Dwyane Wade, simultaneously saving the ball and providing the alley to Kobe's oop (Getty Images)
Sorry guys, I had a little trouble waking up this morning again, and Jon had to do the job again. Thank God for assistants, right? we are starting the second quarter right now, and we're up by only four, 20-16. This might be a long morning.
By the way, Jon and I just spent ten minutes searching for the game on TV, because USAHD has volleyball and USA has basketball. What?
Start of second quarter-Smothering defense by the U.S. leads to a Wade-to-Kobe alley-oop. Looks like we need a little more of that.
8:34-LeBron steals the ball and does one of his signature dunks at the other end. Am I the only one who thinks LeBron is going to parlay that dunk into his own version of the Jordan logo? He's been planning it for a while, too. Like, since high school.
7:05-2 fouls on Bosh, 2 0n Dwight Howard. This is the one of the main fears of the Americans, with us being so short. Carlos Boozer better be ready.
6:15-Another great pass from Wade to Bryant for an and 1 for Kobe. Great play.
5:50-Wade just made this poor Greek guy freeze like...uh...ice. Gimme a break, it's early.
3:45-LeBron just dunked on...Melo? Melo throws up some wild bullshit and Bron just says, "it's ok, buddy I'll take care of it." By the way, 38-28, U.S.
3:13-Deron Williams is playing crappy defense-it's official. Guys just--WAIT! Kobe made a 3! Kobe made a 3! Do you believe in miracles? Yesss!! (apologies to Al Michaels)
2:12-Timeout by Greece after the U.S. goes up by 16 on a reverse fast-break dunk by LeBron. Sam may be right: we might not even have to conform to FIBA rules to win gold.
1:32-Cris Bosh: And 1. He is coming up so big. He couldn't be playing better. Maybe all that praise from Coach K was justified. Right now, Bosh is teeing off on dudes.
0:16-Another fast-break basket for the Americans and a soul-crushing block by Bosh on some Greek dude trying to shoot a fadeaway. We are up by 19 at the half.
Halftime-I am eating this up, in case you all can't tell. 19 points is an excellent margin at half, especially against the third-seeded team in the tournament. I think Greece is regretting beating us in the World Championships, because now we're angry. And you won't like us when we're angry.
Later in Halftime-For all who wanted to know, "The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2" is now playing. Thank God they made that, right? Total cliffhanger at the end of the first one.
Ok, second half is starting now. Let's do this.
9:13-Good observation by Breeny--"LeBron has been getting every loose ball from early forst quarter on." It's true. Bron is taking hustle to a new level right now. It should come as no surprise. If all the white, crappy players in the NBA are considered "hustle players," think of how good LeBron would be at hustling if he focused only on that. Right now, that's what he's doing and -surprise!-he's dominating. For all of the White players in the NBA's sake, let's hope he lets up when the season starts.
7:48-Another drive-and-dish for a 3 by Greece. I can't stand it.
7:04-Look! Melo can hit 3's too! The deficit: still 20.
6:10-Oooooh, Greek big man tries to post up the Booze. Not a good idea. It's like their in a different country when their back is to the basket. He ha no idea what to do. He settled for a half-turnaround jumpshot, half-hook shot. Try to picture his shot...there it is...now throw up in your mouth.
4:34- Oh My God. I am looking at perhaps the largest black man outside of Tractor Traylor I have ever seen on the court for Greece right now. He has to be 6'8", 450 pounds. As my brother Drew observed: "It's like Greece said, 'you know who will be killing us against the U.S.? Big black guys. Let's go out and find the biggest black guy we can find, and we should be ok.'" Brilliant.
3:48-Block off the backboard by LeBron, successive block off the backboard by Bosh. My God. This may be unfair. Can I combine two blocks to create one Career-Ending Block? I'll say yes.
1:20-Still can't shoot free throws, as Dwayne misses his first of two.
0:37-Greece's answer to Wade: foul the shit out of him every time he gets within 15 feet of the basket. By the way, 11-18 from the free throw line. Good answer.
0:01-Great pass from Paul to Wade for the and 1. On Tractor II, no less! Good way to end the quarter. Wade is so freaking good.
Staring the fourth quarter. Homestretch time.
9:16-A Greek guard tries to go up for a layup on Bosh. He was lucky to hit the front of the rim.
7:46-Joe: "What are we up by, only 13?"
Joe: "Is it 23?"
Jon: (stunned silence).
I suck at math.
7:06-It is ridiculous how scared Greece is to come inside. I mean, for good reason, but it's getting weird. They will be literally 2 feet away from the basket and throw out for a 3. Come on, it's the Olympics! At least challenge us!
5:56-Deron Williams gets decked on his way to a loose ball, no foul called. The game's over, the refs are sympathetic. Another way to tell the game may be out of reach for Greece is that Tay has just entered the game. Garbage Tiiiime!
4:17-Greece just committed their 24th turnover. That stat illustrates how advanced we are on defense. The rest of the world may be catching up to us on offense, but on D, they're not even close. One of the reasons: defense is all athleticism and positioning. If you know where you're supposed to be, and you can get there quicker than your man, you'll get the ball. That's what we're doing.
3:00-Doug and Breen talk about the Ricky Rubio of Spain for about an hour. Remind me what's so special about this kid? He's young and...what else? They compare him to the Pistol (which is ridiculous in the first place), and then say he can't shoot. Makes no sense. I can't wait to see this kid NOT live up to the hype. early prediction: 2 points, 9 turnovers against the U.S. And I'm being pretty generous with the 2 points.
0:27-25-point margin reached, largest of the game.
End of the game-Truly a dominant performance by the U.S., the final score being 92-69. They passed their first international "test" with flying colors. Something I noticed: we completely dominated the pace of the game. It was uptempo, fast-break the whole time, and that's why we won. If we can do that against Spain, it won't be a contest. Wait! Not if Ricky Rubio has anything to say about it (obviously kidding). Spain better bring it, because they needed overtime to beat a team we rolled over by 30. I can't wait to beat them.