Wednesday , Aug , 29 , 2007 Oly Sandor

FIBA: LeBron James & Carmelo Anthony Spark Second Quarter Run, Team USA Dominates Puerto Rico

Revenge is best served cold. On Tuesday evening, Team USA reinforced this point by beating Puerto Rico 117-78 at the FIBA Americas Tournament. The win was payback. At the 2004 Olympics, Puerto Rico upset Team USA-a fact not lost on LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, and others who suited up for Stars and Stripes in Athens …

Revenge is best served cold. On Tuesday evening, Team USA reinforced this point by beating Puerto Rico 117-78 at the FIBA Americas Tournament.

The win was payback. At the 2004 Olympics, Puerto Rico upset Team USA-a fact not lost on LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, and others who suited up for Stars and Stripes in Athens.

Here are my observations:

  • Night and day. That’s the difference between Team USA in 2004 and Team  USA in 2007. The Olympic squad that lost to Puerto Rico was a collection of squabbling All-Stars, while this current team is exactly that-a team.
  • The Americans had a slow first quarter. But they got a second quarter lift from an interesting unit: Carmelo Anthony, , Dwight Howard, , and Deron Williams. James’ passing and Anthony’s outside shooting sparked an impressive 22-4 run.
  • Amare Stoudemire has been boasting about his new three-point shot. I have been skeptical. Call me old fashioned, but I believe posts should play, well, the post. But STAT deserves creative license. On Tuesday, he provided great energy and was hyper-active on the offensive glass.
  • Kobe Bryant gave a clinic on how to deny the ball. He made it impossible for his man to receive the ball.
  • Team  USA went back to their old starting five. Jason Kidd and were back in the first unit; and came off the bench. And Tayshaun Prince returned from an ankle injury sustained earlier in the tournament.

What do you think of Team USA’s performance against Puerto Rico? Get at us in the comment box below with your thoughts.

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