Thursday , Aug , 23 , 2007 Oly Sandor

Venezuela Game Proved It: Team USA Should Win Gold At Beijing Olympics

The days of other countries winning medals and World Championships are over. A fresh cast of American stars, some veterans and some youngsters, seem determined to propel the U.S. back to its ‘rightful’ perch on top of the basketball world. Last night, proved they’re on the right track …

It’s only one game. Just 40 minutes. Still, yesterday’s game between the United States and Venezuela showed that Stars and Stripes are back on the international hoops scene.

The days of other countries winning medals and World Championships are over. A fresh cast of American stars, some veterans and some youngsters, seem determined to propel the U.S. back to its ‘rightful’ perch on top of the basketball world. Last night, proved they’re on the right track.

Again, it’s just one game. Their opponent, Venezuela, is rebuilding their program. And the game was over after one quarter; the final score inconsequential.

But the right signs were there. Swagger. Teamwork. Defense. Ball movement. Depth. From the opening tip, you sensed the summer holiday, All-Star team era was over, replaced by a cohesive, determined unit.

Here’s why I was so impressed with Team USA’s performance:

  • . . . Carmelo Anthony. Dwight Howard. The starting line-up showed they finally get the international game. Instead of focusing on set positions like a typical NBA starting five,  Team USA focused on playing their best players. 
  • Their warm-up said everything. The entire team oozed confidence, Kidd and Bryant looked especially comfortable in the final minutes before stepping out on the international stage.
  • Excellent defense. Again, Kidd and Bryant led the way. Their size and quickness pressured Venezuela’s guards into making mistakes. Howard did a nice job of rotating and providing help.
  • The two Mikes will continue to provide a spark off the bench. Mike Miller and Michael Redd are excellent shooters, the type of long-range gunners that Team USA has been missing. As outside specialists, they can bust a zone and change the flow of games. 
  • The coaching staff did a great job using their bench. Players rotated in-and-out of the game even when the score was close in the first quarter.

Blowouts are usually tough to read. Last night, Team USA made things easy to read, showing the world a new era of American basketball. What’s new is actually old. The red, white, and blue have to be the favorites to win Olympic gold in Beijing next summer.

What did you think of Team USA’s  game against Venezuela? Get at us in the comment box below with your thoughts.

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