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
Dalhausser/Rogers played Baracetti/Conde of Argentina. The Argentinian team defeated the Latvian team that beat Dalhausser/Rogers in their opening match.
Dalhausser/Rogers opened the lead early, and continued to open it up. Argentina was forced to call a time out after the US Team went up 15-9 following an uncontested spike by Rogers as the Argentinians just stood and watched. The Argentinians were beginning to look more like spectators than participants, just watching the ball go past.
The timeout didn’t change anything. Rogers, despite being the shorter American, was delivering winner after winner. Another score delivered by Rogers and it was 19-11. No one can come back against Dalhausser/Rogers in that situation.
Set over on a Dalhausser spike. 21-12.
The US team did not look as sharp in the second set, giving Argentinia numerous chances. But the Argentinians never led in the set, despite blunders such as serves straight into the net by Dalhausser.
Dalhausser helped the US pull away with an Ace while all the Argentinians could do was stare, 14-10 . Dalhausser at 16-10 made a super human move. He went up to block but the ball went past, he fell backwards and placed the ball up for Rogers, who set up the spike. Dalhausser actually got up in the air fast enough to deliver the winning spike.
It was déjà vu in the second set at 19-11. And bye bye Argentina, 21-13.
May-Treanor/Walsh did it again, embarrassing the Norwegian team. The ladies once again won in straight sets 21-12, 21-15, finishing off the final set with an ACE!!
This one wasn’t worth covering, except to say the US Team is undefeated after 104 straight matches!!!! Is that even possible?
American Women’s Beach Volleyball Make 203!! Impossible? Believe It!
It is truly pleasurable to watch those among the best in their sport. It is a different experience altogether watching the best in their sport.
Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh, ranked 2 in this Olympics, played against Dalixia Fernandes and Tamara Larrea of Cuba. Dalixia and Tamara are among the best in this sport. Misty May and Kerri are the best. They entered this match with 202 sets in a row under their bikinis without a single loss!!
The Cubans were beaten in straight sets 21-15, 21-16 in 36 minutes. Easy. The Americans made it 203 sets in a ROW without a single defeat!
No one expected the US Men’s team to place in the top three teams, but their performance was a pleasant surprise for us all.
The team put in solid performances across the board, despite missing team mates Morgan Hamm and Paul Hamm, the reigning Olympic champion, netting the Bronze behind China and Japan. Not one member of the US team had any Olympic experience.
Had Morgan and Paul been able to perform in this Olympics, would Japan and China have had a run for their money?
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.
The Chinese were playing with their hearts and souls, but the USA women would not back down, matching them score for score. 1-0. 1-1. 1-2. 2-2. 2-3. 3-3. This was getting tough.
Again another tie at 5-5, and the USA and China were showing that neither was going to back down or go under. Natalie Golda already had 3 goals for the United States team.
6-5 US!! Nope. 6-6. Wow. 7-6 US!! Nope 7-7. Yikes. 8-7 US!! And finally a 2 goal margin at 9-7!
9-8, Uh oh. 10-8. Phew. 10-9. You have to be kidding!!!! 10-10. Oh C’mon! 11-10 China. OK, now we are starting to get worried. 11-11.
With 3 minutes to go the US scored again. Lauren Wenger made a perfect pitch past the Chinese goaltender for a score. 12-11. Lauren’s score would win the game.
The Chinese came down and made a wonderful shot. It barely missed hitting the left post, and the Chinese returned to defense.
China had earned major respect. This is a US team that had held opposing teams to single digits for 8 consecutive years. Oh my!
The US pulled it out 12-11. Natalie Golda finished with 4 goals.
Men’s Waterpolo Team Stymies Italians
The USA played Italy in Waterpolo and it was a relatively high scoring affair. With 6 minutes to go in the 4th, the US team led 9-7.
Team USA’s #4, Jeffrey Powers, threw a side-arm and skipped the ball past Italy’s goaltender for his second goal and a 10-7 lead.
The US team would need the cushion, as Italy charged back bring it to 10-9 and generating a look of concern on the US coach.
Lyne Beaubien, #7, positioned himself dead center in front of the net. Within a split second of receiving the ball, he pitched a hard shot on goal and scored for the US, bringing them back to a 2 point lead 11-9.
That would prove to be enough for the US squad, but Italy was not done. After an exchange of goals, the Italian team drove back with just over a minute left and scored to bring the score to 12-11.
The US burned the clock down to 24 seconds before giving Italy possession. Italy took a time out to set up at least one shot. Italy was on a power play for the bottom 15 seconds and could not get off a shot in time as the clock ran down.
US 12-11 in a nail-biter, and the US remains undefeated at 2-0.
The American team, Phil Dalhausser and Todd Rogers, ranked number 2 and the defending world champions were to face a difficult number 11 Swiss team of Patrick Heuscher and Sascha Heyer. The US had blown their first match in straight sets 19-21 and 18-21 to 23rd ranked Latvian team. There were plenty of excuses as to why Dalhausser did not play up to his level, but let’s not take anything away from the opposing team that left Dalhausser and Rogers flat footed.
No excuses, only victory. It really doesn’t matter how you play the game, it only matters if you win. No one will remember the excuses after the games. They will only remember those that take the medals.
So, let’s see if the US Team can redeem itself.
The USA team and Swiss played to a tie at 5-5 but then the USA team started to show their strength and spread the lead to 9-6. Rogers served and the Swiss attempted a spike, only to get delivered the ball back in their face by a rejuvenated Dalhausser. 10-6 USA. This is referred to as a roof, when the block is so high and strong, the ball goes straight down giving the opposing team no chance of any recovery.
The US continued to expand their lead at 14-8. Rogers served again. But this time, the Swiss spiked one through, right past Dalhausser, and the Swiss followed with another score on a nasty drop bringing the score to 14-10. Dalhausser would not let that go unanswered, and he spiked the next ball home, and there was no doubt even before he touched the ball, that was not getting returned. 15-10.
Rogers finished the game with a spike to take out the Swiss easily in the first set 21-15. This was not the same team that lost to the Latvians.
In set 2, the Swiss broke out to a 3-1 lead, proving you don’t have to be a beach boy to win on sand. But the US tied it at 3-3 with a Dalhausser service ACE. The Swiss pulled ahead again, but the US tied it at 5-5 on a Rogers service ACE! Then it was all US. Dalhausser spread the lead out 16-9. The Swiss did their best on the next point trying to take out the US team, but Dalhausser continually blocked them, finishing off with a kill move down the line that clearly demonstrated, the Swiss team was not in this anymore. 17-9. It wasn’t close at the end. The US embarrassed the Swiss team in the second set 21-10.
Match USA! Most still expect this team to win the Gold. We will keep you posted!
Olympic Medal for Gibb/Rosenthal For Men’s Beach Volleyball??
The Germans were expected to offer a strong challenge to the US in this game. Brink/Deickmann from Germany faced Gibb/Rosenthal from the US.
The US disposed of the German team in straight sets and in short order, barely giving NBC time to squeeze in a few commercials Final score 21-15, 21-13 in straight sets.
With Gibb and Rosenthal playing like this, an Olympic medal is in their destiny.