Close but no cigar

Each game that goes by this summer the international teams playing against Team USA get a little bit closer …

Game 1 – USA 120 Canada 65
Game 2 – USA 114 Turkey 82
Game 3 – USA 120 Lithuania 84
Game 4 – USA 89 Russia 68
Game 5 – USA 87 Australia 76

Yesterday, versus Australia … Game Summary & Boxscore here … everything needed for an upset to occur, in the eventual Olympic Tournament (over the next 2 weeks), was on full display …

From Team USA:
i) Relatively poor 3FG% and FT%;
ii) Average Team Rebounding; and,
iii) Few set plays.

From Team Australia:
i) Relatively steady ball-handling from their guards;
ii) Solid 3PT Shooting;
iii) Solid Team Offense … i.e. execution of several of ‘set plays’ (Double High-Post; Single Pick & Roll/Pop Series; Princeton; etc.);
iv) Solid Team Rebounding; and,
v) Various Zone Defenses.

From the Game Officials:
i) Enforcement of the Rules [i.e. re: Personal Fouls & Violations].

In the end, however … when one team has a supremely talented multi-dimensional individual player, like Kobe Bryant [6-6] , PLUS a multi-dimensional side-kick, like Lebron James [6-8] … AND the opponent DOES NOT … ‘close’ is as good as it’s going to get during these Olympic Games.

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