Team U.S.A. basketball beatsTunisia
They were favored by 54 points heading into the game. They ended up downing their opponents by 47.
Team U.S.A. didn’t cover the points spread but they completely dismantled Tunisia en route to a 110-63 rout Tuesday.
The Americans got off to a rough start and surprisingly found themselves down 8-4 early in the first quarter to the 32nd ranked basketball team in the world. The U.S. missed all of their eight three-point attempts in the opening period and continued to struggle from downtown in the first half, converting just two of their 12 shots from beyond the arc.
Although the U.S. was up by only 13 points at the end of the half, they seemed to be hardly worried about the situation.
“We told [Coach Mike Krzyzewski], don’t get worried,” Carmelo Anthony said. “We’re all right.”
They were more than all right come the second half. Coach Krzyzewski turned to his reserves of Anthony, Deron Williams, Russell Westbrook, Kevin Love, and Andre Iguodala, and they blew the hinges off the door, outscoring Tunisia by 25 points in the third quarter as their lead ballooned into a 67-36 advantage.
Anthony sunk all six of his shots for the game to finish with 16 points. The game was so already out of hand in the fourth quarter that Krzyzewski turned to last month’s number one overall pick in the NBA Draft in Anthony Davis to wrap things up ad Davis dunked his way to 12 points on 5-5 shooting.
“It’s a different game to get ready for and I thought as a team overall we were ready, but it took like our bench to get us going defensively,” Krzyzewski said.
It certainly helps when you have the All-Star talent that lies in Team U.S.A.’s bench. After all, the Tunisians seemed excited just to share the court with their American counterparts. So much so, in fact, that one player from the Tunisia team had a more than obliging Kobe Bryant sign his sneaker at the conclusion of the game.
“It’s a dream for us to see these kinds of players, but now we play with them,” Ben Romdhane of Tunisia marveled after the game.
There are still holes in the U.S.’s game. They’ve often gotten off to slow starts and have relied on jacking up three-pointers rather than driving and attacking the basket. While they lack the big post presence offensively to drive the ball into, their hot-and-cold streaky shooting from beyond the arc may end up being a detriment to the team when the upper-echelon competition rolls around later in the tournament.
“It’s not going to be a perfect thing, you know?” Krzyzewski said. “But, overall, tonight was good. I mean, come on, it was 110-63.”
Not perfect, but good enough for a win. It’s never too shabby after all when you wind up winning by 47.