LeBron James pinned a Tunisian player’s shot to the rim a little bit into the 2nd quarter, and that was the story for the US against Tunisia. Tunisia could not score enough points in the paint to compete, and eventually had to shoot 3s to try to get back into the game. They did lead 13-12 at one point in the 1st quarter, but simply lacked the athletic ability that Team USA has in order to keep up in this game; Team USA eventually prevailed 110-63.
Coach K started his bench unit in the second half after a bit of a lackluster effort to start the game by Team USA’s starters. USA’s defense really picked up when Kevin Love and Carmelo Anthony checked into the game in the first half, and Coach K was certainly happy about that.
Tunisia’s Ben Romdhane had some excellent stretches against the US, and he dropped two 3 pointers in a row to get Tunisia closer to the US in the second quarter.
LeBron James and Kevin Durant also hooked each other up for a couple of vicious dunks in the 1st half, but Team USA’s bench powered by Russell Westbrook and Carmelo Anthony ran away with this thing in the 3rd quarter. They settled for 3s a little too much in the 1st half and weren’t knocking any down either; this could prove to be an Achilles heel for Team USA against Spain or Brazil in the medal round.
In a scary moment considering Team USA’s lack of big men, Kevin Love appeared to hurt his knee with a little less than 6 minutes left in the 3rd quarter. If Love is down for the count, then Team USA will have to rely heavily on Anthony Davis, who is a national champion, but he has also never attended a single game or practice in the NBA; he might not be ready. Davis did throw down a couple pretty amazing alley oops throughout the second half that showed why he is on Team USA. Craig Sager reported later during the game that Love felt a lot better and without pain once he had iced his knee. Love eventually returned and looked healthy and comfortable.
Team USA took one more step towards a gold medal today, and their strong bench showed today why they are the favorites for the top spot on the podium.