Thursday, August 9, 2012
Lebron James records first triple-double in USA Olympic History as USA defeats Australia 119-86
Team USA advances to the semifinals to take on Argentina after defeating Australia 119-86 led by Lebron James and Kobe Bryant. Lebron James dominated the game despite only attempted seven field goals when he scored 11 points, grabbed 14 rebounds and dished out 12 assists becoming the first guy in USA Olympic play to record a triple-double(second overall done in 1976). As for Kobe Bryant after being held scoreless in the first half he erupted scoring 20 points including 12 in the fourth quarter as he hit six three pointers. The Australians had played the United States competitive most of the game but the United States once again was too much for their competition.
The United States once again allowed their opponent to hang around but the after the game got scary 56-53 the U.S. outscored Australia 63-33 the rest of the way. The dominance by the Americans in such a short spurt shows what we all know that this team can score in a hurry. This team has too many weapons and are just two games away from winning the gold medal for the second straight Olympics after the embarrassment of 2004. Unlike years past the United States is best three point shooting team along with being the most athletic team. What they lack in size they make up for in being long athletic guys who can all drain three pointers. Team USA also has Lebron James and Kevin Durant playing their best ball right now which helps. If that second half is just the start of things to come for Kobe Bryant then these Olympics are officially over as the United States won't be challenged.
Instead Bryant hit a couple of three pointers then in the fourth quarter with the United States leading pretty comfortably he put the dagger in with four three pointers. After being held scoreless Bryant led the United States in scoring with 20 points hitting six three pointers. The United States needs Kobe to be Kobe in these next two games. Bryant has a lot of pride and this was the first game he actually played some minutes. Bryant showed the whole world, this country and more importantly his teammates that yes he can still have his Kobe Bryant moments. Hopefully this was the start of something special for Bryant and not just one last chapter in his career of being a premium player on team USA.
For Durant who plays in a small market(should be in Seattle) this is his chance to show that he is the next generation of superstar talent. Durant will eventually try to be Lebron James biggest rival in the NBA Finals. He is a great scorer and in these games has been automatic from three point range.
That is why this game was so special to watch you saw two all-time greats dominating the game in two different ways. For Bryant it was taking when he sensed that he was getting hot hitting four three pointers in the fourth quarter. For James it was recording the first triple-double in Olympic history. He dominated the game by dominating the boards and looking for open teammates to make three pointers. For fans of the game it had to have been fun watching these two guys performing at such a high level. As long as James is playing 30 minutes a game there is no way the United States is losing during this tournament. The United States has been tested but always respond with a big haymaker punch of a run which always put their opponent away. For the United States they just need two more victories to put their place in history which is on par with the 1992 Dream Team. There will always be a debate but for the first time there is actually a team worthy of a debate with that 1992 team. This team is something special and I've had a great time watching basketball played at such a high level during these Olympic games.