!!  The US all-star squad demonstrated that the criticism of their ability to play as a team is vastly overdone.  They are a team and hopefully US Champions on their way to the GOLD!