Redeeming for real: Previewing Australia versus Kobe, LeBron, and Team USA
Tomorrow, the real redeeming begins. Last week, ‘Redeem Team USA’ made up for lost time by embarrassing the world’s best squads in round robin play of the Beijing Olympics.
The Greeks, Spaniards, and Germans were all routed, allowing the Americans to capture first place in pool B. Their reward: facing an upstart Australian Boomers on Wednesday in quarterfinal action.
That’s right. The round Robin is done. Time for single game elimination.
‘Stars and Stripes’ will surely prevail, however, an undermanned ‘Aussie’ side kept a pre-Olympic exhibition game competitive. Here’s what to watch for in the Team USA-Australia match-up:
- Their awful shooting kept things close. In their early August tune-up, Kobe and the boys bricked everything, going 3-for-15 from downtown and making a porous 20-of-33 free throws. Team USA must have better success converting field goal attempts.
- Team USA has to stay focused. During their friendly, the Boomers rattled off a 13-2 run to open the second half. This won’t happen twice. Expect a focused American side.
- Airtight American defence from start to finish. They’ll continue their mission of getting stops against Australia; after all, Germany was limited to 57 points on Monday.
- Andrew Bogut and Pattie Mills will receive special attention. Bogut, an up-and-coming post with Milwaukee, tallied 22 and 23 points against Russia and Lithuania earlier this week. The young Mills averaged an impressive 13 points in round robin play and gave Team USA trouble on August 5th with his quickness.
The pressure of single game elimination begins Wednesday. Look for the Americans to meet the challenge by advancing to Friday’s semi-finals and beyond.